fbpx
Connect with us

The Homes of Zee

We bet you haven’t seen this floral paradise in Cebu yet

Landscape architect Jaime Chua’s residence is in full bloom with its open layout, quirky furniture pieces and an abundance of flora.

Landscape architect Jaime Chua’s residence is in full bloom with its open layout, quirky furniture pieces and an abundance of flora.

Sitting on top of the flourishing slopes of Busay is one of the most beautifully decorated homes in Cebu. Surrounded by a lush garden, fresh mountain air and a pond filled with water lilies, the house is almost synonymous with the word relaxation as it takes us home to nature.

The house owned by landscape architect Jaime Chua sits on a 1.7-hectare land, and has also been home to his plant nursery for over a decade. It was only in 2010 that he decided to take residence in his vast garden in the mountains. His architect-cousin Alex Medalla designed the structure, while Jaime took care of the interiors himself.

An oasis from the concrete jungle that is Cebu (Photography by Robo Formacion/Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, May 2015)

An oasis from the concrete jungle that is Cebu (Photography by Robo Formacion/Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, May 2015)

Wooden furniture to keep up with the home's earthy theme. (Photography by Robo Formacion/Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, May 2015)

Wooden furniture to keep up with the home’s earthy theme. (Photography by Robo Formacion/Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, May 2015)

He describes the house design as Asian fusion—a portmanteau of different Asian designs, from Filipino, Balinese and Thai. From this incorporation, he created a beautiful mix that’s an oasis from the concrete jungle.

A grouping of granite boulders provides a welcoming accent and functions as a decorative sitting area before entering the house. As the solid wooden doors open, the fragrant smell of orchids fills the air. The house is T-shaped, with only the kitchen and bedroom enclosed in four walls.

From the door, a path of granite slabs leads to the living area, an oversized gazebo that faces the pond, the vegetation and the landscape of Busay on three sides. Fenced in with wooden railings that work as both seating and planters, it is an ideal space for gatherings where guests can relax and feel one with nature. Fresh butterfly orchids are laid out on a 20-foot long hardwood table top positioned on gigantic boulders in the middle of the area. On the left side hanging from the trellis is a breathtaking display of dendrobiums, rustling in the cool breeze and filling the room with its sweet scent. Throughout the space is foliage of various kinds, placed in a variety of pots and planters.

Flowers go all the way into the house. (Photography by Robo Formacion/Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, May 2015)

Flowers go all the way into the house. (Photography by Robo Formacion/Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, May 2015)

The architect's airy bedroom (Photography by Robo Formacion/Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, May 2015)

The architect’s airy bedroom (Photography by Robo Formacion/Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, May 2015)

Antique furniture and customized pieces tastefully decorate the house. Some are Chinese heirlooms, like the red drawers with intricate gilded details. Jaime fills the house with an assortment of flowers and plants all year round, depending on what’s in season. White butterfly orchids, dendrobiums and a variety of vandas are in bloom in April and May.

Jaime’s garden home is a refreshing place to unwind and escape from the hustle and bustle of the city with its simple home design and mishmash of furniture pieces becoming a subtle backdrop to the profusion of flora on display. One can’t help but sit back, relax and revel in the beauty of nature’s finest.

  • photography Robo Formacion
  • Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, May 2015.
  • For back issues, subscribe via Magzter

Design

Trendy Renovation Ideas for your Home or Condo.

by Christa M. Cañizares IDr.

Part 1: Plan the Space to Suit your Needs.

A.)  Decide on a theme that reflects your personality. You can start by browsing through the internet and make a mood board on the colors, patterns, furniture and accessories that you love.

Create a mood board based your preferred colors, theme and style.

B.)  Work on your budget. This is essential to any renovation project. You can start with window shopping and scout for the key pieces and compare prices. You can also browse home products and purchase them online.

Do your homework online and window shop for key furniture pieces.

C.)  Invest in good and durable pieces.  Start with the big items that you often use. Your mattress tops the list as this is where you rest and recharge. Big items such as sofas and dining sets should be durable enough to withstand the everyday wear and tear. Choose a design that can easily go well with your space when you redecorate.

Choose a bed that works for you and becomes the focal point of your room.

 

IDr. Christa M. Cañizares, piid
Founding Member, Philippine Institute of Interior Designers – Cebu Chapter
Principal Designer, CMC Interior Design
Specializes in residential and commercial design.
A homebody and renovation aficionado.

Continue Reading

The Homes of Zee

THROWBACK THURSDAY. Discover Why This Airy, Modern Structure in Busay is Called the Sky House

The Sky House is a truly modern structure, with straight lines and boxy shapes.

Defying Gravity

YKC Premier’s first venture in Busay floats over a cliff and introduces a new brand of living in Cebu.

by Shari Quimbo photography Ezekiel Sullano

 

YKC Premier’s first venture couldn’t be more aptly named—Sky House was spot on—the airy, modern structure that juts out of a ridge in the Busay Highlands couldn’t be called anything else. The drive up the hill levels to a short plateau right before the entrance of the village, allowing ample time for everyone to look up and admire a house that seems to be in defiance of gravity.

“When I saw the property, it was everything you could ask for, and it’s in limited quantities so we wanted to maximize all its assets,” says Victor Consunji, one-third of the group behind the project. “The problem was the land is narrow. Since we have the experience and capability, we thought, why waste all the good things about this property by just building on the ridge? Why not build over the ridge?”

The house, as viewed from the street.

