This Two-Storey Home Showcases A Mix of Traditional and Modern Filipino Pieces

See how the homeowners achieved a distinct aesthetic featuring Pinoy craftsmanship at its best

Original Article: Bubbles Salvador Photography: Michael Angelo Chua Styling: Dagny Madamba and Kamila Arianna Garcia Interior Designer: Nina Santamaria

Owners Heidi and Abdul have been living in Washington, D.C. for 15 years along with their children, Ananda, Shanti, and Jampa. Abdul's work as an economist involves mandatory home visits, a perk that the family maximizes. They get to come home to the Philippines every one and a half years, spend time with family and friends, and get to know the culture and their roots better. While these vacations are filled with fun memories, spending only a few weeks in the country simply isn't enough. “Iba yung bumibisita ka lang for a few weeks, parang observer ka lang,” shares Heidi.

As if the universe heard Heidi's musings, Abdul got an offer to work in the country for the next two to three years. To cut the long story short, the family is now settled in a two-storey home in an exclusive subdivision in Makati that they’re renting. With the help of interior designer Nina Santamaria, the owners and their kids were able to achieve the contemporary Filipino style of their home, mixing and matching traditional and modern pieces from the couple’s growing furniture and art collection.


A wall of masks from Heidi’s travels, a handmade umbrella from Myanmar, and a few sculptures propped on a cabinet are just some of the things that welcome guests into this family home. 


Vibrant-colored throws accompany a gallerina bench by the entryway. Its colors perfectly match the family portraits by Dominic Rubio seen on the wall.

Living Area

The wood-framed windows and sliding doors let in natural light, making the living area even more inviting. These details complement the pieces in the space.

Find a similar sofa at Dimensione, 4/L Building B, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City.

Living Area

According to Heidi, the living area is the heart of the house. This is also where the guests stay whether to chat, read books, have a look at various photos from family albums and listen to music.

Find a similar rattan seating piece at E. Murio, E. Murio Workshop, Merville Access Road, Merville, Paranaque.

Decor Detail

The homeowners have a collection of portraits of themselves in their D.C. home by various artists. Now that they’re residing in the Philippines, they want to have portraits done by an artist here, too.

Living Area

This Chinese medicine cabinet in one of the corners of the living area helps prop two of the many sculptures in the house and at the same time holds small toys and knickknacks.

Find a similar cabinet at Crate & Barrel, G/L Annex Bldg. SM Makati, Makati City.

Living Area

Home to the family’s favorite books and various busts and statues from Heidi’s many trips abroad is this neon-orange bookshelf in the living area.

RL Tip: Got an old shelf at home? Spray painting its vertical members can help you give it a new look and turn it into an accent piece for your space.

Decor Detail

Heidi and Abdul decided to leave their art collection in D.C. as a conscious decision to collect Filipino furniture and art pieces for their new home. They collect pieces based on what they like to look at.

Living Area

The Capiz chandeliers in the living area offer a different and modern take on the Pinoy classic.

You can find this sculptural capiz lighting fixture at Venzon Lighting, 138 Baliti Road, San Fernando, Pampanga

Living Area

Ang Filipinos talaga, talented,” says Heidi while talking about art and furniture. The intricate details of this center table in the living room is proof.

Find a similar piece at Diretso. Visit their website for more details.

Dining Area

Huge windows let in natural light, adding to the airy and spacious feel of the home. In the dining area, upholstered chairs complement the glass-topped wooden dining table. This pairing follows the theme of finding balance between the traditional and modern. 

Heidi and Abdul’s daughter is a pianist, which explains the piano near the living and dining areas.

Living and Dining Areas

There are no dividers between the living and dining areas, which is great especially when Heidi and Abdul have friends over.

Even if the homeowners are only starting to build their home in the Philippines, it already has a little bit of family history going on, thanks to the rattan pieces from their ancestral home. 

Home Office and Study Area

The home office and study area on the second floor features a minimalist look, a bahay kubo-shaped bookshelf, and an inviting feel. With the view of the outdoors, the homeowners will surely feel inspired to work on tasks.

The tiny bahay kubo on the table are candleholders by Kenneth Cobonpue.

Find similar seating pieces at EDIA, 339, Glorietta 4, Office Drive, Ayala Center, Makati City.

Home Office and Study Area

This statuette found on the pretty bookshelf doubles as a mini catchall for bits, pieces, and tiny essentials.

Sustainably Made crates beautiful wooden organizers and other must-haves. Find these at Common Room, 325 F. Dela Rosa Street, Loyola Heights 3, Quezon City.

This article originally appeared in the May 2017 issue of Real Living Magazine.

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