Sylvia Sanchez's Multi-Level Family Home

The modern eclectic property found in a hilly subdivision in the North serves as place of healing and new beginnings for the actress and her family

Original Article: Gabby Reyes Libarios Photography: Rene Mejia

In 2009, Typhoon Ondoy struck the Philippines—with thousands fleeing their homes in search of a safe space. While some were able to save their houses and precious belongings, there were many who lost properties and more. Actress Sylvia Sanchez and her family had to relocate and look for a new house after the traumatic event. Fortunately, they found an area that’s not prone to flooding and they’ve been living in it since 2011. “Tumakbo kami dito kasi naghanap kami ng mataas na area. So dito kami napunta,” Sylvia shares. Who wouldn’t be attracted to the property? It’s located in a sloping piece of land, making it perfect for the veteran actress, her husband, and their four kids.

To transform it into a home, Sylvia and her husband Art worked in tandem. “Asawa ko ang nag-design ng lahat ng buong bahay na ‘to. Siya ang nagplano, ‘yong kuwarto, lahat. Pinabayaan ko siyang i-handle ang construction side. Siya ang namroblema no’n,” she says. Once the structure is up, it was Sylvia’s turn to take the wheel. “Sa akin naman ‘yong design ng bahay. Ako nag-isip kung ano ang ilalagay, kung anong klaseng furniture ang bibilhin. I believe na magaling akong mag-design ng bahay. Pero hindi ako magaling mag-explain,” the actress shares. It’s safe to say that Sylvia did a good job in decorating the multi-level house and giving it life. Though she didn’t follow a specific theme, she was able to achieve a look that's simple, sophisticated, and inviting. The house became the perfect place for a fresh start.

Living Area

The living area showcases a modern elegant appeal as seen in the chosen pieces of furniture and décor. A semi-abstract painting by National Artist for Visual Arts Arturo Luz serves as the focal point in the area. A part of his series on cyclists, the painting is the sole work of art in this part of the home. Below it porcelain figurines and a piece of painted glass decor are on display on a console table.

Find a similar lighting piece at Illuminati Technique, 3rd Level, Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City.

Living Area

The other side of the living area features well-selected furniture pieces and floor-to-ceiling shelves holding Sylvia’s prized collection. Identical dark-colored sofas face each other, with a coffee table in the middle meant for showcasing more accessories. Since the family loves to bond and stay at home, the abundance of seating pieces is a must. “Sa sala lang, dito lang kami lagi. Tapos makikita mo, lahat natutulog sila diyan, or lahat andun sa kuwarto ng mga anak ko, gano’n lang,” Sylvia shares.

The wooden shelves hold the actress’s collection of Lladro porcelain art figurins, Swarovski and Lalique crystal pieces, and Murano glass vases. These were bought abroad and collected over the years.

Find similar furniture pieces at Our Home.

Living Area

In this corner, matching wing chairs in red define the space and make for a cozy reading nook. A wooden table holds the décor pieces and a luxe table lamp.

Find similar pieces at Ortigas Furniture Center, #1 Dona Julia Vargas Avenue near corner Meralco Avenue, Ugong, Pasig City.

Powder Room

In a corner of the living area is a communal compact powder room. The tight space is decorated with only a few accent pieces and its focal point is the wall covered in geometric veneers. Though it’s small, it still has an elegant and hotel-like appeal.

Dining Area

The dining area features an eight-seater square table and tufted dining chairs. To match these pieces, Sylvia opted for chrome pendant lights to illuminate the space. Adding color to the area is a striking work of art featuring bold colors. On the side is a shelf with mirror backing that holds more figurines.


The envy-worthy kitchen looks straight out of a cooking show. It showcases a modern minimalist open design with a spacious island perfect for prepping meals. To add to the spacious feel, it has cream-colored countertops and enough storage to keep clutter at bay. Aside from the soft-closing cabinets and drawers, the cooking area is also well-equipped with a five-burner cooktop, a stainless range hood, and a built-in oven, to name a few.


There are no walls nor dividers separating the kitchen from the dining area. This layout creates an efficient space that allows the owners to entertain and host get-togethers with friends.

Arjo's Bedroom

Found on the topmost level of the house, actor Arjo Atayde’s bedroom is a bachelor’s dream. Defined by hints of gray, black, and red, it features a sleek aesthetic, enough storage, and comfy pieces. A red shag carpet anchors the bedroom and ties the look together. When he has friends over, comforters and additional beds are placed on the carpet.

Seen on the left are cabinets with frosted glass doors filled with Arjo’s clothes and belongings. Meanwhile, a slim entrance leads to a walk-in closet where his shades and shoe collections are kept.

Arjo's Bedroom

Near the slightly elevated king-size bed is a black sofa where Arjo can relax while watching TV. It can also accommodate his friends during sleepovers. The shelf that holds the giant flat-screen TV also features some of the awards he has won.

Find a similar piece at SM Home.

Ria's Bedroom

Below Arjo’s room is actress Ria Atayde’s bedroom. It looks familiar as it has the same layout as Arjo’s personal space. Ria playfully shares that her brother copied her room. Spacious and organized, the bedroom has a similar cabinet where her clothes and belongings are kept. A dainty wallpaper defines the wall behind the bed. Find a similar pattern at Studio Eleven.

Inside Ria’s walk-in closet is her collection of beautiful bags. “I think I have more than fifteen. Pero not all of them are expensive brands, ha. I only have about four or five expensive bags,” she shares.

Ria's Bedroom

The shelf that holds the TV features a few photographs, her books, some magazines, and her collection of souvenir shot glasses.


The veranda will remind guests of a tropical escape. Since it’s on the same floor as Arjo’s bedroom, he’s the one who uses the space the most. It’s also where he and his friends hang out sometimes. Meant for entertaining and spending time with guests, it features an inviting daybed, a seating area, and a dining set.


Since Arjo uses the space often, it also functions as his personal gym. It is where his elliptical machine, bench press machine, and set of weights are kept.

Find similar pieces at Origins Home Furniture, LRI Design Plaza, 210 Nicanor Garcia Street, Makati City.

Read the original article in the October 2016 issue of YES! Magazine. To download a digital copy of YES!, visit Summit Newsstand at

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