Electric Euphoria: Ricco and Tina Ocampo's Home is Unafraid of Making a Statement - Suite Life

“When one moves to a home that is already built, one needs to respect its provenance and create a sort of livable style that suits my family.”

In middle school, among many friends whose homes made an impression, the house of a classmate, Betina, was one that is always remembered.

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From memory, the house was a minimalist, high-concept dwelling, with art pieces that stood out in sharp relief. There was a lot of glass. For someone used to a home with a lot of clutter, this was the first residence that stood out.

Mid-century pieces are combined with more traditional ones to create whimsy in the space

Betina is the eldest daughter of Ricco and Tina Ocampo, entrepreneurial tastemakers who have left their name on most everything worth knowing: from retail brands to restaurants, the Ocampos have influenced us in ways that, if you are unknowing, you probably don’t realize.

That house visited in early teen-hood seemed to correspond with their entrepreneurial efforts in the late 90s-early 2000s. The brand Anonymous, which was Muji in the Philippines before Muji hit the Philippines, matched the clean aesthetics of their home. 

Rattan furnishing from Sagada

Since then, the family has moved to another home, a few minutes away from the old one. This time, their current abode is very different: built in the 60s, the design makes a statement that corresponds to their current lifestyle.

“When one moves to a home that is already built, one needs to respect its provenance and create a sort of livable style that suits my family,” says Ricco. 

The fanciful setup in the dining room is both wonderful to look at and comfortable to dine in

There is less glass in this house, more walls in unexpected shades of paint: sage greens and pale, mustard yellow.

There is more clutter, but it isn’t messy: it looks thoughtfully chosen, like the patterned carpeted floors of multiple carpets in the living room. In the hands of others, it might have looked slapdash, a half-hearted attempt to cover a problem on the floor, but in the deft hands of the Ocampos, it looks intentional. This is a home unafraid of making a statement.

Detailed looks at trinkets and art collected over the years show the couple’s eye for collecting

Respecting spaces

They have moved 13 times, according to Tina. “Through each move, we have edited and curated all the
pieces that have meaning for us, rather than value or as some would say, ‘status symbol pieces’,” Ricco shares. “In the end, the look and feel are only valuable to the owners rather than the guests.” 

Among these things bought, collected, and appreciated over the years is art: works from Nena Saguil, Macario Vitalis, E. Aguilar Cruz frame their walls, and busts by Guillermo Tolentino and Julie Lluch Dalena line their tables. 
The furnishings are just as eclectic. Items from their children, like “Betina’s mid-century repurposed items, and
my son Emilio’s petrified wood stubs,” are mixed together with rattan furniture from Sagada. 

Ample seating is available everywhere for guests

Ricco maintains that the home is over-crowded. “I still aim to curate and edit and perhaps bring them to another home we are building in the north,” he says of what would be their 14th move.

The aim of this is to love what they own even more. “Th at way we learn to breathe and appreciate space and look
at each piece we have with nostalgia and delight.”

The lanai area is for entertaining, an activity the couple enjoys

As a veritable expert in home design, Ricco advises new home-owners that they must stay true to their own narrative. It is easy to be tempted by aspirational, Pinterest fantasies, but those places are not facets of what makes a true home.

“Stay true to your own narrative. Research, study and listen to your heart on what attract you,” he says. “Design is
meant to be personal not a showroom for others.”

This story was first published in the April 2022 issue of Lifestyle Asia.

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