Arcy Gayatin brings new meaning to personal style, creating a home that is breezy, comfortable and in fashion.
Writer Twenty Muñoz
Photographer Paola Aseron
There is a truism that rules the fashion industry—trends come and go, and it is completely up to us to follow it or not. There is a caveat, however: do not follow trends blindly, lest you fall victim to it. None knows this better than Arcy Gayatin, who has been dressing the women of Cebu for over a quarter of a century now. The secret to her success is simple, one that is based on what she knows as truth as well—“I believe clothes should fulfill their primary purpose, which is to be worn,” Arcy says.
Her no-nonsense approach led her to design clothes that are as creative as they are easy.
“I don't believe in being uncomfortable, let alone, suffering for fashion. I think the best-dressed women are always easy in their own skin,” she says.
“When we moved here in 1992, it was a country house. Our deck overlooked a lake, so we thought that country [style] was the way to go,” the designer recalls.
But nature had other plans, and sadly, the lake that inspired the family to take on the country style, had but dried up. Eight years after, the house evolved into a modern Asian style, an architectural trend that at the time was starting to pick up.
But rarely does creativity stop and settle. So in 2010, the house saw yet another re-design, but one that wasn’t exactly as clear-cut as the first two design themes. “I don't think there is one singular style that defines it… the current look does not really refer to a particular style or period,” says Arcy. The actual redecoration took three months, following a phase of extensive repair work around the house.
The six-bedroom house is now in a state of eclecticism that Arcy herself oversaw, and couldn’t find more satisfying, “Its current look is quite quirky and playful. It doesn't take itself too seriously,” she says, “It's just a happy mix of pieces that I love and tell the house's story.”
The result is an interior that is unapologetic with its mix of colors, patterns and textures. Floral upholstery, for instance, in hues of bright yellows and hot pinks are mixed with ethnic and Asian patterns and motifs, and even animal prints. Contemporary-styled furniture pieces find themselves in a mélange of traditional Filipino, European and Asian pieces.
A good case in point is a brick oven that Arcy had commissioned to be constructed at the backyard for her husband, Bill. “He’s a fantastic cook, so that was a good excuse to get one,” Arcy says. The oven is completely made from bricks that had come from her parents’ old bakery. “So although the oven itself is new, there's family history behind it and the bricks it is made out of are 46 years old,” she explains.
Though Arcy may be a fashion designer, and though the house had been designed and decorated twice over, rest assured she does not change the look of her house as often as she changes shirts, “Thankfully, unlike fashion, your home is not at the mercy of trends. It has a more permanent quality to it. After all, it's a reflection of who you are and the kind of life you live.”-SPACE
More beautiful homes and design inspiration on our Perfect Set Up issue (Nove-Jan 2012).