Paintings And Pottery Adorn This Filipino-Spanish Style Penthouse
“We wanted to incorporate things that can’t be bought from the department stores, and we made sure that when you walked into the room you’ll see things are made by hand, not machines,” interior designer Rizelle Alvarez of UNNA Interior Design Studio describes the inspiration behind Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s homey 226-sqm Filipino-Spanish style penthouse suite in Cebu.
A spacious space shared by the dining and living area welcomes guests upon entry through the arched entryway reminiscent of quaint European style. The design team added the arches as architectural details as they marry Filipino and Spanish influences into the unit’s design style.
“The Philippines and Spain have a long history together and we wanted to explore and design an up-to-date Filipino-Spanish style,” Rizelle explains. Her team opted for a laidback and cozy feel for the unit as the family of three has a laidback lifestyle, and is fond of traveling both abroad and locally. The family’s frequent adventures also became a deciding factor when they were choosing between a house and a condominium.
In the dining area, a whole wall was turned into a grid shelf holding a variety of ceramic pots, vases, and books serving as décor pieces. “The ceramics were ordered from local potters in Zambales and Laguna, some were sourced from Aphro. Most of the artworks were commissioned work, while some came from Tubo Art Fair in Cebu. One was sourced from a gallery in the Alley,” shares Rizelle.
In the kitchen across the hall from the dining area, one wall was knocked down and replaced with a sliding door to make the area look brighter and more spacious. At the same time, doing so keeps the fluid circulation in the family unit, especially when Mr. and Mrs. Smith host intimate dinner parties.
While the color palette for the unit is neutral with whites, beiges, and browns, a more dynamic vibe is injected into the overall cozy and laidback feel of the space with touches of blue, pink, red, and yellow. Natural materials like wood and rattan are prominent in the design of the Filipino-Spanish style penthouse. Handcrafted potteries and artworks by local artists adorn the whole unit, from the shared spaces to the sleeping areas, adding more local flavor.
When asked about their favorite part of the unit, Rizelle and her team chooses the living area of the unit as it feels spacious and cozy. “It doesn’t feel that you are living in a condo,” Rizelle adds. Although the team loved the shared space in the penthouse, she shares that the couple really likes their respective personal spaces. “The clients really wanted a comfortable bed and a stand alone bathtub,” the designer shares.
Comfort, according to Rizelle, is a priority for Mr. and Mrs. Smith. She shares that they wanted to feel like sleeping in a hotel suite every night; thus, all the guest bedrooms and the masters are equipped with Tempur mattresses. The furniture pieces throughout the Filipino-Spanish style penthouse suite are mostly from Homestudio and Casabella, while most accessories are handcrafted from Palawan, Zambales, and Cebu.
The tub, on the other hand, was Mrs. Smith’s personal preference. The pre-installed bath tub in the unit looked bulky and deviated from the design style they are going for, so the design team presented an array of tub options that would suit the lady of the house’s eyes. “She also visualized that she would bathe for hours with a lit candle with slow tune music,” shares Rizelle.
The designer concludes, “One week before the turnover, we told them not to visit the site to create an element of surprise. From what I see and what they told me, they are pleased on how the penthouse suite turned out.”