Real Living (Philippines) - - Realliving - pho­tog­ra­phy DAIRY DARILAG styling TALA SINSGON & KAMILA GAR­CIA words An­drea J. Por­tu­gal

An open lay­out with el­e­ments of wood and green­ery make this fam­ily home an oa­sis within the ur­ban jun­gle.

It’s al­ways a won­der­ful sur­prise when a home catches you off-guard in a good way. Walk­ing through a well-de­signed house for the first time feels like un­box­ing a space as though it were a gift bas­ket, and then find­ing all these good­ies inside. This par­tic­u­lar three­storey home, tucked away in a hilly vil­lage in the mid­dle of the metro, was a gem to un­box.

From street level, a set of stairs lined with lush plants and small trees leads up to the main en­trance on the upper ground level. The main en­trance is a solid wood door framed by metal sheets and flanked on all sides by al­ter­nat­ing pan­els of glass and solid col­umns that give you a sneak peek of what lies be­yond it. For the own­ers of the home, their ba­sic wishes were sim­ple: a lot of open space and nat­u­ral light—two things that, be­fore ren­o­va­tion, the house barely had. “This didn’t have a sec­ond floor, and there was a to­tal of four small rooms on this floor,” says the lady of the house. “So my hus­band thought of putting up an­other level to add more rooms, but only par­tially so that we wouldn’t have to change the façade of the house.”

Be­fore they’d got­ten any work done, the place had felt too com­part­men­tal­ized and dated. Luck­ily, though, the man of the house has had a fair num­ber of suc­cess­ful home makeovers to his name, so tak­ing on this pro­ject was any­thing but daunt­ing. “We’ve lived in dif­fer­ent houses be­fore. We moved from QC to Ala­bang, and now back to the north.” The lady of the house con­tin­ues, “My hus­band has al­ways had this fore­sight for the po­ten­tial of a space. The first town­house that we bought was this fore­closed prop­erty that was su­per run­down. When my

mom first saw it, her re­ac­tion was, ‘Ay.’ But when my hus­band re­mod­eled it, it be­came like a model unit!” The same thing was done to this abode: walls were taken down, win­dows were en­larged, a sec­ond story was built, and voila, the house was given new life.

Though they knew ex­actly what they wanted in terms of look and lay­out, the cou­ple wasn’t as con­fi­dent when it came to ac­ces­soriz­ing. On one of their sourc­ing trips to the mall, they met in­te­rior de­signer Wilan Dayrit at the fur­ni­ture show­room of Tri­boa Bay, and al­most in­stantly knew that he was some­one they could en­trust the task to. “We didn’t know how to put ev­ery­thing to­gether,” laughs the lady of the house. “If it were up to us, it would all be chop­suey!”

Ad­ja­cent to each other on the upper ground floor is the foyer, the din­ing area, the kitchen, and the liv­ing area. The liv­ing area opens out into a lanai that has a sweep­ing view of the metro and part of the moun­tain range that lies be­yond it. “We wanted a house that we would be com­fort­able in, not a house na pang-dis­play lang,” ex­plains the own­ers. “We have two grow­ing boys, so we want them to en­joy the house also. We don’t want to be telling them ‘Be care­ful with this or that’ or ‘Don’t touch this or that’. They have week­end play dates when their friends come over, so we didn’t want to be the type to po­lice them.”

Past the liv­ing area is a short cor­ri­dor that leads to the pow­der room, guest bed­room (which is formerly the mas­ter bed­room), and the den. “The den is the boys’ ter­ri­tory,” re­lates the home­owner as she points to dif­fer­ent paint­ings done by her el­dest son, her eyes beam­ing with pride. Works by var­i­ous artists, as well as in­her­ited heir­loom pieces, adorn walls, cor­ners, and table­tops in the en­tire house. Given a choice be­tween a de­signer fur­ni­ture piece and art, the cou­ple ad­mits to be­ing par­tial to the lat­ter.

On the sec­ond floor, the boys’ bed­room and the mas­ter bed­room branch off to an­other short cor­ri­dor at the top of a modern open stair­case. Each bed­room faces the side of the house that has un­ob­structed views of tree­tops, rooftops, clus­ters of build­ings, and a moun­tain range far off in the dis­tance. “It’s nice to see far out, es­pe­cially in the evening with all the lights,” shares the lady of the house. “Also, our neigh­bor has a koi pond, so from here, we can hear the wa­ter, and it’s re­ally relaxing.”

The play of lev­els and lay­ers in the house makes walk­ing through it an ex­pe­ri­ence, while Wilan’s touch of un­der­stated el­e­gance was the ic­ing on the cake. The dé­cor pulls ev­ery­thing to­gether, cre­at­ing a liv­ing space that this young fam­ily of four can grow into for years to come.

“There’s a lot of wood and greens in and around this home, so the gen­eral idea I wanted to cap­ture was that of an oa­sis within the con­crete jun­gle. At the same time, I didn’t want to cre­ate the typ­i­cal modern home,” ex­plains Wilan. Given the open lay­out, Wilan de­fined the spa­ces while keep­ing it seam­less and or­ganic. “We created an in­vis­i­ble foyer with the tres­tle ta­ble from Tri­boa Bay and the black wall ac­cent. In this space, you can see dif­fer­ent sil­hou­ettes in the fur­ni­ture, and if you re­move all that, it’s just wood and white, that’s why I wanted to cre­ate all this tex­ture play." The carved wood wall ac­cents at the right are also from Tri­boa Bay.

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