Urban Zone: The real Design Doctor



Last Friday we featured a 4-year old house that was renovated by new homeowners. They didn’t hire an interior designer or architect, just a contractor to do re-do the paint and changing of some windows. The couple, both doctors, had brought with them many of the furniture from their family’s home in an older part of town – mostly heirloom pieces and antiques. The husband, a cosmetic surgeon by profession, has a knack for designing spaces and a strong sense of style. I asked him why he didn’t hire design professionals, he said he would have been a tough client because he knew exactly what he wanted and what he didn’t want (plus they already had beautiful pieces to begin with).


When the couple bought the house, it was an all-white building. The family added brown borders to frame the windows and eaves trough.


Fine antiques at the entrance of the house. The oil painting dates back to the early 1900’s. The doctor says it’s always been hanging outdoors, even at their old house. I love gallineras. We have a few at home, and one of them is also outdoors, as seen in my BC mag cover early this year. A gallinera basically is an old wooden sofa with a caged storage space below, originally to hold live chickens. It’s the best space saving piece of furniture with a lovely story.


I asked the doctor what look he wanted to achieve when decorating their space. He said he grew up in southern subdivisions where a lot of his friends’ moms had comfortable homes and huge lanais. The peg was “Lanai Tita” – another term I so love. Haha. Can’t argue with that. Southern lanai living rocks! This house had a lot of outdoor living spaces, a huge garden, a pretty pool and lots of fresh air.


There used to be three small windows in this part of the house. The doctor consolidated it to create one huge picture window visible from the living and dining areas. He also personally managed the layout of his gardens.


The most used part of this house… the kitchen. I love the size and layout. Very comfortable. The lady of the house loves to bake.


The master bedroom. He defied the conventional relaxing room and painted a red accent wall. Red is the colour of energy and excitement. Hmmm, makes sense in a bedroom too. LOL. He also broke another feng shui rule of putting the headboard against a window. To remedy that, he hung these huge wooden screens that slide to the side whenever they want to open the window for ventillation. The wooden screens “disappear” as wall panelling when drawn to the side.


If you watched the show last Friday night you would see the cute feature of their lavatory. Instead of the conventional faucet and basin, the doctor sourced a lovely porcelain dish-like lavatory and installed a spray-type spout directly on the dish. The result looks like a little fountain that juts out of the lavatory. Cute.


Second-floor balcony where the kids do their arts and crafts.


He says the pool was just a bonus. It wasn’t part of their initial criteria when house hunting.


A major highlight – his “man cave” which housed his awesome audiophile equipment. I didn’t understand a thing, but I knew those things were very very valuable.



Urban Zone is seen on ABSCBN every Friday nights after SOCO and internationally via TFC The Filipino Channel. Please check with your local cable carrier regarding the schedule. The show is available online through iwanttv.com.ph by subscription.



Leave a comment

  • ana

    how many sqm is the lot area?

    • Anonymous


      • anton

        great house design!!!!

  • Emarina95


  • Emarina95

    i was amaze they didnt get architect .nice .i got my archirect and we compromise all the things that i wanted in my house.. im sorry the light in the kitchen should replace like rescess light the square one..

  • Rivera Jhee

    hi, daphne! thanks for featuring this house. i watched the show and  i loved it! i love spaces and i love wood. the doctor is really IN! yes, red is amazing. but instead of the bedroom, it’s my kitchen that’s painted red ..  quite unusual in my side of town ..  but i really enjoy the surprised stares of friends every time they see it. more power to your show! keep the features coming! 

  • Pediazu

    Hi daphne! The sliding windows and doors…are they UPVC OR ALUMINUM?

  • Aira Uy

    “I didn’t understand a thing, but I knew those things were very very valuable.” — I find this funny. LOL

  • Rommelmtan

    I WATCH THIS HOUSE FEATURE HERE IN KUWAIT AND I LOVE THE WAY THE DOCTOR DESIGN HIS OWN .I SALUTE YOU DOC.Im working here in Kuwait.Yes the filipino design still the best.Im proud to be pinoy.More power to your show and more features you will show us.God bless

  • josephine zarraga

    i watched your late night show last friday and even if i’m really sleepy i tried to finished it because i’m so impressed and amazed. these architect doctors are really very creative ( they can have another profession now). more power to your show and hope to see more and new features. God bless

  • aldr

    Hi Daphne.  This is my first time to visit your site and it is extremely entertaining.  I recognized the house immediately as it is on the same street where I live. . . . 

    Keep up the great work on your blog.  God be with you in all that you do!

  • anton

    wow great design!!! i love it