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An Urban High-Rise Aerie With A Collection Of Contemporary Art And Designer Furniture

It's easy to feel that you’re at the top of the world when you’re ensconced in a penthouse with a wrap-around balcony that gives you a rare 360-degree view of the sprawling metropolis. The sky is a kaleidoscope as it is sunny and bright in Makati but gray and somber in Quezon City. The view may be enough, and in truth, even with the barest minimum of furniture, the dramatic setting would be quite an experience. But the apartment is compelling also as a design statement and a cozy home.


The sofa by Patricia Urquiola that anchors the main living space was chosen by the lady of the home because "just looking at it made her want to just sink into it and sleep." The pop of color from the purple chair and ottoman was also an easy first choice by the homeowner and the decorator.  


Lalyn Parpan is the interior decorator of this modern-day nest, a refuge from the world that is set high above the fray. She says, “My client didn’t want to skimp on anything. This was the first home she had bought for herself. But at the same time, she’s very casual, she’s not stiff, she’s not a showy person. For furniture, her favorite is Patricia Urquiola. She liked that it still has that design element but, above all, comfortable. For example, she says she liked the sofa in the living room because just looking at it, you really just want to lie down. And she liked the faded look of the rug even if some people couldn’t quite ‘get’ why she wanted an unevenly colored rug!”


"We played more with patterns and pieces and colors in the den, to set it apart from the living and dining spaces," says interior decorator Lalyn Parpan.


When it came to art, the lady of the house chose to go with younger artists. “She’s not into the old masters, the usual choices. She enjoys going to Art in the Park, and she likes pieces with a story. She does have an eye for striking pieces, quirky and bold.”


"More than the old masters, she loves young artists," says Lalyn of her client.


The foyer sets the tone for the space, with strong art and mementos from travels, marking this home as full of individuality and character. The lady of the house is young so the house hums with the energy of experimentation. Lalyn says, “The high ceilings allowed for a lot. For example, for the Tom Dixon lighting in the dining room, we went with copper instead of the usual metallic tones. Everyone notices the lighting! The lights are like an art installation in themselves. And when I suggested purple for the dining chairs, my client said, ‘Go for it.’”


The Tom Dixon hanging lamps are the focal design point and a conversation piece in the dining space.


The lady of the house loves to cook, and her specialty is Japanese cuisine. And her fave finds for the kitchen are the Urquiola stools.


For the den, they decided to go for more patterns and unusual furniture, like the coffee table that evoked the Memphis movement popular in the Eighties. “We wanted the den to be more playful,” says Lalyn. “She has her family over a lot, and she has young nieces, so we did want to have a space where all ages would feel relaxed and at ease.”


Lalyn shares, "We just wanted to maximize the space, and though it is a relatively small space, we tried to balance the scale of the pieces."


The lady of the house loves having guests over, and wanted to make the guest room as nice as her own room.


The bathroom makes clever use of space with ample storage solutions. The combination of the textured wooden wall and the shiny white surfaces of the cabinets creates a decidedly clean and minimalist space.


A key to the success of the design process was the rapport between designer and client. “She trusts me totally,” Lalyn notes, and the joy and fulfillment in this project are palpable in her voice and manner. “For example, the doors that we used for the den are new here in the country, so it’s not really seen in other houses, and it’s a bit on the pricey side, but she just went with it. The door is sleek and silent when you slide it, and it just makes the space.”

When asked to sum up the look of the this sky-high home, Lalyn says, “At the start, my client said she didn’t want anything traditional. But at the same time, it’s really just a place where she is happy to be.”


Photographs by Paola Aseron, courtesy of Metro Home & Entertaining