A couple’s dream home comes together with design and dedication

This couple built their dream home from the ground up

Anyone who has ever invested in anything will know the time, effort, and money needed to grow something of value. It took these homeowners three years after purchasing their property in QC to actually start building their dream home. Two years after moving in, the lady of the house says it’s still an ongoing project with one of her dear friends, interior designer Carol Peña-Santos.

Clean neutral tones punched with accent colors and textures welcome guests to this dwelling. White walls and marble flooring provide the foundation for well-chosen furniture and select home accessories. Due to the soft palette and minimal decor, everything is kept simple with relaxing neutral hues and warm wood tones.

The living room has bright red pops of color that enliven the palette of white, gray and black. On Carol’s advice, the couple purchased the Atelier coffee table that functions as the conversation starter in the area. The dining table with custom legs was repurposed from old railroad tracks that still bear holes from the nails that held them together


The main floor follows an open layout that opens to the different areas. Glass sliding doors look out to greenery and a lanai where the couple hosts intimate gatherings. A sliding door with pressed paper leads to the modern kitchen.

Expansive windows bring in natural light to the modern kitchen. Carol paired shades of brown with stark white walls and simple furnishings. The counter also doubles as a breakfast nook for the family


The powder room and den are both hidden from main living space. The den functions as the husband’s home office and doubles as a TV room for the kids. The smart use of space and trick doors are just some of the techniques that Carol loves to work into her projects. “I want it to look like a showroom with no clutter, but all the functionality should also be there,” she explains.

The monochromatic scheme used in the den makes it the perfect space for the couple’s children. “Our youngest has actually taken over this space,” says the lady of the house


The lady of the house’s personal space on the second floor displays the same clever use of floor-to-ceiling sliding doors. Rather than have a useless area, Carol turned the anteroom to the left of the stairs into the lady of the house’s personla space. The designer believes in maximizing spaces. Both the master and daughter’s baths have mirrors that hide ample storage space. Even the extra space that resulted from the uneven structure of the house was put to good use in the boys’ room.

Carol used a lot of texture in the master bdroom by way of bed coverings, fabric panels, and curtains. Beige tiles and a wood and white counter keep the master bath simple and fuss-free. “Everything has to fit,” Carol says, “I merge my design with the personalities and needs of my clients.”


The design of this home is seamless as a result of how the lady of the house’s tastes coincided with her designer’s. Neither of them can’t remember whether or not this was because of their longstanding friendship or time spent together deliberating on the house’s design. Consequently, the lady of the house absorbed a thing or two about blending function and aesthetics over the course of building their dream home.

This was good in a way, since she had to take on the role of foreman, contractor, and negotiator halfway through the course of construction. “I dictated everything–even the design and position of the windows and doors. I had to be hands on kasi nagloko ‘yun foreman and contractor ko. I had to take over,” the lady of the house explains. Furthermore, she was pregnant at that time and Carol had to make a scheduled trip to the U.S. In doing so, she proved that the wife is the homemaker0–in this case, literally.

Rich shades of brown and pink hold court in the daughter’s bedroom. A gold mirror takes the center of the wall that opens to her bath


Despite the horror stories, having her designer as a friend made things easier. It meant getting the best suppliers, design tips, and even some on-loan items around the house. The two of them have difficulty remembering which items belong to whom. “I have some books from Carol–wala na din silang mapag-lagyan!” laughs the lady of the house.

The family brought their trinkets from their old condominium unit to their new home. Carol is adamant about clients incorporating a piece of themselves in their space. This gave their dream home its unique character. A lot of their personal items found their place throughout the house.

The boys’ rooms feature lofts to maximize the high ceilings that resulted from the uneven structure of the house. Both rooms have large windows that make the spaces bright and airy


It’s quite obvious that this family enjoys their dream home they built from the ground up. If the lady of the house’s smile as she tours guests around is any indication, something special truly happens when you grow your investment from start to finish.