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Inside This Minimalist Family Home, A Distinct Absence of Clutter, Baggage And Distractions

Tucked within a bird and wildlife sanctuary in Silang, Cavite, values of restraint and mindfulness inform a family’s design decisions


As the minimalism movement goes mainstream, more and more people are realizing the advantages of living clutter-free and noticeably with less things. For sure the look isn’t for everyone, but spare walls, clean lines, and a restrained color palette have made a strong case to those wanting to regain more control over their space. Less things in plain sight mean more focus on what matters most. 


Conceived 8 years ago, one home built in Silang, Cavite was - according to its owner - “built as a result of a long and mindful exercise of restraint - resulting in an extremely minimal form.”

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The home is nestled high in the midst of a bird and wildlife sanctuary - lush greenery surround it with Metro Manila and Tagaytay within sight. The unusual elevation of the home’s lot has produced an interesting entryway. Guests are greeted with a concrete palisade which discreetly hide away the stairs that lead to the main door. “This was one of the most difficult areas to design. We went through 5 rounds with our architects before we were satisfied,” the owner elaborates. The end result accentuates the height of the house and prepares the guest for the magnificent volumes of the home beyond the front door.


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The foyer - which the owner’s young son calls “the museum” - has a 6 meter high ceiling and monochromatic floor and walls. With such a space, one can be tempted to fill the room with furniture, rugs and art, but this home pares it down with a sculptural Magis Folly right in the center. “We wanted the house to slowly unveil itself to guests. This entry foyer was all about space and form and we felt this striking piece provides the perfect greeting as guests enter our home,” the owner mentions. The space is so generous that the owner’s son learned how to ride a bike here last year during the community quarantine.


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4 pairs of custom Ishinomaki Laboratory AA stools stack together to form a bench by the counter to allow one to admire the view from the floor to ceiling windows. The counter was originally designed to be a bar or a place to enjoy a cocktail while taking in the view. Sometimes the family eats their dinner here for a change of pace. The AA stools can be easily separated to become individual seating more than enough for the family of 3.


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The living room, dining room and kitchen are accessible down a short flight of stairs from the foyer. The stark white walls reinforce the owners’ desire to live minimally. Only the absolutely necessary is displayed on the kitchen counters - an espresso machine and the hand soap. To the uninitiated, this may feel like an incomplete space. Does anyone live here? A closer look reveals cleverly hidden storage to keep things from distracting you when you don’t need them. A white panel in the living room can be pushed to reveal a television. 


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Drop chairs designed by Arne Jacobsen in soft pastels surround a dining table made of a repurposed Narra slab. The legs of the dining table are made from extra metal forms that the builders used to form the stairs of the house. The chairs’ colors contribute the most color in this room if you don’t include the panoramic greens of the trees and blues of the sky that the floor-to-ceiling windows offer. The balcony is railed off by vertical pieces of metal so that when you look straight ahead, they almost disappear - leaving you with an unobstructed view. 


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Once you take the stairs to the 2nd floor, you are treated to the family’s favorite artwork. The guest room is sparsely furnished with a powder pink Moroso stool designed by Patricia Urquiola mainly used to enjoy the paintings on the wall. The pink of the furniture subtly ties in the artwork in the room.



The family’s lifestyle and interiors style have merged into one - less clutter means less baggage and less distractions. The minimalist look of the house has taught their 7-year-old that everything has a home, and so he’s learned the habit of cleaning up after himself. Whenever the owners feel the urge to purchase something new, they ask themselves whether they really need it, and if they do, where will they put it? Because they have come to love their space being so bare, it allows them more appreciation of space itself. “The bareness makes us feel like we achieved our goal – and that is a good feeling.