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Modern Filipino Pieces Star In This 250sqm Family Home

Works by noted Filipino artists and designer pieces fill this casual-modern family house, even in the patio!

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Original Article: Tisha Alvarez Photography: Miguel Nacianceno Styling: Issa Villar

Homeowner-couple Gigi and Gerald didn't have a clear picture in their heads of what their 250sqm house would look like. Collaborating with architect Michael Pena, Gigi, who is a designer, didn't have a detailed plan that was set in stone—she thought of ceiling and wall treatments as they went along, and decorated it herself in the end. "Hindi niya alam kung anong kalalabasan. Hindi ko rin alam kung anong kalalabasan," she recalls. What she did know was that she wanted a modern home that was kid-friendly and clean.

"I like the modern concept, but I don't know if I was successful," Gigi says with a chuckle. This isn’t your typical cold, Zen-modern home, as the house emanates warmth and plenty of character. And while it is uncluttered, there is something to capture your attention at every corner. "There are lots of things going on. Everywhere you look, you won't get bored."

Since she has two active kids in the house, Gigi decided to keep accessories to a minimum. She has paintings by Araceli Dans, National Artist BenCab, Celis, and Ann Pamintuan; but other than that, tabletops are mostly bare. She focused instead on surface finishes. Ceilings and walls come in various colors and interesting textures: there is a ribbed wall in the foyer, an Ann Pamintuan wall accent made of forged metal, and a painted gold ceiling with a stippled oil texture in the dining room. Rough walls in white, gold, and bronze-Gigi's favored colors-are found in the bedroom. "The colors don't go out of style. Nung wedding namin, ganyan din ang colors ng entourage…and it's still nice," she remarks. 

As is the case with many designers, Gigi keeps on dreaming of changes she wants to make—new furniture pieces, finishes, accents. But she reveals that, despite the time and effort she has lavished on their home, most of their attention is still devoted to their kids. "A beautiful house is secondary," she says. 

Foyer

A ribbed white wall in the foyer flows into a chocolate brown backdrop to a delicate gray watercolor by Araceli Dans, a family friend. Another watercolor of flowers by Dans can be seen on the floor at far right. The floating console and wall accent made out of forged iron in undulating patterns are by Ann Pamintuan. 

Living area

The off-white sofas in the living area are from furniture store Julianne Collection. A large black ottoman serves as a center table and rests atop a black leather rug. As with the rest of the house, art pieces are prominently displayed: an orange abstract-which gives a vibrant splash of color to the neutral-hued space-and a mounted light fixture made out of forged metal discs, both by Ann Pamintuan, and a mother-and-child bas relief by Araceli Dans.

Kitchen

Gigi’s streamlined, modern kitchen opens directly to the dining and living areas. “I cook, but hindi ako nag-aral. Happy yung husband ko sa cooking ko, tama na yon,” she says in jest. She recounts a humorous incident wherein a guest grabbed one of the sculptural glass containers on the countertop. “Akala niya stack of plates!” 

Dining

Chocolate brown curtains define the dining area. The dining set, with its glass-topped table and minimalist black chairs, is from Budji Living, while the huge Miss K suspension lamp is by Philippe Starck for Kartell. You can find Kartell locally at G/F W Global Center, 30th St. cor. 9th Ave., Bonifacio Global City. 

The dining area’s ceiling is painted in brushed gold, but the deliberately uneven finish gives it a modern, casual look. Glass doors open up to the patio. 

Patio

What makes this patio beautiful is its starkness. The main feature of the patio is the sculptural swing by Ann Pamintuan. The only other items in the space are wooden benches, a couple of throw pillows, and some driftwood. 

Stairs

A sculpture entitled “Tribute to Miro” by Seb Chua stands on a pedestal leading to the stairs. Behind it is an artwork made of copper doll-head moulds. “These dolls built this house!” says Gigi whose family manufactures dolls for a US company. 

Powder room

The tiny powder room packs a powerful punch with its contrasting black-and-white tiles. A wall accent made out of kamagong wood adds texture to the small space. The tiny painting on the ledge is by National Artist BenCab. 

Master bedroom

"Since I can't accessorize so much, I focused on finishes," explains Gigi. In the master bedroom, walls have rough finishes in a mix of cream, gold, and bronze. The angel painting is by the late artist Celis. Gigi says that the whole family sleeps in the large bed.

Read the original article ("On The Surface") in the June 2008 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to summitnewsstand.com.ph/real-living for more details. 

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