Designing a retro-minimalist living room with Modani

Modani design challenge mood board

I embrace creative projects, and, for this reason, I put my stamp on a living room design board, working around Modani key pieces, with the bouyant 60s in mind. My dad graduated from the UST with a degree in architecture. At an age of playing house inside a VW Combi, his old style magazines were my manual.

Modani has contemporary design aesthetics, yet people like me who have deviant taste can pick pegs from the store. From the modern sofa collection, my centerpiece has to be the Phantom sofa in a greyish brown color for a family who live outdoors most of the time. I’m not fond of rugs, but the Fuji coffee table that I love (on sale right now) extends to a second tier, so family bonding time can be had here. The hanging Draco circular lamp and silver ceramic apple, as well as the Sacha lounge chair in refreshing subtle lime (also on sale), echo crisp retroesque flair. I threw in the Lucide floor lamp for the husband. To kick in more sunshine to my otherwise neutral palette, I picked blue pillows from Modani and complemented them with additional throw pillows in vintage fabric and local artisan-made abel fabric. Can’t do without framed vacation photographs, indoor plants and stacks of books.

Modani has stores in key cities in the US and Canada. You may want to browse the modern sofas through the Modani online store.

This is not a sponsored post, btw.

© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

The Umali-Fariñas Nest

Oriental Touches

Nestled in familial warmth is the fine fusion of Raffy and Kristine (Teenie) Fariñas’ own dwelling. The home grew as the young family grew bigger and when city girl Teenie (Umali) decided to completely stay close to Raffy’s roots after working for the father’s companies in Manila. “I love it here, I’m more peaceful.” she says about Ilocos provincial style living. (Raffy’s dad is former Laoag mayor, businessman Roger Fariñas, and Teenie’s dad is self-made tycoon Ruben Umali, former mayor of Lipa, Batangas, and now a proponent of biomass renewable energy.)

Fused with Oriental elements — like pieces collected through their travels and the irreplaceable old-old China porcelain handed down by Teenie’s mom (Girlie Sheker Umali) — the contemporary abode, refurbished with the help of Ilocano craftsmen, articulates one unique harmonious story.

Things From the Past

– Portraits of the teen Teenie done by masters such as Cesar Legaspi and Romulo Olazo adorn one wall. A former Miss Lipa, handpicked by a distinguished committee, Teenie is a personification of refinement. She is sophisticated and quietly cool, yet bubbly around family and friends. I can say the same for Raffy, who seems reserved. The couple, in contradiction, loves to entertain guests at their beautiful nest. The two met while in school at the University of Sto. Tomas. “We have Brian [Fariñas, Raffy’s first cousin] to thank,” Teenie recalls the introduction.

Red CornerNatural TouchesTuneTablescapeDining RoomFish  Tank

– Raffy’s fish tank.

Autumn Colors

– The Balinese door is from Indonesia.

All that Glitters

– The colors of autumn on a Christmas tree.

Animal Instinct

– Animal instinct.

DetailsPerspectivePlay and Relax

– The butterfly-shaped pool echoes blitheful moments with the brood and cousins on the Caballero-Fariñas side. A cabana houses the shower room and a sauna. Macopa trees planted by Raffy’s lolo Fred leave an incessant memory of the grand patriarch of the Fariñas clan.

Below are commissioned works of Ilocano painter Mike Kairuz, who shares the same Lebanese blood running in the Shekers’ veins. The lavender room (with black and white furnishings) overlooking the pool is eldest daughter C’s room.


– Next is the master bedroom. Teenie’s own pet fishes keep her company when Raffy goes to the office and the little ones are in school. She quit her day job (with the in-laws’ family business) only recently to be a fulltime homemaker and doting mom to C, Rigo, Ram and Julia. When in Manila, Teenie visits Tiendesitas, Dimensione, Regalong Pambahay and the like, while Raffy checks out the gadgetry stores.

Master BedroomUmali-Fariñas

– Collaged photos of the gorgeous family courtesy of Teenie.

With many thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Raffy  C. Fariñas  for sharing with us a part of their story.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2012