Ariel Rivera was a licensed architect in Canada, beforegetting discovered as a singer when he took a vacation in the Philippines.
That's why when he and wife Gelli de Belen decided torenovate their New Manila house instead of buying another property—theyalready have a designer's masterpiece townhouse in Tagaytay that was featuredin the October 2006 issue of YES!—Ariel took charge in its completerenovation and redesigning.
Gelli tells the story of their decision torenovate their house. "Lagi kaming, ‘E, kung maglilipat tayo ng house, we willhave to get another mortgage, we will have to work hard, nang todo-todo.' Well,siya, talagang nawo-work. E, ako? Sis lang, di ba? ‘Tapos, kailangangmag-iiba kami ng lifestyle, kasi hindi kami makaka-travel. Kasi we'll be payingfor the house. So, naisip namin, ‘Ano ba'ng priority natin? Bahay omag-travel?' Aba, e, mag-travel! A house is a house is a house. Especially withme—hindi ako metikuloso at maarte. Basta meron akong tinitirhan, maganda-gandanaman, ‘yong maayos lang, doon na ako. So, naisip namin, ‘Sige, renovate nalang tayo.' Less gastos."
Ariel and Gelli's New Manila house was first featured in theSeptember 2001 issue of YES! magazine. Back then, their house had asimple, country-style design with almost everything made of wood.
Sevenyears later and after the renovation, YES! features the Riveras's NewManila house again, which now has a minimalist but functional andmasculine look, courtesy of Ariel.
But it was not all Ariel though, Gelli also put in someneeded "girly" aspects of home design, which Ariel admits is not hisdepartment. "I'll do the structural—okey ako diyan. ‘Yang nagbibigay ng kulaysa bahay, ‘yong mga paintings diyan, paintings dito, ‘yong mga whatever itis—that needs a woman's touch."
People who like things clean, orderly, no clutter, andfuss-free will like the house. The house also highlights the people livingthere, with Ariel, Gelli, and their two sons Joaqui and Julio's photosdisplayed around the house.
See more of the changes Ariel and Gelli made in their NewManila house and read more about the Riveras in the August 2008 issue of YES! magazine. Now available!