Home Tour: A Tropical Haven In North Forbes
While most can only dream of jetting off to a luxury resort for a few days at a time, a young couple has completely transformed their North Forbes home into a tropical getaway, one that could very well give some five-star resorts a run for their money. From the outside, the home is cool, sleek, and thoroughly modern, but after entering the home, one could be forgiven into thinking that they’re no longer in the city, but have somehow been transported into a private island resort. With lush greenery, warm wood details, a cool colour palette with pops of blue, and strains of bossa nova playing, the home feels luxurious yet inviting and warm.
Though the man of the house had been living in the home before the couple tied the knot two years ago, they lived in a condominium for the first year of their marriage as the house underwent renovations. “We’re both very design-oriented, but we like different things,” says the lady of the house. “While my husband is more into tropical luxury resort design, I really like more feminine styles-like Victorian or Renaissance—something more elaborate and elegant.”
The homeowners enlisted the help of interior designer Pauline Sac from design firm 50/53 Architects to blend their design preferences and arrive at a happy balance. “It’s perfect,” says the lady of the house. Since moving in a little under a year ago, they’ve truly made the home their own. The capacious rooms on the ground floor make them ideal for entertaining guests, each space with their own unique characteristics that lend themselves to different functions.
The house’s tropical style is carried over even into the stylish kitchen, where a large marble counter is given warmth by amber ceiling lights and a playful graphic wallpaper featuring monkeys and palm trees. The kitchen is usually a private space where the homeowners enjoy their breakfast, but during large parties, the room conveniently turns into a buffet area.
The couple usually entertains small groups of 10 at the most, hosting large parties of 30 to 40 family or friends only during the holiday season. On special occasions, they enlist the help of a dear friend, Cyndi Fernandez-Beltran, the design maven behind Moss Manila and the lifestyle boutique Moss Manila Home. “We have a very similar aesthetic,” says the lady of the house of Cyndi, whom she met years ago while working on events together. “When we first met, we clicked right away. I only have to explain what I want once, and she gets it immediately.”
SETTING THE STAGE
Similar to the entertainment room, the dining room has a very high ceiling, with a large circular table right in the middle of the space. To stay in proportion with the space’s dimensions, Cyndi chose to make sculptural and architectural oral arrangements for a recent dinner gathering using tall curly willows and large selloum leaves, injecting femininity with cymbidiums and peonies.
“When I design spaces, I need to make sure that the scale is really proportional, because I think that’s something people usually neglect,” she explains. To make the table look more like a natural landscape, she covered the marble lazy susan with bol, a type of moss specially imported from Holland.
To mirror the modern art found all around the house, Moss Manila worked with Casa Luxia, a purveyor of luxury tableware for intimate parties. Black and white chargers and bread plates from Christian Lacroix’s Sol y Sombra collection were chosen to complement the iconic art plates by Fornasetti. The stylist used arrangements of candles to add drama, and smoked black goblets to create a contrast against the crystal glassware. To give the setup an extra special feel, she also added agate coasters personalised with each guest’s name calligraphed in gold decal.
While the homeowners host more formal parties in the dining room, they usually entertain family and relatives at the poolside area during weekends. Here, the stylist employed a more casual aesthetic, using the blues and beiges of the home as her jump-o point. A er combining the homeowners’ chinoiserie vases with her own, as well as blue and white tableware from Casa Luxia, she added white and green ora to create body, finishing o the tablescape with taupe name cards and a scattering of oranges.
An interior designer by profession, Cyndi brings to event styling a technical point of view that many other event stylists may not necessarily possess. “When I go to a space, I already have a mental grid of how I’m supposed to organise and compose it.” She completes her transformation of the home by crafting little vignettes in each space, adding large leaves in vases on the table in the foyer, seashells on the powder room counter, and grazing stations on the living room coffee table and kitchen counter. What Cyndi adds is well-curated and symmetrical, yet looks organic and purposeful.
“I love vignette styling and staging homes,” the stylist says. “Just coming in, fluffing the house, then leaving. It feels like I’m gliding through it. And when it doesn’t feel like it’s a lot of work for me, that’s when I know that I really love what I am doing. I personally love to entertain... I go out of my way to do presentation... to me, that’s everything.”
This article was originally published in Philippine Tatler Homes Vol 23. To bring you all the latest interior trends and practical advice for styling your home, subscribe to Philippine Tatler Homes through here.
- Words Cristina Morales
- Photography Aldwin Aspillera
- Production Mia Borromeo
- Styling Cyndi Fernandez-Beltran