Urban Zone: The upyard



A couple of weeks ago we featured this modern Asian styled house in Urban Zone. It belongs to Joel and Eloisa Buse. They didn’t work with an interior designer. Joel designed the house himself, with the help of a contractor and later-on, an architect. Lots of personal touches here…


The owner is a car enthusiast. He wanted his garage visible from the inside of the house, which explains the glass doors. In the foreground is the dining table, which is actually an old Tibetan door.


The living room housed their collection of Asian antiques and contemporary finds.


Neutral colours and warm light.


This house was unfortunately affected by Ondoy floods two years ago. They’ve recovered since then.


Because the property doesn’t have enough space for a back yard, the owner created his own “upyard” – a charming space with a 360 degree view of huge trees and the skyline in the horizon.


They had some serious furniture up in their roof top.


All photos, property of Joel & Eloisa Buse



Urban Zone: Hotelish



Here are some photos of the house we featured last September 30th. It is owned by a young couple – both of them doctors. They asked their architect and design consultant to give them a home that felt like they were at a posh hotel after a long day’s work.


The frontage had a slope, reflected in the landscaping and sunken garage.


At the main door with the architect, Romeo Marcelo.


At the foyer with design consultant Tanya Lichauco who worked on designing the interior during the construction phase.


Tanya chose neutral colours for the living room


Pretty home accessories.


At the kitchen.


The stairs were placed right at the front of the house and further enhanced by this antique mirror on the walls. Loving all the repetitive lines.


The daughter’s bedroom. Tanya used artwork painted by the grandmother.


Urban Zone, every Friday night after SOCO on ABSCBN. For TFC schedules please consult your TV guide listing.




Thank you Lucy





From Lucy Torres-Gomez’ column today October 2, 2011 –

Last Christmas I got Juliana one of Daphne’s pretty pastel-colored chairs. I got her the color pink, and after her “oooh”s and “aaah”s (she wanted it the first time she laid eyes on it in a magazine feature) she immediately stationed it beside her desk, with half a dozen of her favorite art and coloring books on top. One lazy Sunday afternoon, she pulled down the heavy shades in our room and re-positioned the chair against the wall by her side of the bed. On it, in lieu of her stack of hardbound books, she placed her little white night lamp, a copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul for Kids (she loves reading a few stories every night), and her “Where’s Wally” pamphlet (which is like the imported version of Larry Alcala’s “Slice of Life” artwork that I loved so much as a child). Norah Jones was playing on the CD player and after Juliana fluffed up all her pillows, she turned on the night lamp to softly brighten up the almost dark room (it was raining and the sun was already setting). Snuggling under the sheets she said, “Mama, we are in Paris.”

Read Lucy’s full column at the Philippine Star here.


I ran into Lucy Torres-Gomez at the lobby of Shangri-la Hotel last week. I hadn’t seen her in a while. While waiting for our cars, she told me this story about Juliana and her chair. I thought it was so lovely.

Today, I found out through Jockeylynn at Twitter that she wrote about Juliana’s Daphne chair in her column.

Lucy is one of my most favourite people. She is so incredibly nice. I don’t remember now how we first met – most definitely it was because of our TV work. But we always refer to our old connection – our Tita Ador Gatchalian. She is Lucy’s ninang and the best friend of her mom in Ormoc. Tita Ador is my dad’s second cousin and very close to our family.

It was my first time to see Lucy after she had become a Congresswoman. Thank you Lucy!!



P.S. Note to everyone, all original Daphne Furniture must have a brass seal with my brand’s name on it. This chair is only sold through Rustan’s and soon I will release it in another outlet (yet to be announced). No brass plate = fake. Sorry I have to keep saying that.







My husband is a “minimalist” with everything except bicycles. How a man can have more than 5 bicycles is beyond my comprehension. But… whatever makes him happy. His other things remain sparse, or rather, well edited. He appreciates design “stuff” but he doesn’t like acquiring too much of it. He hates clutter. So I was so surprised when he asked me about my Moleskine tote. He said he was interested in the envelope-type portfolio. I jumped on the opportunity and we went shopping at National Book Store!


