TWO IN ONE 2000

Blu Print Magazine
Volume 6

written by Honrado R. Fernandez

photographed by Philip Escudero & Ava Lugtu




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This two-story 190s house was meant for a very large family. It had at least six bedrooms, and plenty of interior and garden spaces for receiving and entertaining guests. The couple that currently owns this classic post war abode in a posh section of Makati felt that the lace was just too big for comfort. And so, they decided to divide the house and the garden into two: one part for themselves, and the other to rent out.

Today there are two cozy homes in what appears to be, and still remains a single structure: a house of wood and concrete completely finished in white except for the floors, beige marble anon the first level and reddish mahogany wood on the second floor. Except for the bedrooms, which have enclosures to provide their occupants privacy, the rest of the house has spaces that conveniently connect all adjoining areas. Only the arrangement and the layout of the furniture delineate the function of each space. Both homes have large picture windows that allow outdoor light to filter through gauze-like panels of indigenous hand woven fabrics.

The quality of space that pervades in both homes is light and airy-never humid nor damp-because of an abundance of light that dramatically filters in. The rooms look spacious, not cramped, even though they are not that large in scale. The occupants of both houses are collectors, but the rooms never seem to be cluttered. But despite the single architectural setting, the distinct personalities and lifestyles of the two couples are reflected in the manner in which their homes differ.

The leased part of the house is the abode of Yolanda and Patrick Johnson. Patrick is an American businessman who has lived in the Philippines for more than 20 years and his wife, Yolanda Perez, is an artist who divides her time between doing creative work and running Soumak, an enterprise that exports some of the country's finest hand-woven rugs and window coverings. Understandably, this couple's home highlights the artist's works and the couple's love for products showcasing the dexterity and artistic sensibilities of our local craftsmen. Their Filipino collection includes tribal earthenware and heirloom furniture, as well as works by other contemporary artists like Constancio Bernanrdo, Roberto Chabet, Antonio Austria, Jaime de Guzman, and John Pettyjohn.

A lush tropical garden surrounds the Johnson home. In one area, a vine-covered trellis serves as a venue for candlelit and incense scented meals for breakfast, lunch or dinner (lighted candles drive away house files during the daytime and provide the only illumination available for quite evening meals, while incense keeps mosquitoes and other pesky insects away). In another area is a cogon-thatched Ifugao-inspired lounging hut. Both garden structures were creatively built of discarded, second-hand hardwood, and executed by one of the house help, who, until then, never realized that he had an artistic streak.

 

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(ABOVE) Neo-Filipino living: Yolanda Perez-Johnson's tribute to Filipino tribal design. Thick hand-woven abaca rugs and translucent buntal soften the dark, rigid form of Ifugao furniture.

(BELOW) A view from the living room. The main entrance is in the background. Above the baseboard is another work of Yolanda Perez-Johnson. A Chabet painting hangs in the right foreground.

 

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(ABOVE) The music room houses much of the Johnson collection of pottery and Filipino antiques. On the left side is a collage by Yolanda Perez-Johnson.

(BELOW) A huge bed right in the middle of the room complements the equally huge windows. The copper and silk curtains are held together by a metal cable.


Except for the bedrooms, which have enclosures to provide their occupants privacy, the rest of the house has spaces that conveniently connect all adjoining areas.

 

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(ABOVE) The Ifugao hut that Lito (the "all-around help") built. Comfortable, oversized uphol- stered cushions in pale orange dyed jute fabric are perfect for lounging. Hand-woven panels by Elisa Reyes.

(RIGHT) Dine in contrast. Oriental rattan chairs gather around a square table for eight. A baccarat chandelier veiled in pina presides over the affair.

 

 

 

 

 

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(RIGHT, BOTTOM) A vine-covered trellis makes for refined rustic dining.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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