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An Eclectic and Whimsical Family Home

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On paper, it may sound jarring. A Mediterranean-inspired terracotta fountain stands by an entryway staircase, and then a glass and metal window reminiscent of a classic English conservatory and an antique Chinese door form the facade of this family home.  But in reality, it all somehow works. Instead of clashing, the diverse influences commingle easily, creating visual interest and a dynamic energy. Inside, the house is full of light, and though there are Oriental accents, contemporary Filipino art, and a seemingly random mix of furniture, it still feels carefully edited and effortlessly stylish.

A collaboration of Architect Yugi Antonio, who belongs to the famed clan of design pillars, notably the first National Artist for Architecture Pablo Antonio, society’s favorite architects Ramon and Chito Antonio, Yugi’s dad Jun Antonio, and Timmy Roa Antonio, who comes from the Diaz clan of beauty queens and artists, this family home is proof positive that comfort doesn't have to be sacrificed for style.

 Asked to chronicle their home’s evolution, she recalls, “Well, at first, it was really mostly Filipino. Then, we got into Asian. Now, it’s more contemporary and whimsical.” She does have a preference for Oriental pieces and a weakness for metallic accents. “I find that these touches are very easily adaptable to any interior, and are timeless pieces.”

And considering that both of them are design professionals, they have never really disagreed about how to design their home. “The delineation is clear. I’m in charge of the outside, and she fixes up the inside. We are a good team,” Antonio declares. His wife reveals, “And he knows better that if he tries to add something I don’t like, it will be a waste of money, because eventually, it gets thrown out.”

Yugi and Timmy are also fulfilled that their children Alicia and Paco are showing artistic inclinations. “Every year, on their birthdays, they can choose one artwork, either from my tita’s gallery (her aunt Silvana Diaz of Galleria Duemila), Art in the Park or the Manila Art Fair, so when they leave for their own homes, they’ll already have their own little collection,” Roa Antonio says.  Her husband chimes in, “It’s also a form of forced savings!”

When asked to summarize how they approached the design of their home, the couple is endearingly down to earth. “We just wanted it to be  super bright and happy; I want people to be happy when they come here,” the lady of the house admits. The man of the house is just as straightforward. “We entertain about twice or thrice a week, and it’s really casual, like, ‘Do you want to come over for dinner?’ And then people are here! That’s why I love our entrance. It’s us. We like to welcome people.” Their house reflects their open, friendly character, and envelops all who visit  in a cocoon of warmth and easy conviviality.

Photographs by William Ong