Manila’s go-to interior decorators have created a resort-like environment for this Quezon City home.
This is an excerpt from Lifestyle Asia’s March 2023 Issue.
Even before choosing an interior designer, the homeowner and her physician husband already knew exactly what they wanted in terms of the atmosphere of their ideal home–a relaxed vibe that can be enjoyed not just by the couple (who love to entertain), but by their friends and family as well. While she didn’t find a turn-key property to her liking, the homeowner realized the potential in the old house perched on a sloped lot in one of Quezon City’s gated villages, which had a pool framed by a garden canopied by mature fruit trees.
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Top interior designers, sisters Ivy and Cynthia Almario were called in for the transformation that took a year to complete. “I can’t remember if we started in 2002 or 2003,” says the lady of the house, “but we gave Ivy and Cynthia a free hand, with just my final approval.” “My husband and I just wanted a resort feel,” she continues, “that’s why my ceilings are similar to the cathedral ceilings that you find in Amanpulo.”
Being integral to the concept, the multi-level garden was given a make-over as well with the homeowner engaging a landscaper for the task. Large tropical plants, such as Elephant’s Ear, exotic ferns, palms, and bamboo were added to the cacao and mango trees planted by the original owners to create the urban jungle that helped cool the place while providing the calming vistas visible from most parts of the house.
An important proviso was to keep the original architecture, the inner spaces of which the Almario sisters simply reconfigured to suit their client’s needs. That includes setting up a dining area in an unusual location, because according to the homeowner, “We don’t have kids, so we decided to have a small dining area near our bedroom, apart from a larger dining room for when we have guests.” The original garage was also reappropriated to become a kitchen which was just extended. “We really had to make do with whatever space was available,” explains the homeowner.
Ivy and Cynthia methodically shaped the atmosphere of the home. They retained the clean architectural lines of the interiors and added features to create a sense of expanse, such as the picture windows that blur the indoor-outdoor boundaries while allowing natural light to stream in, and the glass doors and partitions for a fluid flow between spaces. To heighten the lightness even more, the Almario sisters anchored their color palette to the pale hues that cocoon the entire house.
To add warmth, textures were incorporated into the design. The cathedral ceilings were clad in natural materials to echo the furniture carefully selected to express the resort vibe. In a living room, for example, Kenneth Cobonpue’s iconic Yoda chair takes a corner, next to an organically-shaped seating by Amy Pamintuan. Both pieces establish the textural narrative that continues throughout the house, inside and out, seen in the outdoor set (also by Cobonpue) staged by the pool, the chairs and cabinetry in the informal dining room, along with the carpet in the game room.
Read more by purchasing a copy of the Lifestyle Asia March 2023 magazine via SariSari.shopping or select newsstands in National Bookstore and Fully Booked. Subscribe to the E-Magazine via Readly, Magzter, and Press Reader.
Photos by Ed Simon of Kliq, Inc.