Connect with us

The Homes of Zee

Get the Home of Your Dreams with Modernbrands Inc.

Your dream home is a step closer, now that Modernbrands Inc. Cebu is open!


Modernbrands Cebu’s showroom

It’s all too common for childhood dreams to fade away in the wake of adulthood, but one tends to remain: the dream of building one’s own house. Many of us had visualized this house on lined paper as kindergartners, often with emphasis on size. When we got a little bit older, we progressed to vision boards created with magazine cutouts, or Pinterest. This iteration would include details about location and interior design. By the time the law of attraction works its wonders and we begin to build, or design—if the structure already exists—our dream house, we’ll have realized that there are many other variables to consider. A good flow is one, the market is another. How do we move through the space? What pieces of furniture fill the space? Where can we buy highly durable and aesthetically pleasing furniture?

Shirley Go found the answer to the last question the hard way. When she built her house in 2010, she struggled to find furniture in the city that doesn’t sacrifice the quality and comfort that she wanted. This frustration brought her to Manila, where she discovered Modernbrands Inc. and met its Assistant General Manager , Anne Young.

Shirley Go, one of the women behind Modernbrands Inc. Cebu

Modernbrands Inc. is a lifestyle furniture company that curates products from nine brands from Europe, North America, Australia, and Asia. Their collections feature kitchen, wardrobe, furniture, and home decor pieces. Each possess the three qualities that the company looks for in a product: it looks nice, it provides its function, and it lasts for a long time. Together, these qualities drive the company in its pursuit to offer the everyday Filipino the satisfaction of tasteful living, which Anne defines as “the feeling of delight, joy and excitement of going home to your private space.”

Having been living a tasteful life since then, Shirley felt the need to introduce the brand to other homebuilders and furniture shoppers in Cebu. She explains that “the price is not that cheap compared to China, but reasonable enough for what you get […] As I always say, you don’t compare an Apple with a China phone; you don’t get an Apple product with a China price.” It just so happened that the brand had already been thinking of branching outside of Manila. So, when Shirley approached her friend Anne, things immediately took shape. Anne’s team went around Cebu to research the market. And in April 2019, Modernbrands Cebu opened the doors to its new home on the second floor of the Design Center of Cebu along A.S. Fortuna in Mandaue.

Anne Young, Modernbrands’ General Manager

The opening of Modernbrands Cebu cuts out all the hassle of having to go to Manila and spending tons on freight transportation. Shoppers now have more options to choose from. In terms of product line-up, however, the branch believes that less is more.

“It’s a usual thing when you go to a furniture store [that] everything is too much. So, sometimes, at the end of the day, it’s like–” ”Nevermind,” Anne finishes Shirley’s sentence with a ‘what can you do’ gesture with her hands. “Nevermind. You don’t need that much choices,” Shirley says. “You just need good ones,” Anne adds. The seemingly effortless way that both women complete each other’s thoughts tells me how well they know each other. There is something heartwarming with a partnership built on a friendship like theirs

Modernbrands Cebu houses collections from two of the company’s brands: Innovation Living and Novacucina. The former is a renowned Danish sofa bed specialist. Its product line-up boasts designs that are nonconformist and space-optimizing. The branch’s sales representative and designer demonstrated how to convert the sofas to single or double beds, which highlighted the multifunctionality that is true of the brand to everyone who attended the open house on July 18, 2019. Unlike other furniture stores, the team encourages people to sit on each sofa. So, potential buyers would know whether a certain sofa fits their needs and preferences. With Innovation Living, the risk of buyer’s remorse is never in the picture.

Novacucina is an Italian brand that specializes in modular designs for the modern kitchen. Collections have yet to arrive in the showroom when we visited, but considering the company’s approach to brand curation, there’s no wonder that this brand will also deliver and impress.

Innovation Living, one of the flagship brands at Modernbrands Cebu, offers multifunctional furniture

When asked which piece from their opening collection is their favorite, Shirley immediately responded, “It’s the bragi.” The Bragi lounger sofa is convertible into a chaise lounge (it only takes three steps), and offers an optional headrest and integrated side table. Its high resilient mattress has a pocket spring core, which means that the mattress holds its shape and support better over time.

Anne, on the other hand, chose the Splitback. “It’s designed 15 years ago and it never goes out of date. It’s truly a timeless design piece. It’s also one of the most flexible sofa beds available in terms of design and function,” she supplies.

The question of longevity is one deciding factor in shopping for new pieces of furniture. After all, a furniture is an investment. Anne’s favorite piece, along with the others in the collection, is proof of the forward-thinking nature of Modernbrands and the brands it houses. Its entry into Cebu’s furniture design and shopping scene will surely help solidify the province’s status as a global furniture hub.

And if you’re wondering what to do to turn your vision board houses into reality, at least interior-wise, Anne says, “Do [your] research. Check the materials and craftsmanship then invest on furniture pieces that would look good even after 5 years.” Furniture pieces are expensive but if you’re going to spend for one anyway, you might as well get something—and more—out of it. Shirley adds, “Don’t settle for what is just enough for you. You have to think long-term because at the end of the day, it’s your house, [and the furniture is] something that you will sit on every day.”

As our conversation came to an end, my mind conjured the image of my favorite piece in the collection, the Filuca, and I thought, “That is something I could sit and sleep on every day.”


Visit the Modernbrands Cebu showroom at 2/F Design Center of Cebu, A.S. Fortuna corner P. Remedio St., Banilad, Mandaue City. They are open Monday through Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading