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My Square Meter

My own Venetian-inspired abode

/ 09:46 PM November 16, 2012

MASTER bedroom with bold Venetian red walls and oil painting by Emmanuel Garibay. Wooden poster bed by Claude Tayag.

Once a month on My Square Meter, I’d like to focus on a personal home, zeroing in on the unique interior design elements that make that living space a mirror into the artist or personality that lives there. Hopefully the designer home featured will give readers a wealth of ideas and options for inspiration.

I was thinking hard about whom to feature this week, and finally decided to start with my own Venetian-inspired abode. It’s a decade-old house, but the color palettes and furniture choices can still be a source of innovation.

Harmonizing theme


The basic structure of the house draws inspiration from my favorite city, Venice. Rich colors, Italian tiles and Murano chandeliers all add to the composition to achieve that Italian flair. Your home should have at least one key focal point that serves as the harmonizing theme for it.

Pietro Collection is a great shop for an Italian-themed home. They have everything from glass vases and elegant photo frames to larger chandeliers. Check out their shop at La Fuerza Compound, 2241 Pasong Tamo St., Makati City, Tel. 09175743876.

Throughout the years, allow your living space to evolve. When our family travels, I like to pick up pieces that can provide an authentic accent to a small niche in the house. As I was in Africa earlier this year, there is a current African look in the living room, with wooden masks and antelope skins around.

Kaleidoscope of shades

HAND-PAINTED walls and gold-leaf ceiling at dining room

I love color, so a kaleidoscope of shades explodes in every corner of the house. Even the paintings we have chosen, all by different Filipino artists, further enhance the color palette.

Among our favorite artists are Bacolod-based artist Charlie Co, whose “Varekai” hangs in the living room; colorist Jose Ibay, who did a whimsical portrait of me for the hallway; and modernist Emmanuel Garibay, who executed a red-and-gold pair of lovers hanging over our bed.

My hubby Dennis and I like to visit the Manila Art Fair, where we can source an annual addition to our trove. It’s a great, time-saving fair, as there are so many galleries that exhibit at the Fair.

COLORFUL masterpiece of Charlie Co as focal point in living room

Reenergizing an interior


The cheapest way to reenergize an interior is just to move furniture around, and occasionally add in a reupholstering on a sofa or chair. For a wide selection of fabrics at reasonable prices, check out Larry’s Curtains or Shell Canvas. For elegant fabrics, Townes on Pasay Road has great choices as well as wooden furniture and soft furnishings.

Home appliances can add to the ambience of a home. My current favorite is “Rose,” the all-black, sleek tube that is actually an upright aircon by Samsung. The sexy design lends elegance to our dining room.

In the bedroom, we also have a Samsung aircon that I also like because of its energy-saving features. But my all-time bedroom fave is our Tempur mattress.

ARTWORKS at the foyer—Safety pin sculpture by Raymund Fernandez and bronze/ metal sculpture by Daniel dela Cruz

Dennis and I went to the Tempur Showroom in Greenbelt 5 to test the different models. The Cloud mattress provides superior support with a softer feel. The Sensation mattress has a sturdier feel with maximum support for your body to lessen unwanted restless sleep. The Original mattress is perfectly soft and firm, contours to the shape and position of your body, and supports your neck, back and shoulders. I liked the Cloud, while Dennis preferred the Sensation. Of course, we chose the Cloud.

SECOND floor hallway adorn with art by Jose Ibay, Dominic Rubio, Norman Crisologo around the crystal Murano chandelier

Space Magazine just featured our home, and I love the photography by Paolo Buendia. A chic, relatable and innovative read, Space serves as a new lookbook that inspires and directs trends, making it a coffee table magazine for design plus travel. It is a portfolio of world artists and presents beautiful and creative designs in stylish settings and well-dressed rooms.

Sheryl Songson, Space editor-in-chief, put together other inspiring and unexpected homes including a Japanese house infused with feng shui principles, as well as a one-bedroom structure in Cebu “that grows on water.”

The issue also highlights their third post-anniversary specials, including experiential features on Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah in Oman, seven days in India, a photo journal on Hanoi and a South African safari. Space’s Travel issue is out now in all leading bookstores and newsstands nationwide. For subscriptions, call +632 6967726.

Follow @tessavaldes on Twitter or e-mail her at

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