Tropical Filipino design for a Family Home

Filipino colonial furniture pieces and verdant tropical plants fill a sprawling family estate with traditional charm

Original Article: Katherine Lopez Photography: Miguel Nacianceno Pictorial Direction: Gwyn GS Guanzon Interior Designer: Arlene Sanchez-Maslog

In a sprawling rest house in a small town, wide open spaces and Spanish colonial furniture pieces make way for the two important things that are important for Filipinos: family and tradition. Nearing their seventies, couple Artemio and Olivia consider this large home as their quiet retirement abode, but on weekends, the large halls and outdoor areas of their home are filled with activity and laughter of visiting family members.

The Sanchez family rest house is a two-storey structure with a lush tropical landscape. Inside, Spanish colonial furniture pieces are set against the contemporary shell of the home. The tall ceilings and wide spaces provide the perfect backdrop for the large furniture pieces. The home design is completed with lush tropical plants and personal touches.

Original article by Katherine Lopez.  Pictorial direction by Gwyn GS Guanzon. Photographed by Miguel Nacianceno.

 Read the original article ("Rural Respite") in the April 2012 issue of Real Living Magazine. To download a digital copy of Real Living Magazine, visit Summit Newsstand at


The home's facade is a charming sight. Framed by trees and a sprawling landscape, the house's relaxing rural vibe welcomes one to the Sanchez family home.


Serving as the house's original living room prior to its renovation, the large foyer is furnished with several Spanish colonial furniture pieces. A gallinera, a butaca and a wicker chair provide more than ample seating space, while a baul is repurposed as a coffee table.

Living Area

The machuca tile patterns create an alluring floor design in the living area. The large colonial furniture pieces fill up the space nicely. The space is also blessed with abundant natural light from the floor-to-ceiling glass windows.

Family Hall

The large family hall is practically empty save for an altar table, a daybed and a sofa. This space is used for when guests stay the night.

Wall Art

The walls of the family home are covered with vibrantly-colored artwork.


Decorative horses spruce up the corners of the airy and spacious house.


In this fascinating vignette, potted tropical plants coexist with antique jars on a low table. Behind the table, interesting art pieces with large gold frames anchor the space.

Wall of Art

By the main dining area, a stone wall proudly displays artworks by the Sanchez cousin. Before the renovation, the stone wall was once the exterior walls of the home prior to the renovation.

Dining Area

The dining area possesses a laid-back charm with a mix of a long gallinera seat and benches. The gallinera is a sturdy and lovely piece passed down by Olivia's mom. Meanwhile, the kamagong dining table was bought from Baguio.


White narra furniture dining tables and benches fill the patio space, thus providing much room for dining family members.


Traditional Filipino furniture pieces fill this well-appointed bedroom. On the bedside table, a unique lampara provides lighting and decor. The tall orchid plant adds an organic element to the space.


Whenever their daughter Arlene and her family visit the rest house, they stay in this bedroom. While the bed and other furniture are large pieces in a dark wood finish, the yellow and green color palette keeps the atmosphere fresh and welcoming.


The back of the home is as inviting as the facade.


A vertical garden landscape offers a lush yet modern backdrop for the swimming pool.


The lush and verdant garden is ideal for the active and playful children of the house.


The sprawling landscape of the Sanchez family home makes for great views and lots of outdoor space for the grandkids to play in.


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