Modern Filipino style for a Family Home

Philippine-made pieces and antique finds add vintage charm to a modern house in the city

Original Article: Katherine Lopez Photography: Miguel Nacianceno Pictorial Direction: Joanne Enriquez-Bohol Styling: Dagny Madamba Architect: Jouie Rumpal Tumanda

In building your dream house, you don’t always have to follow interior design trends. As Jen and Noel Diaz learned while constructing their family home, going against popular choices can result in a unique and personalized space. The couple explains that they chose a clean but refreshing Modern Filipino style because most of the other homes at the time of the planning process were influenced by the Balinese look.

To marry the old and the new, architect Jouie Rumpal Tumanda designed a modern structure furnished with locally-made furniture and accessories. In the contemporary space, the clean lines, white walls, and clear floor-to-ceiling windows emphasize the beauty of the pieces made from natural materials. The earthy colors and rich textures of the wooden elements lend warmth to the space. Notable items include a daybed by internationally-acclaimed furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue, a Spun chair by Thomas Heatherwick, and a colorful Paul Gustilo painting. The property is also interesting because most of the wood used and the steel handrails of the staircase are actually recycled scrap material.

Original article by Katherine Lopez. Pictorial direction by Joanne Enriquez-Bohol. Styling by Dagny Madamba. Photographed by Miguel Nacianceno. 

Read the original article ("Bring Back the Old") in the August 2011 issue of Real Living Magazine. To download a digital copy of Real Living Magazine, visit Summit Newsstand at


Guests are welcomed into the home with a foyer that has a rustic brick wall. Leaning against this accent wall is a new table customized to look old and worn.


In the living and dining areas, the high ceiling, white walls, clear glass windows, and open layout create a bright, airy, and spacious effect.


The wooden chairs with woven details are paired with a glass-top coffee table and a textured area rug. Since the couple wanted a modern Filipino painting, they chose an abstract artwork by Paul Gustilo to complete the look.


Since the young couple loves to entertain guests, they have multiple sitting areas on the first floor. One corner is furnished with similar wooden furniture highlighted with a leafy potted plant and a charming rocking horse.


In the dining room, an old door purchased from an antiques shop was turned into a table by adding glass and legs. The table is surrounded by two different types of chairs: woven and wood-and-leather chairs. To protect their two young children from bumps and bruises, the table was child-proofed with transparent corner guards.


The kitchen is completed with custom-made pieces like the distressed wood-framed cabinets with frosted glass and metal chairs designed by architect Jouie Rumpal Tumanda. To fit the theme of the house, the wood used for the cabinets has an antique look. Warm mood lighting under the cabinets and a row of small droplights above the kitchen island illuminate the area.


The Pawikan lighting fixture on the ceiling was bought in Cebu.


The names of Jen and Noel's children are carved on the backrest of the wooden swing in the garden.


The den is furnished with an entertainment set that consists of a flat-screen TV, an old Radiowealth stereo that has been turned into a table, and an old record player from Vintage Pop. A reproduction Barcelona chair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich can be found in this corner.


The other side of the den is filled with more vintage finds like a storage chest or baul used as a coffee table, an old camera bought from Alabang Town Center, and a reproduction Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman.


In the powder room, the unique sink with a colorful floral design stands out. Jen explains that her mother hand-carried the piece from Mexico. The imported sink is complemented by a vanity mirror that has an ornate frame.


To add color to the staircase, the steps are adorned with ceramic tiles. The railing made from old steel is an affordable, environment-friendly, and remarkable detail.


The use of solid wood furniture in the master bedroom leads to an elegant and timeless look. Completed with brown and white pillows and sheets, the bed is matched with a wooden bench with a solihiya seat that rests on a shag rug from Our Home.


The unique texture and pattern of the bedside lamp adds character to the refined master bedroom.


In line with the Modern Filipino design of the house, the bathroom is decorated with capiz window panels. The capiz panels serve as lighting fixtures above the his-and-hers sinks and as a frame for the dresser mirror. The vanity area is completed with the same metal chair designed by architect Jouie. The high ceiling of the space makes the area look bigger than it really is.


A storage room is now used to keep the couple's favorite shoes. Whitewashed shelves all contain casual and formal footwear.


Although the attic was supposed to be turned into a bedroom, the space is now used to entertain the guests of the family. Brown daybeds are made inviting with yellow, orange, and maroon pillows. A fully-upholstered, oversized ottoman in white is used as a coffee table. A pair of pineapple-shaped lights from Azcor hangs from the ceiling.


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