This is the Moleskine 13″ laptop case. Patrick plans to use it to carry his iPad and stacks of paper to and from the office.


I love how it’s just an envelope. He isn’t the bag-carrying type of person. He basically just needs to keep his office things in order – to and from the car.


And just like all Moleskine products, this has a “Return to” address label. And it’s upside down. So when you look at it from above, it’s actually the right side up.


Then it was my turn. I bought myself another box of Crane’s stationery with my monogram on it. Lovely 100% cotton, letterpress. I can’t ever have enough beautiful paper in my stash. I love handwritten notes.


A few days ago, I got Kelly Wearstler’s Hue as a gift. The universe heard my tweet, or was it a facebook comment, “She can do no wrong in my books.” It’s true. If I could be her disciple, I would. My secretary desk is very un-Kelly though. Being all beat up and all. That’s just “me” and my design statement. Or rather, just making good use of what we have. I also got Christiane Lemieux’s Undecorate and The Happy Home Project. Nice.


Kelly Wearstler on Daphne Linens. Can I toot my own horn? I love my sheets. Tee hee. I like them crisp and then wrinkled-crisp. 100% long staple cotton, 380 threadcount. These are still in SM Homeworld and Our Home.


A few days ago, a friend had a little dilemma. And I actually told her, “Just think, what would Kelly do?” So ya, she’s been our peg.


The shopping spree continued. Sophia did well during her first term this school year. She still has a lot of unread books in her stash so I didn’t get her a new book. Instead, I got her this cool book light to make sure she doesn’t read in the dark. Can’t go wrong with this, it’s got LED lights and it’s USB rechargeable!


Beautiful design from Moleskine. I think it’ll be mine one day…


I especially love the USB rechargeable aspect. I forgot how much it was. You can check National Book Store facebook page.




“Contemporary Asian” architecture



My mind isn’t completely here always. Lately I’ve been forgetting to bring my cameras to my UZ shoots, like during this house feature that aired on September 16. All photos are from my iPhone4. Oops.

This is a story of an old house in a residential part of Quezon City. It was a 70’s-period modern house. The owners (Araneta family) had been living in it for seven years. They needed something new and wanted something more current and relevant to their needs. So they hired Victor Cham to build a brand new house on the same property.


Side entrance. The house is barely a year old. The fish are still small.


They were working with a limited space. This is by the perimeter wall. The architected created a little lanai in this corridor to allow air into the home.


The living room is in an enclosed area, separate from the dining and kitchen. Lots of open windows and grills (for security) allow for the free flow of air as you can see by the curtain blowing in the wind.


Those two doors led to the same area – the stairwell and the secondary kitchen.


Really sorry for the blurry photos. The main kitchen (yes, most Filipino homes have two or three kitchens) has an open plan. They used mosaic-“type” tiles as backsplash. Lots of artificial light on top and below each cupboard.


They opted for low maintenance tiled floors. As you can see, windows everywhere for easy flow of wind.


A leaf shaped wash basin on a hardwood ledge.


This guest powder room was situated under the stairs. I should have taken a photo of the ceiling. It had nice hard wood.


The Mr. of the house specifically asked for a game room to house is old billiard table. The ledge/bay window was a nice touch. The wall panels looked like expensive veneers but actually they were just ply wood with a bit of stain applied to look like wood grain.


On the second floor, architect Cham pointed out the details of the ceiling. It was painted in red and it had a geometric wave pattern.


And yes, I was wearing a K&Company dress. Layered bracelets and cuffs. My old charm necklace with another strass necklace. The shoes, they’re over a year old. Sorry I’m so vague with my shoes. I have to be fair to my existing sponsors (not that I have any shoe sponsors, its just.. you know).