Modern Classic Style for a Young Couple’s Townhouse

Black and white palette, charming patterns, and elegant touches define this home

Original Article: Loren G. Evangelista Photography: Ocs Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions Styling: Gwyn Guanzon Interior Designer: Gwyn Guanzon

The first home of a married couple is always special and memorable. However, newlyweds Nichole and Bernard Mercado cherish their townhouse even more because it reflects their respective personalities. Bernard’s calm character is highlighted by the black and white color palette while Nikki’s sweet and sophisticated side shines through the pops of color, classic prints, and fancy details. Even the furniture and home accessories are a combination of supposed opposites – investment pieces from high-end stores are paired with budget finds.

Decorator and former Real Living creative director Gwyn Guanzon worked closely with the couple for a “neo-pretty” design or French style with a romantic feel. Classic elements are complemented by modern choices for a unique but comfortable home. Some of the special features of the space include Neo-baroque black chandeliers and decorative stickers on stark white walls.

Read the original article ("Pretty Cozy") in the October 2010 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details.

Living room

The black and white color palette shines in the well-appointed living room. All of the walls are painted white except for the accent wall which is covered in a black and white floral pattern. Flush against this wall is a pair of high-back upholstered chairs with black and white stripes. The striped chairs are flanked with identical black table lamps resting on matching white side tables. A pair of benches – one in a plain, solid color and another adorned with prints – serves as alternative seating options.

Dining room

The focal point of the dining room should have been an accent wall covered with gray stone. However, they ended up with a stones that have a muted, reddish hue. This mix-up turned out to be a blessing because the warm color makes the space look cozy and inviting.

A black chandelier hangs over the glass-top dining table with a white faux stone base. 

Dining room detail

On both ends of the table are fully-upholstered chairs with damask print. The rest of the chairs are covered in plain black fabric.


Just like the rest of the house, the couple wanted a black and white color scheme in the kitchen. The clean and modern space serves as an ideal backdrop for the stainless-steel finish of the state-of-the-art appliances.

Nichole shares that she and her husband were very particular about the material and the make of the kitchen cabinets – they did not want plywood and wooden laminates.


The space by the stairs is highlighted with an antique mesa altar from Batangas given by Nichole’s father on their wedding day. The traditional Filipino piece becomes modern with chic black and white touches.

Guest bedroom

For a calm and soothing look, the guest bedroom is filled with pastel shades. Light blue walls are complemented with cream-colored curtains and a taupe tufted headboard. To echo the black and white palette used for the rest of the home, a graphic print of Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s is displayed. 

Guest bathroom

In the guest bathroom, the damask print on the black tiles is a subtle but stylish choice. Printed tiles always add more character to the bathroom. The black and white floor tiles are assembled in a checkerboard pattern. 

Master bedroom

The master bedroom looks like a posh and glamorous hotel suite because of the custom-made oversized headboard and the refined details. The bright purple headboard, one of Gwyn’s signature creations, complements the crisp white pillows and sheets of the bed.

The table lamp by the bed was upgraded by replacing the original shade with a fabric that Gwyn bought from Provence, France. 

Walk-in closet

A pair of white chandeliers adds to the chic style of the walk-in closet. A vanity mirror with an ornate frame and a simple white desk with shiny gold knobs are also classic elements. For a soft pop of color, a pink ceramic stool is placed on a shag rug.

Master bathroom

Interesting wall stickers from Mobler add character to the airy, spacious, and all-white bathroom. 

Bernard's closet

Bernard’s clothes and grooming products are kept neat and organized in shelves and cabinets. You can also make your space look spic-and-span by painting your closets white.


Latest Stories

5 Creative and Affordable Wrapping Ideas For Christmas

Are you excited for the holiday season, too?

6 Fantastic Small Space Makeovers

How can you deal with cramped cooking corners and tiny bedrooms? Let these transformations teach you a trick or two.

A Filipino Designed This Space-Savvy Modern House in Singapore

It even has its own lap pool!

Would You Try "Death Cleaning?"

We've got everything you need to know about this new Swedish decluttering trend

5 Secrets Of A Functional Kitchen

Are you dreaming of having the most efficient scullery? These tips might just do the trick.

11 Peg-Worthy Celebrity Christmas Trees

From showcasing dainty blooms to using quirky ornaments, these personalities have taken the decorating game to the next level

This Quiapo Day Tour Will Make You Love Old Manila Again

Go on a DIY Quiapo adventure and look beyond the vendors. Say a prayer, have your fortune told, take a peek at a mysterious pagoda, and visit beautiful ancestral houses from a more genteel past.

10 Ways To Make Your Shoes Last Forever

Show your favorite pairs some tender loving care with these tips

A One-Bedroom Unit Transformed into a Two-Bedroom Home

The designers of this 45sqm condo in Manila created a functional space with an urban contemporary appeal that’s perfect for its young occupants

Here's Why You Should Skip Bringing Your Phone To The Bathroom

Trust us, liking that photo on Instagram can wait for a few minutes

7 Planners For An Inspired 2018

Stay organized and keep your goals in sight with these picks

These Christmas Ornaments Will Make You Feel Like Dancing

Celebrate a yearly Christmas ballet tradition with The Nutcracker collection
Load More Stories

Get inspiring design ideas and handy hints.
Subscribe to our newsletter now!