Photo Crdeit: Design HQ
Photo Credit: Design HQ

So let me suggest an elegant way to revamp your interiors. Travel back in time and enjoy the rich and stylized history of the Philippines when designing using the Colonial style. The Colonial design is a style from a mother country that has been incorporated into the buildings of colonies in distant lands. The Spaniards, having stayed in the Philippines for hundreds of years left a number of Spanish-style structures behind and inevitably imparted a ton of construction and design ideas to Filipinos.  With origins that date back to our country’s colonization, Colonial-style homes in the Philippines offer an interesting design by mixing Spanish taste and Filipino authentic designs.

The Colonial design is known for design characteristics synthesized from the style and architecture of the origin country with the style and architecture of the new land thus creating hybrid designs.

In the Philippines, the prevailing inspirations of Colonial style homes are from the Americans and Japanese, but mostly from the Spanish colonizers.

Most colonial style home designs are showcases of wealth and devotion. They are that way because the most beautiful homes back then were built for the rich and the well-to-do of the society. The hacienderos were the usual owners of the grand ancestral houses we know today where we get colonial design inspirations. The life of a haciendero is full of monthly town fiestas, picnics, dancing, and nine-day novenas that definitely reflected the way their houses were built. Their houses are built with intricate designs, spacious, and usually made of wood because wood is the available material back then.


Stenciled patterns and yellow ochre and indigo tones dominate the interior of a colonial style home. The use of wooden furniture is also a crucial characteristic of a colonial style home. Colonial bedrooms are furnished with four poster beds that are also made out of wood, preferably narra.  The tumba-tumba or the Philippine rocking chair is a staple in this design. The Philippine rocking chair is bigger than an American rocking chair, its arms are longer and the rockers are also bigger. Ancestral homes have multiple living rooms and comfortable rocking chairs for entertaining and resting. A capilla or a long wooden bench is also a colonial style staple that effectively increases the design value of any room or area in a house.

Designing homes in the light of colonial elements have become more interesting as hybrid designs emerge from mixing colonial pieces with native ones and by using other styles like modern and industrial styling side by side with the colonial design.

Design HQ,  a local interior design company,  gracefully executed the colonial design in a modern setting using pieces like altered tumba-tumba chairs in the living room and heavy wooden dining set for an outdoor lounge. The tumba-tumba chairs were altered by removing the rockers giving them the modern twist. The wooden chandelier is a hybrid piece perfect for a modern colonial living room. The pop of wood here and there in a modern style room is a clever way of making a statement and leaving a strong impression.

Photo Credit: Design HQ

The wooden posts in the outdoor lounge are also strong design details for a colonial style masterpiece.  The capilla, accessorized with white designer pillows and shortened to become a two-seater bench, is a classic addition that is perfect for an outdoor 19th-century style lounging. The use of the color white blends smoothly with all the wooden elements and the intended feel of the area.

Photo Crdeit: Design HQ
Photo Crdeit: Design HQ

Like most of Design HQ’s projects, the colonial styling they used for the Crisostomo residence screams attitudes from all directions. The execution of the design is not of the usual and is full of personality and sophistication.

Photo credit: Design HQ

Article Inspiration: Mother Earth

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