I have said this before. I’ve met some of the most interesting people through communities online. Before Livejournal, Facebook and Twitter, all I had was Flickr where I “met” Rachelle Wenger, a Filipina married to an expat, Chef Thomas Wenger.
Rachelle is currently a contributor to Town & Country’s society pages. She is a stay-at-home mom who does volunteer work by teaching CCD (Continuing Catholic Development) and being a lector in Santuario de San Antonio. She also does interior decorating and event planning sometimes.
Rachelle invited me to her birthday party at their new penthouse which she had been working on for many months. The result is stunning. She was very hands on in the design, decorating and project management. Rachelle is not a formally trained designer. She took one semester at PSID but discontinued because of mommy duties. For her penthouse, she worked with architect Dominic Galicia and her contractors Chris Chua & Jam Ngkaion.
I hope you enjoy the (gazillion) photos I took. Rachelle was kind enough to play along with my Q&A.
This is the Wenger’s penthouse. It spans two huge floors, both with extremely high ceilings, with mezzanines in between. The space at the bottom is the living room. Above it is the family room. Rachelle gave us a tour.
Your penthouse is very big. Did you know exactly what you wanted when it was turned over to you, considering it was turned over as a blank shell?
As soon as I stepped into the place, I still remember that vividly, 3 years ago, I fell in love with it already. And yes, I know this was it and what and how I wanted it to look. I couldn’t stop thinking about it eversince I saw it and fortunately, my husband was impressed as well. We really liked the high ceilings and the roofdeck sealed the deal. There were some ideas that got added on along the way but basically we got what and how we envisioned it from the first time.
Just to give you an idea of how open the space is. There are no doors or walls in the bathroom, closet and bedroom. Being the highest part of the unit and of the actual building, no one but the birds will see you here.
Your bedroom is at the highest point of the building, you decided to keep it open without walls. Why?
That idea came from our architect. I guess he wanted to push the design envelope. Admittedly, I, at first, was wary about it. The privacy, the noise but my husband liked the idea. He’s European and if you go to Europe this is common in modern homes. They don’t have a lot of inhibitions. Design is a big part of our life and what we both do, it’s a reflection of who we are and since it’s in a different dimension, it feels private.
Interesting master “bathroom”. What’s the idea?
That evolved from a lot of different ideas. From the plumbing constraints to my downsized walk-in closet, etc. In the end, we went for a bathroom that’s very modern but still with respect to our lifestyle. We decided to separate the shower from the toilet and the Mexican cabinet was still from our home in HK. It was great that it fit the space hence giving us the appropriate cabinet to house the sinks and toiletries.
The den on top of the dining area, is enclosed in glass sliding doors. This can be converted into a guest room. Rachelle says she’s still looking for a more appropriate rug. Rachelle says the den is the most feminine part of the house and she does a lot of computer work from the here. It has a sofa bed where she can lounge and read. Also has a good view of the kids when they’re in the family room, the hills and the river. Very calm & serene.
Click “More” to see the rest of this penthouse…