RUSTIC ASSEMBLAGE - JOHNSON & LAUDICO HOMES 2000

Tropical Living
Coffee Table Book



Modern artist-turned-craftswoman, Yola Perez Johnson has created a rustic but gracious home from such natural materials as bamboo, abaca, and rattan, a garden space, and a lively imagination. Re-designing the basement of an ordinary apartment in a rambling 1950s Makati house and utilizing its best asset-a spacious backyard-has been a labor of love. Today, she and her husband live in what were the servants' quarters, and nurture the spirit of the old mansion with Nature's own materials. Similarly, when Yola's architect daughter, Popi Laudico, moved out - with just one aparador, one bed, and a collection of paintings by Roberto Chabet, Jonathan Olazo, and Tam Austria - she reinterpreted her mother's abaca fiber arts in her new 95 sq-m, two level loft. The result is an equally spirited living space (see page 5, *original pages 148-149).

 

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The Johnsons' small sala is a rustic black-and-white suite dressed in French doors, abaca woven curtains, and Yola's creative touch with textures and textiles. A wide collection of "primitive" ebony-black furniture from the Philippine Cordillera is fitted in white ramie upholstery and ivory silken throw pillows All around are baskets from the Cordillera or ceramic bowls of interesting seeds or pods; design magazines; and abstract modern artworks by Roberto Chabet. The dining room comprises a modern-minimalist two-piece table made old dark and rare supa wood; crowned by a fantasy candelabra that is lit by tea lights. A vibrant red abstract (above) by Roberto Chabet hangs over a dark table made of rare supa wood.

The rustic-romantic touch extends to the outdoors, where Yola has fashioned a picturesque gazebo (below) out of a giant bamboo poles and cogon grass. She had carpenters build a 3 sq-m. raised pavilion - a Tea House, as she calls it - just one giant step from the sala. There she serves coffee on a squat wicker table, lights big scented candles and displays "Amorsolo" - her latest sun-gold abaca fabric.

 

rustic assemblage

 

rustic assemblage

Dining under the trellis (right). On dry evenings under starry skies, Yola transforms her backyard trellis into an idyllic dining setting, graced with fine white tarring cloth from the Visayas and embroidered linens from Taal, Batangas; candles suspended on a metal scale; and a centerpiece of anthuriums among glass balls.

 

rustic assemblage

 

rustic assemblage

 

rustic assemblage

The craftswoman has a knack with natural wood and fabrics. The master bedroom holds two rustic beds (one a tindalo-modern; the other old Ifugao); copper and silk curtains by Silk Cocoon; and a rural pillow holder called an almario. A quiet corner (right) displays a red t'nalak lampshade; a cane-woven daybed called a papag; and a baul (trunk) bearing white lilies. A distinctive Shaker-style aparador (cabinet) defines the long corridor and is set under a haunting painting by old master Constancio Bernardo. Yola says: "I love the spare lines in furniture and the torn, natural look in fabrics."

 

 

 

rustic assemblage

 

Popi Laudico's new flat is fashioned with the same attention to detail as her mother's. Gauzy abaca weave curtains drape the east-facing windows, and also act as "walls" that delineate the spaces within. The "living room" is a wide expanse of thick woven abaca carpet defined by the drapes and veils of abaca separating it from the "dining area." The furniture is ethnic, minimal and modern-three soot-black chairs from the Cordillera. Says Popi of her artistic abaca atelier: "The translucent layers delineate the space, without compartmentalizing it. And they let me feel secure -like being under a kulambo (mosquito net)."

Yola and Popi's handcrafted furnishings of choice (below, clockwise from top left) are: Yola's favorite red-glazed stoneware bowls by Jon Pettyjohn, "with a blue comet within." Popi's biggest worldly treasure, the aparador (cabinet), custom-made by Osmundo Gallery. Three sketches by Roberto Chabet; (Three prints in her sitting room are by Jonathan Olazo). Parts of her 15-piece rustic stoneware tea set by Pettyjohn. And at the bottom of Popi's spiral staircase to the sleeping loft is an old period style armchair-found in a junk sale and resuscitated to rustic-elegant glory.

 

rustic assemblage



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