Should a house have a theme?

When we spent a week in the Visayas a couple of months ago, the last leg of the trip was Roxas City. We have a friend whose parents built their retirement home there and that was where we stayed for three days. Actually, “retirement home” is a bit misleading because my friend’s parents are still very much active with their bangus business. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, they own the fish pond where we witnessed our first bangus harvest. Juinio residence, Roxas City

That’s the house where we stayed. The property is much larger than what you see, actually, the other half having been planted to a magnificent garden.

The thing about the house is the theme around which it has been decorated. Fish — from the entryway to the curtains to the wall ornaments. Figures, right, since the owners are fish pond owners. Speedy and I marveled at the idea. How long did it take our hosts to accumulate all those beautiful fish wood carvings, table top accents, coffee mugs…??

When we decided to buy a new house, one of the first questions that Speedy asked me was what the theme of the house would be. I’ve always been fascinated by unicorns… but where do we look for household items with unicorn design? Unicorns aren’t exactly a popular interior design theme. So, I went for the next best thing — bamboo. Bamboo in a zen context.

BUT. But, you know, it isn’t just my house. It’s our house and I want it to be a reflection of something that we are all passionate about. We all love Apple but we can’t decorate the house with photos of MacBooks and iPods and Steve Jobs, right? The other passion we share is visual art — Speedy with his Garfield paintings; Alex with her manga drawings; Sam and I with our photography. I figured we can decorate our walls with our most creative work. In neutral frames or even without frames (click here to get an idea about what I mean). Ikea’s rimless frames look good too.

Of course, that’s all in the future. We have to move first and get organized and operational before we can even start about themes and decorations. It’s just that I’m too excited and I can’t shut up about the new house. :)