Modern Minimalist Meets Shabby Chic in a Couple’s Bungalow

A marriage of tastes results in a unique cozy home with a distinct pop art feel

Original Article: Chinggay Labrador Photography: Albert Labrador Styling: Gwyn GS Guanzon

Being in love with two different styles wasn’t a hindrance for photographer Toto and writer Pierra Labrador. Toto’s style is a manly modern minimalist while Pierra fondly calls hers “shabby chic;" theirs are two distinct styles that you wouldn’t think would work well together. It just goes to show that you can’t knock things until you’ve tried them, as merging these two styles worked wonderfully for the newlyweds, resulting in a cozy decorated one-storey home.

Toto’s bachelor pad used to be a study in minimalism, from the neutral-colored flooring, walls, and furniture, only accented by pieces of art. When Pierra moved in, she added bouts of color, a woman’s touch here and there, to make their place feel more like home. A rose patterned chair, a colorful DIY wall mural, soft rugs, contributed to soften the edges of the house. Bachelor pad no more, this union gave birth to warm home with a distinct pop art feel before it underwent a renovation.

At present, the couple contributes to their family blog, - where they share their joys in life such as food, wine, travel, wellness, and bargain finds.

Original article by Chinggay Labrador. Styling by Gwyn GS Guanzon. Photographed by Albert Labrador.

Read the original article ("The Honeymooners") in the October 2005 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 Area

Instead of white, mocha colored walls keep the room crisp and neutral, without looking washed out. Black cushions on top of the Bo Concept Couch and the floor provide a stark contrast to the walls and shelves. A painting by Donnie Baranco takes center stage behind the entertainment system. To add a touch of warmth to the place, Pierra added a Todd Oldham floor lamp and a soft white Indian silk rug.

Living Area Detail

The side of the living area features shelves where photographs by Toto and his classmates, as well as artwork by Avid Liongoren, Eric Zamuco and Miguel Nacianceno are displayed.

Living Area Detail

A glass end table with round elements soften the feel of the space, with a touch of personality thrown in with the couple’s wedding photos. The throw pillows add pops of color, too.

Dining Area

A de Klimp lamp from Taiwan works well with the white dining table made by Henry Nakpil. Pierra added a rose painted Swivel chair from IKEA after she moved in, to add a touch of femininity to the crisp palette. 

Kitchen Detail

The couple’s Peanuts-inspired wedding cake topper by Karla Lapira stands among many Peanuts collectibles on the kitchen counter.


Simple lines from the divider and windows break the monotony of the white colored-room. Orange accent pillows match the accent wall mural, an addition after Pierra moved in.

Bedroom Detail

This floor-to-ceiling mural was a DIY project done by Toto and siblings, from a design Pierra found online.

Décor Detail

An inspiration/memory board is used as a floor décor, next to a tall acrylic lamp with three faux flowers. 

Décor Detail

You can create your own memory board - similar to this one. Simply prepare a corkboard, some ribbons, and the photos you love.

Décor Detail

Artfully displayed throughout the apartment are aspects of the owners' personalities, like Toto’s bike, photos, and camera. 


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!