Taking her cue from the homeowners’ casual lifestyle, Yabut wanted them to be able to use all the spaces in the house and allow movement between areas to be natural and free-flowing. For instance, taking down the walls separating the formal dining area from the rest of the house dispelled the old feeling of primness and confinement, and made the space now feel relaxed and congenial. The floors are low-maintenance non-slip Technic Nieve tiles by Porcelanosa. Kenneth Cobonpue's low chairs and Tom Dixon lights are mixed with customized pieces.


Heim Interiors pursues perfection in a QC home renovation

The clients’ exhaustive descriptions prompted visions of the crisp lines and colors of Miami homes

  • January 10, 2018

  • Written by Sibyl Layag

  • Photographed by Ed Simon

Meeting a perfectionist’s expectations takes a clear vision and an almost manic fixation on quality workmanship. Judging from the expressions of absolute contentment by the homeowners of a newly-renovated Quezon City home, the designers of Heim Interiors were just as persnickety as their finicky clients needed them to be. The grueling renovation work drove the family away from home for two years, but for them, it was worth it. “We were willing to rent a place and be away from home that long so every detail would be perfect, and we wouldn’t have to fix a thing once we moved in,” the wife said.

Heima Interiors masterfully indulged their client's pining for an immaculate white home with touches of warmth, except some surfaces aren't really white, but a shade called "Drizzle Blue." Walls washed with the delicate tint (for example, those underneath and opposite the staircase) keep the antiseptic hospital feel at bay while maintaining a clean, bright look. The art piece by Nikki Luna adds texture to the silken space.
Heim Interiors masterfully indulged their client’s pining for an immaculate white home with touches of warmth, except some surfaces aren’t really white, but a shade called “Drizzle Blue.” Walls washed with the delicate tint (for example, those underneath and opposite the staircase) keep the antiseptic hospital feel at bay while maintaining a clean, bright look. The art piece by Nikki Luna adds texture to the silken space.

The house was built in 2004, and they bought it two years later. “It looked okay when we got it. But as time went on, we noticed so many things wrong with the house and w anted to fix every single thing,” she added. The issue was not just the house no longer matched their aesthetic. The workmanship just wasn’t up to par—sliding doors that stuck and screeched, tiles that came off of the floors, painted surfaces that blistered or attracted an inordinate amount of grime, and terminations and corners that just didn’t square. Issues like ambient noise level, wasted space, cramped corners, and poorly lit areas niggled at the couple, their discontent growing as the years passed. Renovation work started in 2013, and they moved back in September 2015.

A lover of color, Rossy Yabut just had to inject a pop of it here and there. The high-backed chartreuse armchairs by Dimensione contrast beautifully with the low-backed Roche Bobois sofa, which matches the muted color scheme of the rest of the space.
The lanai hosts choice pieces by Kenneth Cobonpue consistent with the color palette of the interiors. Right: Taking her cue from the homeowners’ casual lifestyle, Yabut wanted them to be able to use all the spaces in the house and allow movement between areas to be natural and free-flowing. For instance, taking down the walls separating the formal dining area from the rest of the house dispelled the old feeling of primness and confinement, and made the space now feel relaxed and congenial. The floors are low-maintenance non-slip Technic Nieve tiles by Porcelanosa.
The kitchen is the homeowners’ favorite spot, where close friends chat over coffee, and where the kids have their classmates over for merienda.

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“It’s been more than a year since, but everything still looks brand new,” the husband said. Indeed, the renovation has removed all traces of datedness. The result is a timeless minimalist look with a consistent maaliwalas or bright feel throughout the house—just the way the homeowners want. “The clients’ requirement was straight to the point: they wanted a bright, light, minimal, and clutter-free home,” said Rossy Yabut, design principal of Heima. “They knew what they wanted from the beginning, and for a designer, that’s a dream.” Perhaps not so pleasant for the architect who came in before Yabut and spent months taking many detailed instructions and revisions from the couple, who were adamant about how each space was to work. Still, husband and wife weren’t satisfied and were close to despairing until Yabut was enlisted.

