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Mini Makeovers: An Elegant and Dramatic Dining Room

University professor Marco Gutang transforms his energetic dining area into a calmer space that still exudes loads of personality

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Photography: Tammy David

Peace Studies professor Marco Gutang’s dining area has undergone a lot of changes, thanks to his designer-partner Grace Moslares. “Before, we had a small round table. We even had a long plastic table when we stayed here,” says Marco. The wall used to be red that veered towards a fluorescent pink. Marco kept the walls in that color the past ten years, and until recently he felt the glaring color needed to tone it down. “Nagsawa na ako, so ginawa naming black.”

 With a matte black wall, the dining area exudes a sleek, sexy mood that is punctuated with an ornate mirror and different wall art, like paintings by Ricky Ambagan, Ogie Salmorin, and Grace. A photo of Marco as a child together with his dad also graces a corner of the dining area. This, plus a number of accessories on the table, creates a dramatic vignette that sets the area apart from the rest of the house. “The black wall, I really like it. It’s more subdued. Now that I’m 40, it suits my mood better. The all-red, sobrang gising na gising ako, which I liked before. It was energizing. But now, mas toned down na ako,” he says.

Marco's Old Dining Area

Marco’s dining room used to sport vibrant red walls that had a tinge of fluorescent pink. They went quite well with his flea market/vintage-style furnishings, but when visitors complained that they sometimes felt overwhelmed by the bright walls, Marco decided he needed to tone down even just one wall. 

Pair bright accents with dark details

Marco’s dining room used to sport vibrant red walls that had a tinge of fluorescent pink. They went quite well with his flea market/vintage-style furnishings, but when visitors complained that they sometimes felt overwhelmed by the bright walls, Marco decided he needed to tone down even just one wall. 

 

Go for contrast

Marco did this by grouping together accessories. “Si Beethoven yata yan, di ba?” says Marco about the resin bust sculpture on the dining table. “Sa Dapitan Arcade namin nabili yan. It does look nice there.” The white table and accessories create a stark contrast with the black matte wall, thus creating drama. Meanwhile, the reflection of the living area’s red wall in the mirror gives the dining area a dose of a vibrant hue. 

Stick with the basics

“It’s a small space, and we don’t really stay here much because we have another house, so we kept the furniture minimal. Enough na yung two chairs na yun sa dining kasi we just come here to work, pag kailangang mag-Internet—faster yung connection dito than the other house,” the homeowner explains. Instead of keeping the round table and another dining table which he usually added, Marco got a simpler but bigger white dining table that could seat more people.

Accessorize your space with artworks

“Yung ‘Carmen Rosales’ portrait, noong unang panahon pa yan. The paintings of a praying mantis, that’s by Ricky Ambagan. He’s a good painter,” he says. The nude painting of a man and a woman that Marco bought in Far Eastern University. “There was an exhibit. The artist is Ogie Salmorin. He’s an Angono artist.” Meanwhile, the photo of him and his dad was taken in Sulu when the latter was assigned to that region. 

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