Clean and Simple Lines in a Three-Storey Townhouse

Asian-inspired fixtures and furniture coupled with warm colors project an inviting, cozy vibe

Original Article: Charmaine S. Baylon Photography: Ocs Alvarez Styling: Gwyn GS Guanzon

Husband and wife Christian and Trisha were very clear about what they wanted their dream home to be: all clean and simple lines. Inspired by Elizabeth Reyes's books: Tropical Living and Tropical Homes, the couple weren't into anything too modern. They wanted warm colors and a homey vibe.

The couple then bought a three-storey townhouse in a quiet neighborhood near Christian's parents' home. Given that Christian and Trisha already had a clear vision of what they wanted, the renovation only took four months. Trisha attributes their relatively easy time in updating the townhouse with the help of an architect friend. “He gave us a lot of tips, helped us organize our thoughts, and taught us how to communicate better with the contractor," says Trisha. He also helped them decide on the materials, what to do with the walls, even the furniture.

The finished product features mostly wooden furniture reminiscent of old Filipiniana and the Spanish era, with Southeast Asian accents. The Rustes’ motif consists mainly of vibrant, earthy colors of reds, deep, dark oranges, and lime green. Indeed, it’s a home that inspires one to put up their feet, relax, and bask in the peace and quiet after a harrowing day at work.

Original article by Charmaine S. Baylon. Styling by Gwyn GS Guanzon. Photographed by Ocs Alvarez.

Read the original article (“Real Simple”) in the June 2006 issue of Real Living Magazine. To download a digital copy of Real Living Magazine, visit Summit Newsstand at

Living Area The high ceiling gives the area an illusion of a bigger space.
Living Area Detail The cut-out high ceiling is highlighted with an impressive huge capiz lamp from Pampanga.
Living Area Detail Lounge couches in neutral shades invite one to curl up with a good book or simply daydream.
Living Area Detail The large windows lend an airy feel to the already relaxing atmosphere.
Living Area Detail Aside from the comfy couches, additional seating is provided by wooden furniture pieces.
Dining Area Glass panels in wooden frames were installed to divide the living from the dining area. It’s a clever way to separate areas without taking up too much space. Another trick is to use different flooring—the dining area has wooden boards while the living area has ceramic tiles.
Dining Area Detail The dining table was a gift from a ninong and ninang. The couple can get something smaller and with lesser chairs but since they often have their families over, the set fits them perfectly. The hanging lights add an elegant flair to the overall setup.
Kitchen Area Detail The dark cabinet, which used to be her mom’s, is Trisha’s favorite. During the renovation, more cabinets were installed in the kitchen to accommodate Trisha’s thriving cake business.
Asian Touch Hang a framed painting or picture above a cabinet for aesthetic impact. It’s a great alternative to the usual vases and lamps. Both the cabinet and painting give the space and Asian vibe.
Staircase Brighten up your space with strategically placed pieces, such as this stairwell with a vibrant-colored painting.
Bedroom The bed, a custom-made piece from Vigan, comes with side tables that can also function as stand-alone tables. Wooden flooring and wide windows that let natural sunlight filter in up the room’s soothing aura.
Bathroom The Rustes’ bath is no-frills, no-fuss, but still has an air of whimsy, thanks to the wooden laundry bin and nipa-colored tiling.
Bathroom Detail As if to balance the main bath's color scheme, the toilet area highlights a darker palette. This is complemented by warm lighting.
Garden The house's hidden gem is this Zen-type pocket garden, peppered with various plants and pebbles. The verdant green of this miniature foliage contrasts beautifully with the house’s predominantly beige-and-brown color scheme.
The owners Christian and Trisha Ruste.

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