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A continuation of our home tour series, we visit the space of celebrated furniture designer, Vito Selma.

As an internationally renowned furniture designer, many would naturally have high expectations of what Vito Selma‘s house looks like. One would envision only the most elegant and remarkable furnishings and decor to occupy the spaces of his home. True enough, his penthouse in Cebu boasts of an incredible, 180-degree view of the sea and beautiful interiors that set a tone of tranquility. Vito’s seaside house is simply breathtaking, a true haven especially for the creative and inspired.

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LEFT: hanging capiz lamps. RIGHT: Vito Selma floor lamp, BAJAU collection.

Enlivening a space

As a beach house, Vito naturally thought of reflecting the sea through the interiors. His favorite designer, Milo Naval, designed the hanging capiz lamps in his kitchen. As for the floor lamps, it came from his BAJAU collection back in 2013, reminiscent of the stilt houses of the ethnic tribe in the country. The choice in incorporating details like these allows the penthouse to stay true to its sea-dwelling identity.

Although anyone would love having beautiful interiors like these, dwelling in this environment for so long during the quarantine spurred Vito into rearranging parts of his penthouse. “Like most spaces, when you actually start to live in it, you realize that some things are better elsewhere,” he says. There is something with organizing and reordering that gives a sense of renewal. As one goes through the daily routine, there wouldn’t be bouts of dullness as the rearranged space offers a reinvigorated perspective.

LEFT: the view of the sea allows natural light to stream into the dining area. RIGHT: the immaculate white of the kitchen cabinets and counter make for a clean, sophisticated look.

“Since it was a 5-month lockdown, I made it a point that every 3-4 weeks, I rearrange the space completely,” Vito explains. On his Instagram, he shared how he even made a temporary office in the apartment. The guest bedroom turned into a workspace that directly faces the sea. He says, “I needed the view to keep my mind calm and my creativity flowing.” Of course, he maintained a minimalist aesthetic even in the office, with only his desktop computer, a journal, and some work essentials on the desk.

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The pairing of warm hues with white creates an inviting ambiance.

Making room for creativity

While most houses that give off a mood of relaxation attribute it to the presence of indoor plants, Vito admits he only recently started exploring that area. Under the relaxed quarantine measures, he says “The first place I went to was a plant nursery,” adding, “I bought plants that I thought were beautiful. Only after adding them to my space, I realized how alive it made my home feel and that is what has been missing all along.”

Claypots painted with minimal designs.
Papercrafts as holders for small plants and candles.

Apart from the plants, he decided to further animate the house through the use of colors. A way to entertain himself as well, he painted on his clay pots. He kept the design to a minimum—spots and splashes in cool hues. He also tried his hand at doing papercraft: folded plain white papers turned into interesting shapes. He used these as holders for small plants and candles, delightful decors from an ordinary household material.

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The presence of a dark plant adds a burst of energy to the otherwise cozy, muted colors of the lounge area.

In rearranging a home, one wouldn’t have to possess an in-depth knowledge of interior design. Oftentimes, it is all about knowing what you like and what you feel comfortable seeing and working with every day. Vito best explains it, “Make sure that your home revolves around you and how you live, not the other way around. Sometimes we focus so much on aesthetics and end up being uncomfortable in your own space. Always remember that your home is for you and not for the people outside.”

Photos from Vito Selma and his Instagram account.

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