The past ten years have seen the Mediterranean style becoming all the rage in the country, so much so that one would be hard-pressed to tell two such houses apart. So it was a pleasant surprise to find a Mediterranean house that, while evoking a popular design, still maintained its own down-to-earth personality.

Designed by architect Joey Selga of Selga's Konstrak, the house has traditional Mediterranean characteristics such as stucco walls, a tiled roof, brick inlay, terracotta floors, and a wash of warm beige paint. But unlike many houses in the same style, this one looks inviting, unpretentious, and truly lived in.

Perhaps it’s because it wasn’t built to look brand new (though it was constructed just a little over two years ago). The owners describe the look they were after as “a fusion of Mediterranean and Filipino style.” They wanted it to look like an old house, with weathered doors and moss-grown walls. Space was also allotted for greenery; a terraced portion of the sloping garden was used to grow rosemary, basil, tarragon, and other herbs.

It’s intriguing how this home isn’t crammed with stuff or over-embellished, and yet it hits the Mediterranean mark that many others miss. This home has no pretensions and knows no opulence. In fact, it’s actually pretty simple, and therein lies its charm.

(First published in Real Living, Real Homes section, May 2007. Photos by Ocs Alvarez, styling by Gwyn GS Guanzon; adapted for use in Female Network)

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