Repurposed Pieces Find New Life in a Modern Minimalist Bungalow

A collaboration between an environmentally conscious mountaineer couple creates an airy and artsy home

Original Article: Ruby Ang Photography: Miguel Nacianceno Pictorial Direction: Gwyn GS Guanzon

Interesting homes are created by homeowners who have distinct personalities, philosophies and values that reveal themselves through their living spaces. This is very much the case with couple Eng and Russ’s home – two passionate mountaineers who believe that building a home involves environmental awareness and respect for Mother Earth’s natural resources.

Their bungalow in Quezon City is living proof that one does not need to harm the environment to create an abode that is interesting, cozy, and clutter-free. The couple lived by their conservationist philosophy by sourcing recycled and reused materials from Laong Laan, Caloocan, and as far as Clark Field, Pampanga, as major parts and pieces in their home. Acquiring pieces like narra doors, glass panels, 100-year-old sampaguita glass windows, and Vigan tiles at affordable prices allowed the couple to reconstruct and renovate their home with just a minimal budget.

Combining Eng’s visual artistry skills and Russ’ experience in home renovation, the two created a house that is minimalist, modern, timeless, and teeming with personality and vibrant life.

Original article by Ruby Ang. Pictorial direction by Gwyn GS Guanzon. Photographed by Miguel Nacianceno.

Read the original article (“Haven in the Concrete Jungle”) in the January-February 2008 issue of Real Living Magazine. To download a digital copy of Real Living Magazine, visit Summit Newsstand at

Living Area One of the major changes in the reconstruction of the house was the tearing down of walls and partitions. The open layout maximized the high ceiling, creating a breezy and airy space that is inviting and homey. Instead of walls, short steps were used to divide the house into sections. Fans were installed to assist air flow from the square awning windows. Glass panels and the narra doors were sourced from vendors who salvaged pieces and parts from demolished homes.
Living Area Detail Eng created a lamp using a metal batya. A wide door with glass panels allows natural light to stream into the living room.
Dining Area Eng and Russ agree that dining should be a casual affair. A wooden picnic table that seats eight is the main highlight of this room.
Kitchen The kitchen is just as clean and clutter-free as the rest of the house. Warm earthy tones dominate the room, while the green and beige Machuca tiles bring a bright and lively mood to the room. A row of small glass boxes with plants and fishes serve as a divider counter between the open kitchen and the living room.
Functional Divider The couple's own version of a terrarium serves as a divider between the kitchen and living area.
Loft Despite the sparseness of the loft (used as a den and dressing room), the soft yellow lighting makes for a dramatic mood and a makeshift exhibit space for installation art pieces such as the metal shoe and hat rack.
Loft Detail One of the catchy pieces found in the loft is the glowing coffee table made out of discarded plastic containers.
View from the Loft Although the Chan home can be best described as a bungalow, there is a loft area that the couple uses as a den and dressing area. Despite the couple’s preference to tear down the columns around the house, some posts were needed to be kept for structural support. The bare white walls kept the house’s clean lines while the polycarbonate roofing brings in plentiful natural light.
Bedroom The bedroom is kept simple and minimalist with the double size bed with white sheets. This is complemented by the wooden ceiling and a glass side table.
Guest Bathroom Beautiful double doors add drama to a spartan guest bathroom, while the blue-and-white Machuca tiles add visual interest. The wrought iron art deco-style windows with embossed glass bring in ample natural light.
Porch The porch is a relaxing spot for meditation, with its simple day bed made of steel frame and mattress, bamboo mats from Indonesia and pillows covered in banig. An art installation made of red PVC pipes, steel, and resin from an exhibit of a young artist in Enterprise Center years ago sits at the background.
The owners The couple have stayed true to their passion for environmental awareness by keeping their home clutter-free and minimalist. They have kept only the basic pieces in the home, yet the overall feel is warm and cozy.

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