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The Homes of Zee

House Tour: A Traditional Eclectic Home in Cebu

Interior designer Hannah Lim brings character into a family home with accessories that play on colors, patterns and textures.

While a neutral palette can be anything but boring, it can sometimes shy away from more artistic adventures—at least, in the case of this house, this was the challenge faced by interior designer Hannah Lim. When presented with a contemporary family residence in one of the city’s subdivisions, Hannah employed bright colors and artwork to give it a warm and homey atmosphere, without going over the top.

The homeowner had approached Hannah after purchasing the house, explaining that they wanted touches of femininity as the house had more of a masculine feel. “He just found it a little bare,” Hannah added. “Basically, our scope of work was really accessorizing it.”

Formal dining table

The hardwood façade painted white opens up to a two-storey living room, where a white couch topped with a mix of patterned and solid pillows is the focal point. 

Wooden blinds extend throughout the room as an elegant way to bring light, at the same time maintaining privacy, while understated décor hang from strategic spots on the wall.

Candles and accessories on the center table.

“My inspiration was the house itself,” Hannah says of how she put everything together. “A lot of the pieces they already had—the coffee table, dinner table, area rug. The couch is also an old one but we had these white slipcovers made to give it a new look.” The homeowner knew he wanted to put in more accessories but just didn’t know how to put them all together.

Hannah did just this by bringing in small pieces that brought character to the space. Geometric candleholders and a vintage chess set adorn a wood-topped table, while a pair of ottomans sits next to a fur rug. “Besides the ones the family already owned, we got a few accent pieces from Rustan’s, H&M and Crate & Barrel,” Hannah explains.

Adjacent to the living room is the dining area where the large wooden table is topped with a table runner with Aztec-patterned accents. “If you look, it actually matches the throw pillows in the living room,” Hannah points out, explaining that she had these pieces custom-made for the residence. The candles sitting on minimalist holders echo the orange hue. 

Kitchen counter

The kitchen is clean and modern, with one wall decorated by mandala-like hangings and framed prints. “The owners had originally wanted a TV there,” Hannah recalls, continuing that when they’d decided against it, she had to find pieces that worked against the white wall, and it did—the pieces complement the kitchen’s contemporary look of sleek cabinetry and appliances.

The study area.

Hardwood stairs lead up to the bedrooms and cozy study area upstairs. This time, a different color scheme welcomes you—the cool shade of blue. “It’s because his favorite color is blue,” Hannah explains, and admits this was her favorite room in the house. The daybed is tucked into a niche beside the window, and flanked by the stone-topped work area. As Hannah later explains, a lot of little details tie the look together—she’d used different shades of blue and patterns in the pillows decorating the daybed, while the corkboard and valances are cut from the same fabric. The stripes of the valances are echoed by the area rug, although this time in opposing tones. 

Wall art

Despite the minimal approach to accessorizing that Hannah took, her attention to even the smallest design elements come together to create something that is more than the sum of its parts. The play on texture and color palettes makes the home’s dominant neutral tones far from bland, and gives the family home a relaxed but sophisticated aesthetic.    

Photography by Oliver Echevarria


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The Homes of Zee

The Homes of Zee–Holiday Edition: Christmas House No. 12

Christmas House No. 12 – Heart-felt Holidays at the Hofers’

Check out why this holiday home is on our list of 12 Cebu homes this season. offers a glimpse of Cebu’s holiday homes from far and wide. Please follow our series as we bring you a different home in the next few days!

Nestled in Banilad, Cebu City, the George Hofer residence stands as testament to enduring elegance. Constructed in the late sixties to early seventies, the mansion exudes timeless charm with warm brown molave wood panels and pristine white marble floors.

Stepping into this grand abode during the Christmas season unveils a journey into a beautifully storied past. This season, Molave wooden entance, intricately carved with the Hofer couple’s monogram, are adorned with opulent yuletide garlands. White velvet poinsettias and persimmon peonies alongside mother of pearl camellias are interspersed with pearlescent berries. Archangel Michael showers the guests with  blessings from above, while a macassar ebony wooden effigy of Saint George (slaying the dragon) pays homage to the house owner’s namesake.

