You’ll Surely Be Relaxed in This Cape-Cod Inspired Beach House in Zambales

A home’s character and design is as breathtaking as its oceanfront view


There is no better way to describe this home other than as a laidback—and happy—place. It’s in the way it opens up to amazing views of the infinity pool and the beautiful Zambales coastline just beyond. Casual yet lovely Cape Cod-inspired details have been incorporated into the whitewashed walls and wooden elements in the different rooms. Most of all, it’s embodied in the many framed family photos, children’s artwork, and handpicked knickknacks found throughout the home.

This beach house serves as a young family’s escape away from the hustle and bustle of Manila, a place where they can slow down, relax, and just be themselves. This was interior designer Nina Santamaria’s foundation when she laid the groundwork for the design of this home.

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The small cabana, located just a few meters away from the main house, enjoys a full view of its façade


Nina had already worked with the couple for their previous personal and professional projects. A close family friend, she and the wife knew each other from their college days. It was natural for them to collaborate when her clients moved into their first rented condo after getting married. Nina designed their firstborn’s room when they moved to their house in the city. Being in the business of photography and events, they also often tapped her for their showrooms’ designs.

“Since they often invite business associates to their home in Manila, it had to be a little more formal for guests. Here, she was really able to do what she wanted,” Nina shares.

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Cape Cod-inspired style was given a twist with vibrant pops of color that break the relaxed furniture in the living area. This stands out against the generous white walls, expansive windows, and wood flooring


Nina also believes that using the homeowners’ personal items will give their home its characters. She put blue and white jars at the entrance which reminds the family of their old Navotas home. There are also couple’s sons’ artworks displayed in corners.

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Family heirlooms and collections welcome visitors upon entering this seaside home, as seen on the well-appointed console table and beyond the glass walls of the wife’s plate room


Many corners can be transformed into intimate nooks, with chairs and mismatched stools in the living area, and a long dining table that can accommodate a dozen people. “Since they have a big family, one of their requirements was for an open layout to accommodate their family gatherings,” the designer says. This open plan also helped define the flow of activity. “It’s easy to break off into smaller groups and be confined in different parts of the house,” she adds. In this case, she limited the use of obvious dividers.

From the living area, one can see the small built-in bench by one window, the kitchen and dining spaces, and even the lanai leading out to the pool. These all will allow for indoor conversations and outdoor activities to blend easily.

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The space has a more playful feel by using the pendant lights from Vito Selma in two different finishes, which complemented the two-toned set with its combination of host chairs and benches


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The open kitchen is the translation of the wife’s passion for cooking. As her favorite nook, everything down to the details received utmost attention. “Even the copper pots and pans on top of the stove were my exact wish,” she says


The star of the main floor is the open kitchen, not only for the wife’s curated wares, but also for the fact that it is her own personal corner in the house. “I know that when I’m here, I’m just a wife and mother serving her family the best she can,” the owner says. Nina made sure the kitchen was situated right in front of the special plate room, which houses the owner’s large collection of dinnerware.

Even during the course of construction, the couple knew that they needed to have as many sleeping quarters upstairs, for family and friends to stay overnight comfortably.  To get this, the designer and the owners had many frank discussions about the layout. There were compromises made, such as in the design of furniture, and choosing whether a sofa bed was more suitable for the den rather than just having the usual seating options. In the end, Nina put the comfort of the family first. “They are the ones who will use the space, after all,” she explains.

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The stairway to the upper level is bound by glass walls that provide views of the surrounding areas. The hanging lights are by Wataru Sakuma for South Sea Veneer Corporation


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Nina played with symmetry in the master bedroom, with its matching lamps and frames to the main fixtures. From the bed, the couple enjoys breathtaking views of the ocean through their frameless glass walls


Each of the rooms have a bar cart, a tray containing a kettle, coffee and tea packets, and glasses and cups to go with them—small, hotel-like conveniences that make each stay extra special. This was inspired by the husband’s wish for the master bedroom to be similar to a hotel suite.

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As the designated family beach house, the couple ensured that even grandma has a special place she can call her own whenever she comes over to visit


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Even the guest bedroom gets refreshing views of sky above and greens below, with big windows being the house’s special signature


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The boys’ shared bedroom features a charming nautical theme, an interesting ceiling, and artwork their parents are proud to display


In the upper floor, there is a grand view of the ocean. Nina put a notch higher in the designing the space by putting frameless glass walls to further the transparency of the room. Heavy white drapery was also provided to give privacy to the homeowner.

The owners can’t really pinpoint if what part of their home is their favorite. After all, the place used to be untouched, with spectacular views of the sea.  Now that their house stands tall and proud and complete with all the things they’ve come to value, it has become a home where they can make happy memories with every visit.