Real Living Magazine
StyleFile Section

by Marina H. Fernandez

photographed by Willy Saw

life's a beach

El Nido in Palawan is one of the best resorts for a summer getaway, made even more inviting with their new beachfront cottages (designed by architect Popi Laudico) that open to sun, sea, and sky. But for those who don’t have time to go on a vacay, you can still turn your home into your own private resort, with reservations for one (or two). Put your dark, heavily upholstered furniture into storage and lighten up your interiors with neutral colors, natural materials, and breezy fabrics.

Achieve this look

1. FLOORING You can’t step on sand but you can bring a bit of nature in with araal-like tiles. The natural texture and color will definitely cool down your home, plus they’re durable, too. “Seronera” 30x30cm Ceramic Tile, from Libertystile.

For a quick fix, wash your walls in white or beige paint. If you want a fab accent, add wall panels (or a headboard) in tightly woven sawali panels (available at some provincial roadside hardware stores) or raffia (this one’s raffia wallpaper from Larry’s Curtains).

Don’t make your fenestration rustic—choose sturdy wooden frames in a dark stain that will lend a contemporary touch to your resort look. Stained wood sample, stylist’s own.

Rattan and bamboo are an absolute must for the ultimate tropical look. Get a bed or sofa with a chunky bamboo base, and chairs with delicate rattan legs and arms (check out E. Murio and Union Square for great tropical furniture). Throw in natural-theme accessories for accents (bamboo reeds from Kultura Filipino).

Sheer fabric will let the breeze in yet screen you from prying eyes. This cotton voile is from Larry’s Curtains, but you can also use traditional Kulambo (mosquito netting) bought from the local market.

Add color to your natural palette with hints of bright orange and green on your pillows, armchairs, and throws. Orange damask is from Skreja, green taffeta is from Kamuning market. Another way to add color: buy tribal fabrics in bright hues (available at the Narda’s branch in Makati City, and other native handicrafts stores).

Interiors shot on location at El Nido Miniloc Resort. For more information, contact El Nido Resorts, Ten Knots Development Corporation, 2/F Builders Centre Bldg, 170 Salcedo St., Legaspi Village, Makati City, tel. (02) 8945644, URL