State Of Calm: Style Inspirations For A Tranquil Abode - Luxe Living

One expat couple’s home is an oasis of peace with lush natural surroundings and Zen interiors that rejuvenate the senses. 

This is an excerpt from Lifestyle Asia’s May 2023 Issue. 

Natural elements combined with a calming palette bring serenity to an expat couple’s concrete cocoon and a businesswoman’s provincial plunge pool. 

Tranquil and peaceful home style inspiration
The homeowner welcomes guests with her signature gestures, such as the hurricane lamps, floral arrangement in a traditional wooden batya.


As a businesswoman with a packed schedule, the homeowner dreamed of a provincial retreat not just for herself and her family, but for friends as well. For her getaway, the homeowner chose a secluded mountain-top property with lush, mature greens – the perfect setting for rejuvenating weekends. There, she built a second home and a separate guest suite on the property’s highest elevations.

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Tranquil and peaceful home style inspiration

With the intention of giving her guests the ultimate treat, a plunge pool was added to the guest suite, carved out of a steep slope to afford unobstructed views of the tree crowns that formed a canopy above the property’s tropical ground foliage. It can be accessed from the outside via short flight of steps, or through the en suite bathroom. 

Tranquil and peaceful home style inspiration
The lush greens combined with natural stones used for the plunge pool create a tranquil atmosphere.

Cool water from a natural spring fills the pool, which can be heated when the weather gets too chilly. Despite the modern convenience, the natural vibe is preserved with deliberate touches. That includes cladding the walls surrounding the pool with charcoal-colored lava stone, and using granite for the stair steps and the pool’s coping. 

Kebo Brown and Dr. Karen Hennessy
Texas-born designer Kebo Brown with his wife, Filipina-American epidemiologist Dr. Karen Hennessy and their beloved French Bulldog, Kopi.

The businesswoman paid close attention to the details to provide a relaxing experience for her guests, most of whom stay for the weekend. The suite is surrounded by carefully-tended tropical foliage that includes rare fern trees, pink and red anthuriums that flower all year round, and bromeliad varieties. 

Tranquil and peaceful home style inspiration
Located on the ground floor, the salon was designed as a flexible space which can also be converted to an intimate dining area. The couple calmed the space with a deep charcoal anchor color complemented with neutral tones.

The pool itself is dressed up to welcome visitors with the homeowner arranging greens in a traditional wooden batya. Towels are rolled and tied with leaves from the surrounding gardens, and propped in a locally-sourced granite lusong, or mortar. For nighttime dips, hurricane lamps on the stair steps and around the pool cast a warm and romantic glow. In the setting, guests can enjoy a rejuvenating soak amidst the calming stillness of nature. 

Read more by purchasing a copy of the Lifestyle Asia May 2023 magazine via or select newsstands in National Bookstore and Fully Booked. Subscribe to the E-Magazine via Readly, Magzter, and Press Reader. 

Photos by Ed Simon of Kliq, Inc.

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