A textured carpet sets the living area apart from the dining, but the palette of grays and light-washed wood carries on even into the kitchen. The room is framed by two art pieces: a rattan sculpture called “Love Locks” by Selina Romualdez, and a painting from young artist Tzaddi Esguerra.

Slater Young and Stephen Ku complete YKC Premier, a group of men who have come together to redefine the art of living with a view in Cebu. “Slater and I have been friends for a while, and I bumped into him at a wedding here in Cebu,” Stephen recalls. “And then we were talking about businesses that we could do together, and he mentioned that he had a nice piece of land that he wanted to fix up. He showed me the place, and I thought it was beautiful. On the way back to Manila, I thought about Vic because I’m also working with him on his project in Manila called Mahogany Tree.”

The trio of Twist lamps over the dining table add an organic, but dramatic flair.

A sunroom off the deck is converted into a cozy breakfast nook, where another of Vito’s lamps adds a touch of whimsy.

Once the three sat down to discuss the venture, Victor was immediately interested and, in fact, already had a vision for the house’s design in his mind. The partnership played up each one’s individual strengths and backgrounds—Victor comes from the family behind DMCI Holdings Incorporated, which have constructed Philippine landmarks such as the Manila Hotel and Shangri-La’s Mactan Island Resort; Slater has a background in engineering and his family is also in construction; while Stephen is at the helm of Eventscape Manila and is behind some of the hottest restaurants and nightspots in the Philippines. “Victor would be the CEO, the visionary. His expertise is what we brought in here,” explains Slater. “And since I’m also in construction, I was sort of his eyes here in Cebu. I’d be the CTO, Chief Technical Officer, and Stephen would be the CMO, marketing.”

The Constella lights hang over the spiral staircase.

A pair of Vito Selma Paisley chairs are arranged in one corner of the master’s bedroom.

Although YKC Premier already has three strong personalities behind it, the guys decided to bring in another design visionary to help them complete the look of the Sky House. “The Sky House is unlike any other home in Cebu, and it was a designer’s dream to be part of it,” says Vito Selma, who brought in his iconic pieces, along with some custom-made furniture to complete the look of the Sky House. “Given its location and the abundance of windows, I wanted the home to feel just as light and airy—to simulate the feeling of flight. And to stay true to my brand, we just wanted to bring nature into the home, which can be seen in the materials, textures and colors in the space.”

The Arata chair serves as a sculptural accent in one of the bedrooms.

The look is relaxed but sophisticated, with many art pieces that Vito had commissioned especially for this project. “The installation in the entry is by me,” he says of the large textured slab with pieces of wood in different finishes scattered on it. “I made it in a way that when someone walks in the house, they see a reflection of that piece and its materials in other areas of the home.” Other notable pieces are in the living room: a large rattan sculpture of interlocking loops by Vito’s sister Selina Romualdez, and a long painting with strokes in various shades of gray by Tzaddi Esguerra. “I love working with her for all our projects,” Vito admits. “We tell her what colours to work with, and she makes the magic happen.”

With the house finished in just over a year, the guys are looking forward to constructing seven more houses to complete the project, offering a lifestyle that is incredibly appealing. “Young, hip urbanites. Young families. If they’re young, they at least feel young,” says Stephen of who they see living in the space. “People who want to balance work and play, because this place is like a residence and a resort at the same time.”

Victor’s family background and experience in construction came in handy when building the house over the ridge.

“Nowadays, with the way things are going in the Philippines, there is a focus on taking vacations, but not everybody has that chance. Not everybody can just take off whenever they want,” Victor adds. “I really don’t believe that a home is just your home, your vacation spot is just your vacation spot and your work place is just for work. I think you can have the best of all three, and this design incorporates that.”

“It’ll feel like you’re going home to a vacation every day,” Slater adds.

A pair of lounges by the pool makes for a perfect spot to enjoy the fresh mountain breeze and the unobstructed views.

Although these gents are focused on the Sky Houses for now, they look forward to bringing more of this brand of living to other locations. “We’re just looking for the right project, but I think the boys are in agreement that we really want to explore Cebu, particularly because this is the emerging market we want to be in. We just need to look for the right spot, and the right design,” Stephen says.

More than just creating modern and luxurious properties, YKC Premier hopes to change the perception of what living in Cebu can be. “That’s what we want to bring to Cebu,” Stephen shares. “I haven’t seen a development like this in Cebu, and a lot of the times I’d ask Slater, and he goes, oh no, the Cebuanos wouldn’t want to spend for something like this. I kept telling him that if we build it, they will come. Cebuanos are ready for something edgy and daring, and I think this project will be a testament to that.” With the first house already sold, that’s certainly been proven true. After all, with just one visit to the Sky House, it’s hard to imagine a better place to live.

 

(This article has already been published in Zee Lifestyle’s February 2016 Real Estate Issue, “Defying Gravity” on pages 68-73.)

Continue Reading

The Homes of Zee

LOCKDOWN FUN: Whose Crib is This?

Here’s one way residents of Cebu’s exclusive villages created their own fun during zoom parties — guessing each other’s home! Of course, you need a smart mastermind to curate the photos to make sure the homes of each of the amigas are not easy to guess.

So, here’s a short tour of homes that was paraded during this very fun game. Homes are located in Maria Luisa, Northtown Homes, Beverly Hills and a beach house too.  Oh, and one came all the way from Scotland.

We hope your zoom parties are just as fun!

Continue Reading

Trending