Eclectic dreams with Ramon Antonio

Published July 23, 2021, 11:23 AM

by Philip Cu Unjieng

Turning your house into a Ramon Antonio home

While our title does reference Philip Dick’s short stories and Giorgio Moroder’s song, it’s an apt allusion to the design philosophy of renowned architect, Ramon Antonio. For to reside in a Ramon Antonio home is to live in timeless, eclectic elegance. His masterful eclecticism is not just assimilating a variety of influences and looks, but it’s a thoughtful amalgamating of these inspirations to arrive at a singular expression of taste, function, design, modernity, and classicism—all blended into a unique home.

Ramon Antonio

Call it wizardry, a magic touch, or what it truly is, a careful assembling of seemingly disparate elements into a unified look but Ramon Antonio has been creating these homes for decades now. And you wouldn’t be wrong to presume that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as Ramon is the son of Pablo Antonio, a National Artist for Architecture.

When I spoke to Ramon recently, my aim was to capture a glimpse of the man behind these homes, what keeps him going, and to hopefully tease out some tips on home improvement from him. For the reality is that while not many of us can live in a Ramon Antonio home, we can dream and pick up some things from his experience and acumen.

For Ramon, his main influence will forever be his father. “He would take me along, visiting his job sites, and I learned so much, particularly on designing for the tropics,” he says. “I was fortunate as my father guided me, instilling the importance of being open to incorporating various influences into our tropical country. It was my start with eclecticism.”

“The trend today is towards modern, clean-cut lines,” Ramon continues. “Tropical Asian is still a favorite. And for me, mixing modern, contemporary, the mid-century with touches of Classic, Asian, and Western, will always be timeless.”

Asking him to divulge a little bit, to clue us in on how he sources, Ramon smiles. I could imagine him thinking if he should. If there’s one special aspect of the Ramon Antonio home, it’s his finishing touches, the way he makes everything look lived-in and inviting, yet picture-perfect. So Ramon, in an expansive mood, offers this: “Casa de Memoria is a great source for us designers. There, we find the opportunity to acquire collectibles, whether it be furniture or accessories, from Europe and Asia. It’s always exciting to discover great finds.”

Yes, I advise my clients to check out this auction house,” Ramon explains. “Their selection is very continental, and so many choices. Their items are well-curated.’ And that would be it, as it’s never wise to give away too many trade secrets. And if on your own, you’d like to scour, then bid for that irresistible conversation piece, that accessory that makes your ‘tablescape’ that much more intriguing and interesting—you now know where to head to. It’s all about acquiring that lot or piece that actually strikes a personal chord; whether it be connected to your travels in the past, or something in your memory banks. An item that says something to you.”

Here’s an array of lots that are part of the upcoming July 31st Tercero auction of Casa de Memoria. And I’ve purposely skewed it more towards home items, as opposed to Art:

Chinese Blue & White Porcelain Pourer (18th century)

Spanish Colonial Bronze Mission Bells from South America

Pair of Louis XV style Fauteuils, 19th century, and I love how there’s an Oriental object beside this classical European piece

Detail of Ivory dog head knob of wooden cane (early 20th century)

‘Bodegon Onirico Junto al Mar’ by Spanish Surrealist Martin Zerolo

During this pandemic, routines changed, daily activities were altered; and asked to find some silver lining in all this, Ramon has this to offer, “Families became closer, the work from home scheme was a chance for great family bonding.” And he adds that homeowners had the opportunity to relax and enjoy their homes more. He notes that Lanais and Gardens were favorite hangout places for families.

In closing, I’d like to share these pearls of wisdom from Ramon, words that apply to everyone, “What keeps me going constantly is my motivation to always move forward. Keep a young mind, always open to new ideas, keep searching, keep reinventing. Enjoying one’s work is also essential.”

For those interested in the Casa De Memoria Tercero auction, previews are ongoing until July 30, 2021. You may set an appointment to view the items in person at [email protected] To explore the auction pieces online, visit The Tercero auction is powered by Smart Infinity. For more information, visit, call (02) 8253 3994, or e-mail [email protected]