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The Homes of Zee

The Neo-Victorian Way

The Victorian era was marked by intricate embellishments filling every nook and cranny of a house. In the modern age, that kind of decadence can border on tackiness, but there are ways to integrate multiple influences under one roof if done the right way.

It takes incredible foresight to be able to mix neo-classical Lladros, Moroccan-tiled doorways, Chinese monkey jars and aged Philippine hardwood, yet still have an arrangement that looks cohesively put together. Then again, if you ran a furniture factory and were a go-to person for interiors, your creativity will know no boundaries when decorating your own home.

Such is the case with the owner of this abode, who first settled into a quaint village in the northern Cebu town of Liloan, to be close to her furniture factory. The house originally occupied one lot but was extended when she purchased the one beside it, creating a bigger canvas for the owner’s out-of-the-box home ideas.

The house’s façade is a standout with the foliage beckoning from behind its white Roman-style fence. It was the owner’s mother, the landscape artist for national monument Luneta Park in the early 1990s, who designed the front yard garden. Other details that set the house apart are its architecture and the contrast between its oxford blue walls and red tile-shingled roofing. Apparently, this play of shapes and colors was only a teaser to what awaited us indoors.

The open terrace, the spiral staircase, the chandeliers and the fountain in a courtyard-esque section of the three-level house reflect a strong Mediterranean aesthetic. The stucco walls in a palette of indigo, cool blue, light pink and warm yellow to mark the divisions between the different areas of the house, and the light that comes in through the vertical windows bounces off the festive colors.

There is the option to dine alfresco in the patio or in the adjacent dining room. The latter has built-in shelves for the owner’s extensive blue and white china collection. In fact, most of the house’s walls have shelf moldings for the owner’s countless collections, which range from porcelain Lladros (that she has been collecting since she was a student) to vintage lamp burners, wooden artifacts, antique jars and trinkets. Even the powder room has an assortment of white antique arinolas on mounted wooden shelves that glow from the sunlight peering through a green stained-glass window.

The indoor dining room opens up to two hallways that lead to the sala, which has two sofa sets—one in red and white and the other a match of brocade with gold trimming, jade and rust orange. There is no hard partition between them, just a large jar on a coffee table filled with fresh birds of paradise and horsetails. This area is a focal point for the house since it is where you start to have a view of the loft-style upper floor. Thus, it is fitting that in the joint where the hallways end—an area also visible from the second level banister—a 1998 painting of National Artist Mauro Malang-Santos or “Malang” is hung. A top executive of a business conglomerate supposedly visited the house a few years back to buy the artwork but the owner decided to hold on to the valuable.

The high ceiling’s wooden panels are very Mediterranean, but there is also a combination of Indonesian, Indian, Chinese, Philippine influences in the furnishings so that the theme of the house has become contemporary eclectic with infusions of the old world. The homeowner displayed her know-how in mixing and matching furniture pieces while incorporating her beloved Lladro figurines. The design process involved a balance of elements so that even if there are a handful of items, they do not look cluttered at all.

As one climbs up the winding staircase, the floors transition from neutral stonewashed tiles to varnished wood. What first catches the eye when you reach the second floor is a backlit cabinet against an entire wall filled with the owner’s porcelain figures and antique finds. The next thing you notice is the terracotta brick wall in the entertainment area that is offset by a burgundy couch with patterned throw pillows. The second level has the master’s bedroom, the entertainment room, a mini-library and two bedrooms, whereas the third level is an attic that has been converted into a game room for the owner’s sixteen-year-old son. The space is consistently open and one need just go around the banister to reach all rooms except for the master’s bedroom, which is directly beside the stairs.

As colorful as the house is, the master’s bedroom is the drastic opposite—the owner chose to go all white, from the lace beddings of her poster bed to the accessories that surround it. Its bathroom has a neo-classical tile mosaic painting in blue and white beside the bathtub. But even with the tame color palette, there are traces of wood and metal, just like in the rest of the house. One may let the imagination run wild with varying motifs for every room but it takes a true expert to refine it with consistency.

by Pia Echevarria photography Genesis Raña

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Design

Trendy Renovation Ideas for the Home or Condo. Part 4

by Christa M. Cañizares IDr.

Part 4:  Upgrade your Choices

A.  Create different moods with lighting. The use of warm colored indirect lighting such as lamps, colored LED back lights, or even string lights can create a cozy and relaxing vibe after a day’s work.

 

Beautiful lighting can transform a small modern apartment.

 

B.)  Convert to smart home systems. From door locks, CCTV cameras, you’ll also be able to control and turn on lights, appliances even if you’re away from home. All you need is a wifi connection and the applications on your mobile phone.

Smart phone apps can also control lights and home appliances.

C.) Hire a professional interior designer. We always get an impression that hiring a professional would be expensive, but they actually help you make the best choices and save you from making bad purchases.

Go over design options and your color palette with a professional interior designer to get better results and save more.

 

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.

 

 

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Design

Trendy Renovation Ideas for the Home or Condo. Part 3

Trendy Home & Condo Renovation Tips. Part 3

by Christa M. Cañizares IDr.

Part 3: Maximize Impact of Small Spaces

A.)  Storage spaces. You can go with concealed storage systems such as built-in cabinets on walls, under the bed or seating. Keep the items that you use often more reachable than the occasional ones. Choose what works best for your space and for your convenience.

There are many affordable storage options to de-clutter your room.

B.)  Showcase your collection of interesting conversation pieces, like items you acquire from past travels, an artwork, an heirloom, coffee table books or a collector’s item. Make sure to save a special place for them in your home.

Your personal collections can be nice decorative pieces.

C.)  Move things around to attract renewed energy into your space. May it be moving a sofa to the adjacent wall, creating a dining nook near a window, shuffling your accessories on to a different shelf? Little efforts go a long way.

Update your living/family areas with bright color accents that complement the dining area.

 

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

Design

Trendy Renovation Ideas for the Home or Condo. Part 2

by Christa M. Cañizares IDr.

Part 2:  Create Visual Interest

A.)  Update your space with a fresh coat of paint. Some would love the white / minimalist theme, but one must also not be afraid to make a bold statement and have an accent wall, or even a wall mural.

A new coat of paint can add that bold accent to your kitchen or room.

B.)  Mix materials and textures to create depth and contrast. Wallpaper is an amazing decorative material that you can use for an instant upgrade. Another inexpensive approach is to use patterns and texture on soft furnishings such as curtains, pillows and sheets.

A right mix of fabrics and textures gives an earthy color palette that sophisticated feel.

C.)  Setting up a coffee station, bar carts, vinyl corner, or workstation seems to be a trend to the young professionals nowadays.  Add functional pieces that serve as décor at the same time.

Your personal work space can show off your favorite items and will be your inspiration to be productive.

 

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

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