Pacita moved to Washington from Manila with very mixed emotions, as once again she was leaving her family and friends in the Philippines. Moreover, she was successfully building an artistic career in the Philippines that she was leaving to begin another new chapter in the U.S. It didn't take Pacita long to settle in and make new friends in the art world, but finding a new studio/home was more difficult, and it took about 6 months before she and Jack bought a house.
Pacita liked it because it was made of stone and was three stories high, which she thought would give her a lot of room to paint. The stone in particular reminded her of the stone houses on Pacita's native island of Batanes. The inside was the antithesis of what Pacita liked, with Laura Ashley wallpaper, pink walls and fluffy curtains. In the end, stone conquered fluffy pink and the studio/home makeover began in earnest once Pacita moved in.
The pink and beige was replaced by wine red, mango and cobalt blue - not your typical Washington decor. Pacita solved her studio problem by taking two rooms in which to paint. Over the next seven years Pacita continued to customize the house and installed hand-painted tiles brought back from Mexico, cushions from Morocco, mirrored cloth from India, tapa bark cloth from the South Pacific and shells from the Philippines. Not surprisingly, the Washington Post showed the house on the cover of its weekly magazine with the title "Hot House, An Artist Turns up the Heat with Vibrant, Paint Box Colors".