Compact Living in a Three-Storey Townhouse

Francesca de Guzman designs a highly efficient home with surprising twists of fancy

Original Article: Kathleen Valle Photography: Miguel Nacianceno Styling: Coni Tejada Interior Designer: Francesca de Guzman

The beauty of Francesca de Guzman’s three-storey residence is that it was designed seemingly according to levels of privacy. On the first floor, you’ll find the guest bedroom and bathroom, and a hallway filled with framed works of art. On the second floor is the living area with space for lounging, dining, and doing a bit of office work. The entire third floor is devoted to the bedroom with his-and hers bathrooms.

An interior designer who has lived in different parts of the globe at one time or another, Francesca takes full advantage of natural light by installing glass windows and sliding glass doors all over the townhouse. She is particularly taken by the enclosed compact balcony on the second floor. It is here where she finds herself working sometimes, or just people-watching.

Though functionality reigns supreme above all, Francesca likes to play around with shapes and colors, matching the hardwood dining table with plastic Verner Panton chairs and putting splashes of orange and green amidst a gray and white scheme. The result is an efficient space with the right touch of fun and whimsy.

Original article by Kathleen Valle. Styling by Coni Tejada. Photographed by Miguel Nacianceno. 

Read the original article (“Chic, Quirky, Cool”) in the April 2009 issue of Real Living Magazine. To download a digital copy of Real Living Magazine, visit Summit Newsstand at 

First Floor Hallway This is a veritable gallery of Francesca’s art collection, including a commissioned AJ Dimarucot print and a painting by a four-year-old artist. She says, “I have a lot more artworks, but it’s a pity I haven’t had all of them framed.”
Second Floor Living Area Luxuriously sparse, the living area has room for only two pieces of furniture: a giant of a couch from Loft Details and a center table. She says, “This is the only sofa we agreed upon, because it’s lounge-y and has an ample, deep width. My boyfriend is a big guy so he feels like falling off in standard local sofas.”
Work Area Off to the side of the living area, you can spot her work area with an Eero Aarnio-inspired chair and a sleek-looking desk with a computer, printer, and reference books.
Dining Area A large dining table made of hardwood dominates the dining area while the curvy, plastic Verner Panton chairs give off a friendly vibe.
Bookshelf The bookshelf beside the dining area is her take on a shelf in West Elm where she used to work. She explains, “The original has an impractical design. My version also has a geometrical detail which I like, and it’s made to fit my book and movie collections—I love rearranging them!”
Kitchen Area The kitchen counter is fashioned out of a raw, odd-shaped piece of acacia wood that Francesca found in Tagaytay. Native storage trays take good care of her pots and pans underneath.
Kitchen Detail The kitchen area is strategically placed beside the dining area. Shelves are added on one side for additional storage space.
Staircase A short flight of stairs is seen just after the kitchen and dining areas. Additional artworks serve as decor, too.
Bedroom This space has a more grownup appeal with its walls of magenta and a four-poster bed. Francesca says of the bed, which she designed herself: “People have been telling me to put drapes over it. But I don’t like to. I’m not a drape-y kind of person. I just like the idea of a bed with posts.”
Divan The divan found in the bedroom adds as sexy touch to the space. The black pattern works well with the magenta walls.
Additional Work Space To go with the strong accent of the walls, an ottoman in the same color is partnered with simple wooden desks. With books on top, the space can be used for a quick work or reading time.

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