The study’s walls are clad with Graphicoat glass, making it functional as a whiteboard for the kids (both for study and play). In other areas of the house, Graphicoat was also used as an accent to break the flatness of all-matte white walls.

According to Yabut, she listened to the clients’ exhaustive descriptions, which prompted visions of the crisp lines and colors of Miami homes, with lots of natural light streaming in. Yabut and her Heim Interiors design team tore down walls to open up the first-floor area. The kitchen and the dining area traded spaces so the outside view could be enjoyed from the kitchen, where the family adores hanging out. “If there’s one room we love, it’s the kitchen,” they said. “We eat all our meals here; we spend a lot of our time here. We just love the refreshing view of the pool.” The living area with sliding glass doors on two sides could easily have become a hot and glaring spot in the house, but deep, deep eaves keep it cool and serene. The lanai outside acts like a buffer, keeping the noise and splashing of children in the pool at a distance.

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Yabut’s calm and self-assured demeanor whenever meeting with them and her quiet and uncompromising stance with the contractor and workers immediately inspired confidence in the clients. The sticking point came when it was time to paint the house. The homeowners wanted an all-white interior, but Yabut, a lover of color, was recommending applying Drizzle Blue—like a very cool and light powder blue mixed with a dab of dove gray—on several walls. They were unenthusiastic, but Yabut had been proven right every time thus far. “We couldn’t imagine what the blue would look like with the white, but we trusted her and ended up loving it,” they said.

Another Cobonpue piece, the king-size bed, lords over the master bedroom.

Wood elements and touches of gray further soften the starkness. All unnecessary décor were eschewed for choice pieces of furniture and artwork. Husband and wife are no fans of the lived-in look. Hidden cabinets and hidden storage abound all over the house to keep it looking immaculate. Incredibly, the kids have embraced their parents’ passion for tidiness. When we got there, the only signs children lived in the house were two small pairs of slippers parked by the staircase. The upstairs spaces are clean; they walk around barefoot or in socks, Japanese style. Everyone’s everyday shoes are stored in a revolving glass cabinet in a hidden passageway to the garage.

Heim Interiors and Porcelanosa worked wonders over the pre-renovation master bath, which was cramped and dark, by retiling the whole room and making use of glass dividers to let small pools of light softly illumine the interiors.
Heim Interiors and Porcelanosa worked wonders over the pre-renovation master bath, which was cramped and dark, by retiling the whole room and making use of glass dividers to let small pools of light softly illumine the interiors.
All bathrooms were finished and fitted with Porcelanosa. The designers made no changes to the floor area of the bathroom, but post-renovation, it now feels a lot more spacious. The floor tiles are Ferroker Aluminio, the walls, Glaciar, accented by Diamond White and Provenza Natural. The Almond Krio bathtub, with its asymmetrical shape and soft matte finish is a standout.

Before renovation, the house was always dark even at daytime the children had difficulty studying. So another thing the homeowners appreciate about the renovated home is the excellent lighting, a mix of both natural and indoor, which complete the wide-open feel of the house, as opposed to its oppressively cramped pre-renovation look. “If we were to give one piece of advice to someone thinking of doing home renovation, we would tell them lighting is imperative,” the homeowners said. They also advise would-be renovators to be patient, as good quality and workmanship can never be rushed and should never be compromised: “We don’t like the idea of moving in and then discovering yet another thing that needs to be worked on,” they said. “We didn’t want to have any regrets.” The highest compliment they could pay the interior designer? “You know how renderings always look so perfect? Well, what they showed us in the perspectives was exactly how the house ended up looking like!” 

Heim Interiors QC House Pre-renovation

In addition to the owners’ complaints about unusable spaces and inferior workmanship, the house pre-renovation was cluttered and lacked sophistication.

The living area is still where it used to be except there no longer walls separating it from the rest of the ground floor.

The kitchen and dining area swapped places so the kitchen would have the view of the pool, as the homeowners spend more time there and generally enjoy seeing the outdoors.

This article first appeared in BluPrint Vol 1 2017. Edits were made for Bluprint.ph.