Building & Renovating

Achieve Your Dream Kitchen By Doing These Two Things

Interior designer Vera Villarosa-Orila gives her expert advice

Photography: Kurt Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions (Main Photo)

Who doesn't want a pretty, functional, and peg-worthy kitchen? Many of us have dreamed of working on a kitchen renovation project, but many are also worried about the costs it will entail. Just like in any other endeavor, planning ahead and prioritizing can go a long way.

If you're unsure about the first step you need to take to improve the kitchen, we've got tips from interior designer Vera Villarosa-Orila that can help you. Vera answered two important queries from readers and her answers can be your starting point. These topics involve two of the most important elements in the kitchen:

Change your countertop.

Q: I'm renovating my kitchen, but I don't have enough budget for a marble or granite countertop. Can I use tiles instead? What color or pattern can I use? —Jen, Marikina City

A. You can use tiles for your new kitchen countertop, especially if you are trimming down on construction costs. Get the bigger-sized tiles (80x80cm and 60x120cm sizes) in order to minimize joints in between tiles. This will mean fewer areas to apply grout on, which will mean there are less parts that dirt will adhere to. There are tiles available at our local home depots ranging from P500 to P800 (for the 80x80cm) and P900 to P1,500 (for the 60x120cm size). These have various printed designs that resemble marble, granite, travertine, and the like.

Visit Wilcon Depot for granite tiles you can work with.

Invest in new appliances.

Q: Are there stylish kitchen appliances and utensils out there? Where can I find them? —Mae, Caloocan City

A: We do have stylish, streamlined appliances in the market. Affordable brands such as LG, GE Appliances, and Samsung have sleeker designs in their mid to high-end lines. Some refrigerators also feature glass and mirror doors. If you are willing to invest more on your appliances, check out Sub-Zero, Wolf (with showrooms on Pioneer St., Mandaluyong City and at Residences in Greenbelt, Makati City), and SMEG (showroom at Shangri- La Plaza East Wing and Serendra). As for small appliances and utensils, you have a lot of options at Rustan’s home section.

Shopping for appliances soon? Here are picks worth a second look:

LG Dios Door-in-Door Refrigerator

Smeg Victoria Range Cooker,


Bugatti Salt and Pepper Shaker, available at Rustan's Department Store

Got a design or homekeeping question? We'd love to help! Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

This snippet originally appeared in the November 2015 issue of Real Living Magazine.

More on

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6 Affordable Kitchen Renovation Ideas

6 Tips To Help You Achieve Your Most Organized Kitchen


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