Landscape architect Jaime Chua’s residence is in full bloom with its open layout, quirky furniture pieces and an abundance of flora.
Sitting on top of the flourishing slopes of Busay is one of the most beautifully decorated homes in Cebu. Surrounded by a lush garden, fresh mountain air and a pond filled with water lilies, the house is almost synonymous with the word relaxation as it takes us home to nature.
The house owned by landscape architect Jaime Chua sits on a 1.7-hectare land, and has also been home to his plant nursery for over a decade. It was only in 2010 that he decided to take residence in his vast garden in the mountains. His architect-cousin Alex Medalla designed the structure, while Jaime took care of the interiors himself.
He describes the house design as Asian fusion—a portmanteau of different Asian designs, from Filipino, Balinese and Thai. From this incorporation, he created a beautiful mix that’s an oasis from the concrete jungle.
A grouping of granite boulders provides a welcoming accent and functions as a decorative sitting area before entering the house. As the solid wooden doors open, the fragrant smell of orchids fills the air. The house is T-shaped, with only the kitchen and bedroom enclosed in four walls.
From the door, a path of granite slabs leads to the living area, an oversized gazebo that faces the pond, the vegetation and the landscape of Busay on three sides. Fenced in with wooden railings that work as both seating and planters, it is an ideal space for gatherings where guests can relax and feel one with nature. Fresh butterfly orchids are laid out on a 20-foot long hardwood table top positioned on gigantic boulders in the middle of the area. On the left side hanging from the trellis is a breathtaking display of dendrobiums, rustling in the cool breeze and filling the room with its sweet scent. Throughout the space is foliage of various kinds, placed in a variety of pots and planters.
Antique furniture and customized pieces tastefully decorate the house. Some are Chinese heirlooms, like the red drawers with intricate gilded details. Jaime fills the house with an assortment of flowers and plants all year round, depending on what’s in season. White butterfly orchids, dendrobiums and a variety of vandas are in bloom in April and May.
Jaime’s garden home is a refreshing place to unwind and escape from the hustle and bustle of the city with its simple home design and mishmash of furniture pieces becoming a subtle backdrop to the profusion of flora on display. One can’t help but sit back, relax and revel in the beauty of nature’s finest.
- photography Robo Formacion
- Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, May 2015.
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