Adjacent to a private elevator, a grandiose Christmas tree stands tall, welcoming guests into a sprawling waiting hall. Here, an angel in teal and gold lamé cloth grouped together with exotic blooms gracefully plays the lyre; seemingly entertaining those who await entry.

Further down the hall is an ecru grand piano, where the lady of the house, a skilled pianist, performs Monti’s Czardas, Schubert’s Ständchen, and other rhapsodies on special occasions. A commissioned portrait of George and Dulce hangs on a wall above a console table that separates the hall from the formal dining area.

The Hofer home exudes old-world elegance that is seldom found today, yet its true charm lies in the joyous laughter and warm greetings of the Hofers, who gather annually to share Christmas cheer and delightful yuletide stories in this vibrant space.

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The Homes of Zee

The Homes of Zee–Holiday Edition: Christmas House No. 11

Christmas House No. 11 – Christine Pelaez

Check out why this holiday home is on our list of 12 Cebu homes this season. offers a glimpse of Cebu’s holiday homes from far and wide. Please follow our series as we bring you a different home in the next few days!

Designed by the noted Cebu architect Teng Jacinto, this expansive residence stands as a testament to the artful curation of Jun Pelaez. Over the years, he has meticulously assembled a collection of artworks, transforming the home into a gallery that reflects his discerning taste and appreciation for the aesthetic.

As the holiday season graces the air, the residence undergoes a festive tone under the artful touch of Jun’s wife, Christine. Embracing tradition, she bathes the home in the classic Christmas palette of reds and greens, infusing each corner with warmth and seasonal charm. The interior becomes a canvas for the holiday spirit, adorned with wreaths, ornaments, and the timeless glow of twinkling lights.

However, the true heart of this home lies in its welcoming spirit. There are two dining rooms, with chairs adorned with red bows and festive centerpieces,  where family and friends converge for an equally sumptuous meal.

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The Homes of Zee

The Homes of Zee–Holiday Edition: Christmas House No. 10

Christmas House No. 10 – The Hudsons’ Christmas Chronicles

Check out why this holiday home is on our list of 12 Cebu homes this season. offers a glimpse of Cebu’s holiday homes from far and wide. Please follow our series as we bring you a different home in the next few days!

The Hudson’s household buzzes with enthusiasm each time the holiday season unfolds. The heart of their Tokyo home, the  Hudson Christmas tree, stands tall and proud, adorned with tinsel and cherished trimmings that span the years of their family’s growth. Each ornament tells a story, marking the arrival of a new family member with the annual addition of baubles bearing their names: Mary, George, Victoria and Charles.

Charles, the youngest Hudson at twelve, beams with joy as he proudly places the Christmas star atop the tree. No longer reliant on his father’s shoulders, Charles revels in his newfound height and the welcomed responsibility that comes with it.

In addition to the twinkling blue lights, the festive icons and the white-and-silvery ornaments, another cherished tradition had been completed at the beginning of the joyful season. The Hudson’s much-anticipated Christmas cards, an exciting accountof  the family’s adventures, had been creatively crafted by Rose and Karl. The lively narrative chronicles the milestones and quests of each family member, with Karl’s animated storytelling and Rose’s artistic touch bringing the tales to life.

Rose shares, “by mid-November we print two hundred post cards of the Hudson family chronicles. The entire family, from the oldest to the youngest, gathers around to sign each card. Envelopes are lovingly addressed, and the kids lend a hand in labeling.”

In a heartwarming shift of roles, the Hudson parents, Karl and Rose, prepare to pass the baton. The careful planning and distribution of the Christmas cards are soon to become the responsibility of the eager younger generation. 

With laughter, love, and a touch of adventure, the Hudson family embraces the season, creating and sharing memories that they and their friends treasure for life.

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