Sea In The City

first published in Manila Bulletin, 2004

A Porthole Peek Into Karen Padilla’s Private Pulo

ABS-CBN reporter Karen Padilla drops anchor in her new home. Marooned in the middle of land-locked Quezon City, Karen decided to build a little island cove of her very own. With the help of her loved ones, especially her mom, pulling off the quirky design feat turned out to be smooth sailing. Karen’s airy sala feels more like a beach side park than the inside of a townhouse. Instead of the expected couch and coffee table, we have a park bench, a lounge chair, and an abaca rug stamped with nautical patterns. But what Karen is most proud of is her little strip of beachfront property. It’s not an actual piece of real estate but a unique floor decoration composed of wood, glass, shells, and sand that she thought up herself. She had the wooden base for the sand made of old planks, then topped it with her personal shell and starfish collection. Behind it stand a row of empty bottles, like you might find littering the sands at an island resort, gathered from the remnants of various celebrations through the years. This provides a clever example of turning would-be discards into wonderful decor.

The seaside motif extends to the next floor where a miniature lighthouse beams down through the balustrades. The second floor (or upper deck) is also where we find Karen’s not-so-buried treasure in the form of an antique pull-out sofa bed. This ancient piece of furniture, which Karen utilizes as a couch, is of an indeterminate age, but its solid craftsmanship and richly textured wood attest to it definitely having seen several generations of use. “It’s gone through three different houses already, passed on from one family member to another,” Karen confirms. “The stories this sofa can tell! But we’re keeping them all secret,” she jokes. She’s probably hinting that it contains a hidden stash of pirate’s gold secreted within the old timbers. Although a simple piece, it’s sturdy construction hearkens back to the days when furniture was meant to last. “We’ve had it re-finished and re-upholstered. Because of its simple design, we decided that a simple material like katsa, or cheesecloth would work best for the cushions. It’s very comfortable.” Standing beside the venerable couch is an equally aged-looking bookshelf, containing a collection of racy bestsellers that would do very well as beach reading.

Karen apologizes for her home appearing a bit stripped down. She explains that she isn’t completely done with unpacking and arranging her things. But as it is, the uncluttered spaces, bright colors, and nautical accents of her home create a light and breezy living area where you can almost smell the ocean and hear the waves.

-text by Jude Defensor, some rights reserved

Advertisements
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: