Tips and Guides

5 More Filipino Design Elements for your Home

Interior designer Jie Pambid reveals more Pinoy materials that you can use in your own space

Photography: Miguel Nacianceno (Main Photo)

Contrary to popular belief, using Filipino-inspired pieces doesn't have to make your home seem old-fashioned and traditional! In fact, we believe that every Pinoy homeowner, regardless of their personal style, should consider adding a few Philippine touches to their personal spaces.

A few locally sourced building materials and furniture pieces can help you express your love for your country. They can also make the rooms feel warm, cozy, and truly inviting. More importantly, buying more locally produced items will help support skilled Filipino furniture makers, artisans, and carpenters. 

If you want to complete your home with local design elements, here are a few materials worth a second look.


Bathroom sinks made of stoneware always stand out. They can be glazed with different hues and finishes to suit the look and feel of any restroom.

Stoneware sinks are also ideal because they are durable, vitrified, and impermeable to water.

Click here to see the stoneware sink in Bea Alonzo's glamorous powder room.


Traviesa are pieces of weathered wood that were once used as railroad tracks. I like using these wooden planks because they are uneven, rough, and laden with holes. Another good thing about traviesa is that since these are old, they will no longer contract and expand. 

Click here to see how industrial designer Mitch Shivers used traviesa for his gate and dining table.

Sisal Rugs

I like rugs made from sisal and other naturally woven materials like abaca, sea grass or hemp. These rugs add warmth and texture to any floor in your home. Since the natural color and finish of these rugs also exude a tropical island feel, they can also make the space seem calm and relaxing.

Click here to see how a sisal rug completed theatre actor Ricky Ibe's living area.

Colonial Furniture

If you are not a fan of colonial furniture, you can use them as unexpected accent pieces. For an eclectic feel, you can pair modern furniture with one wooden piece. You can consider a butaka, ugoy-ugoy or a Spanish colonial mesa altar.

Click here to see traditional Filipino pieces in a modern bahay kubo.

Flea Market Finds

I always look for posos or old water pumps in thrift shops. You can convert it into a faucet and use an old Singer sewing machine pedal to turn the water on and off. 

Click here to see a vintage ice shaver and other antique pieces in a tropical Filipino home.

Interior designer Jie Pambid may be reached through his design firm, J.P. Lake & Associates. J.P. Lake & Associates is located at Unit 6F, Tower A, Kingswood Condominium, Vito Cruz Extension, Makati City. You may call the office at (02) 822 0473.

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