This Beach House in Bohol Looks Straight Out of a Painting

Taking inspiration from old Boholano houses, the owners maximized a 3000sqm lot by building a rustic Filipino retreat that highlights a splendid view and local materials

Photography: Lourd Pocon Architect: Niño Guidaben (For the Renovation) Interior Designer: Nene Treveño

After acquiring a beach lot in Sandingan Island, the owners immediately decided to build a rest house where the family can spend weekends together. A 30-minute sanctuary from the city, it proved to be a prized acquisition for the owners. “We were lucky to acquire the adjacent lots, the total area is almost a hectare now. One lot came with a two-storey house which was made of wood and my wife and I decided to renovate it and make it a rustic Boholano beach house to differentiate it from the others,” says the man of the house.

The finished rest house is nothing short of breathtaking. It will instantly remind you of the bahay kubo, with the view of the beach and the beauty of nature as a fitting backdrop. “I fondly call it the Boholano Beach House because of its location and the design takes inspiration from old Boholano houses which were typically located near the sea,” he adds. The house boasts of 420sqm floor area, with a wrap-around porch, and a veranda on the second floor. “Since we planned it to be our retirement home, it has one big master bedroom with a magnificent ocean view, two bathrooms, and a powder room near the pavilion,” shares the owner. To help the owners breeze through the process of transforming the property, they tapped the expertise of architect Niño Guidaben, while Nene Treveño worked on the interiors. Get ready to travel back in time and be inspired to visualize your own rest house as we take a tour of this beautiful property:


Who wouldn’t be curious to visit this stunning property by the beach? From the outside, it’s reminiscent of the bahay kubo, as seen in the materials chosen to complete it. The owners made sure that the view can be enjoyed from the different areas of the home as it also highlights a wrap-around porch on the ground floor and a veranda on the second floor.


After acquiring the lot and opting to renovate the two-storey house, the owners wanted to use and showcase wood since it can make a space homey, warm, and cozy, “We changed almost everything, except the structural foundation. The roofing features cogon grass, a local material that’s more appropriate for our goal,” explains the owner.

Front Door

Though the house showcases Filipino design elements seen in many Boholano homes, the owners successfully incorporated a few rustic and eclectic touches. The house has an old Punjabi main door with intricate details that complement the stones used. A distinct stone material with hints of yellow, often referred to as Bohol Stone, was used on the exterior walls.


Since wooden elements dominate the space, it’s a must to keep it from being overwhelming. In the foyer, a refreshing white wall breaks the monotony of wood and serves as the perfect background for the old Indian console table and distressed mirror that doubles as accent.

Living, Dining, and Kitchen Areas

From this angle, we can see the carved wooden bench opposite the Indian console table in the foyer. Look up and marvel at the details that set this house apart. Raffia fibers produced by local loom weavers of Bohol were used on the ceiling, while calados or carved wooden panels placed between the wall and the ceiling enhance the design. Notice something different about the walls? The owners decided to have it hand-painted by Jhacky Curambao, a wall mural artist, with local flora and fauna as theme.

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

Living Area

The living area is furnished with a sectional sofa with a woven base, a coffee table with curved base, and ottomans with distinct cushions. To complement the painting on the walls, pillows with green patterns and varying textures spruce up the sofa.


Rustic meets Filipino in the compact yet well-equipped kitchen. “We used locally made bricks as backsplash for a more rustic feel. We also repainted and redesigned the old Tugas (Molave) wood cabinets to give it rustic flair to match the bricks,” shares the owner.

To make prepping meals easier, topnotch appliances kept in niches such as an oven and the refrigerator were incorporated as well. There’s also a small kitchen island that functions as a breakfast nook when needed.

Notice the post by the island? The owners worked with solid wood trunks to support the structure to keep within the theme of the house.

Dining Area

In the dining area, one can best admire the calados used in the house. These details go well with the rustic-Filipino look the owners wanted. In the dining area, a chic lighting piece defines the space furnished with a wooden dining set. Aside from the two matching chairs, two benches were also placed to accommodate more people. Seen near the dining table is a wooden console spruced up with matching lamps and other knickknacks.

Find similar pieces along the Tagaytay-Silang road. There are stores selling wooden furniture.

Sitting Area

In this house, you’ll never run out of nooks where you can take a nap, rest, read a book, or watch TV. It’s safe to say that it’s the epitome of a relaxing rest house. On the second floor, comfy seating pieces invite you to settle in and relish calming ambiance. Look up and admire the high ceiling supported by wooden beams.

Sitting Area

From this angle, we can see the lovely woven details of the furniture. Opting for these pieces ensure a cohesive look as it complements the wooden details used in the house. Warm white lights enhance the mood and highlight the elements, too.


If you’ve seen photos of resorts in Bali, you’ll know that this bedroom can rival those. With canopies placed above each bed, the bedroom exudes a whimsical vibe. Aside from serving as décor, the canopies also keep insects at bay so the owners are assured of a restful slumber.


Stepping inside the bathroom feels like being transported to a spa. Aside from the dominance of wooden elements, it also features his-and-hers sinks set on a sturdy countertop with a wooden base. Instead of having just one enclosure, the sinks are flanked by two—defining the toilet and shower areas.

Second Floor Veranda

What sets this house apart, aside from the use of local materials, is the 360-degree view it offers the owners and their visitors. The wrap-around porch on the ground floor and the wrap-around veranda on the second floor allow them to enjoy the view wherever they are in the house, plus they have the freedom to choose a sitting spot as well. 

This part of the veranda is furnished with woven furniture pieces that add to the resort-like vibe of the house. Captivating lighting pieces also double as accents when not in use.

Second Floor Veranda

Fancy a breakfast with a view? The owners surely maximized every inch of space by adding seating pieces where they can relax, have a snack, and admire the view of the outdoors. This corner on the second floor is ideal for quick meals and refreshments.

Second Floor Veranda

Aside from investing in sofas, ottomans, and lounge chairs, the owners also added interesting pieces of furniture like the swing chair on the second floor.

For similar pieces, visit Dedon's website.

Outdoor Area/Porch

The owners bought old wooden furniture a few years which they kept in their house in the city. These came in handy in completing the beach house. “I was fascinated by these large wooden furniture which have become increasingly rare nowadays due to dwindling supply and government restrictions. They all became very useful in this house,” says the owner.

Outdoor Area/Porch

Even the bar area on the ground floor follows the theme. Three wooden barstools are paired with a counter made of wood trunks. These pieces go well with the paddles used as wall accents.

Swimming Pool

An infinity lap pool invites guests to take a dip during hot afternoons. To complete the look, outdoor lounge chairs were added as well as extra tables and chairs for meals.

Outdoor Area

By the pool is a cogon-roofed gazebo and bar where the owners can hang out and dine on weekends. According to the owners, they just finished an organic farm at the side of the house that’s opposite the sea. “It supports a sustainable healthy lifestyle,” they share.

Façade at Night

While it’s a marvel to look at during daytime, the house is a different kind of beauty at night. With all the lights turned on, it stands tall amidst the greens, inviting you to come inside and escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

Do you also have an RL-inspired home? Send photos for review and we might feature you next! Follow us on Facebook for more details.

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