This penthouse unit is is casual, serene, and comforting. There is a mix of seating styles, from a cushy sofa to a butaca chair, and a relaxed dining area where the owners and their guests most often converge under a lazy ceiling fan. There are interesting accessories and works of art, such as the horseshoe-crab lamp made by lighting designer Shoko Matsumoto and the large painting by cartoonist Roxlee. And, most conspicuous of all, there are books--lots and lots of books filling the impressive floor-to-ceiling shelves in the living area and on even more shelves near the dining area and in the master bedroom.

The owners of this home are of Filipino and Japanese descent, but they say that the design aesthetic conforms to neither culture. There are a few Filipino accents and small framed Japanese posters, but other than that, the space isn’t obviously done up in a particular style. They also say that they like keeping a modern look but also enjoy the warmth of wood. Both of these elements are present in the shapes and materials found throughout the unit. There are no loud pieces that immediately grab one’s attention; instead the space attracts with a relaxed, unified sort of look, with interesting little things that quietly catch one’s eye.

For more homes that feature cool, contemporary styles, check out these galleries:

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(First published in
Real Living Magazine, Real Homes section as "Shelf Life" in August 2008; styling by Issa Villar; photos by Miguel Nacianceno; adapted for use in Female Network)
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