Home Improvement

Designer Q and A for October 26 (Part 1)

Interior Designer Lilli Beth Gelvezon shares how one can store bags in a studio unit and more design ideas for homeowners


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Read the original article ("Ask It”) in the May 2006 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to summitnewsstand.com.ph/real-living for more details. 

Windowless Room

Q: We are adding rooms to our home and to maximize space, will make full use of the lot area. Unfortunately, we will be bounded by firewalls. What can you suggest that will bring in natural light and ventilation to the bedrooms? —Liza, Sto. Tomas, Batangas

A: Proper ventilation is a vital ingredient for a healthy home. With a climate like ours, big windows and openings are luxuries worth the investment. So if there’s an opportunity to have even the tiniest window, take it.  For Joan, I strongly recommend that you re-do your floor plan so that your daughter’s bedroom has a window. A windowless room is not a very relaxing environment to sleep in. That area with no natural ventilation or light should be reserved for a bathroom or storage room instead (but install ceiling vents/exhaust fans). In your case, Liza, don’t enclose the whole remaining lot area. Leave even just a small space to create an open-top mini veranda. Use sliding doors and big windows to open up area so you can take advantage of the natural light and air that come in. To prevent overheating, install a trellised roof and put lots of plants. 

Studio Storage

Q: I live in a studio type unit. I have a cabinet with room only for my clothes and my bags end up getting flattened on the cabinet floor. Any budget friendly tips on how can I store my bags?—Ria Villaflor

A: The space under the bed is a perfectly good (albeit oft unused) storage space. It may seem small but you’ll be surprised how much you can hide under there! Place your bags in plastic storage boxes or bins, which are available in different sizes and colors at Make Room in Rockwell and at most SM Department Stores. I recommend you get storage boxes with built-in wheels so you can easily roll them in and out from under the bed. Another tip: Use one container for your formal bags and another one for your backpacks or sporty bags. If you don’t have space under the bed, smaller storage boxes will easily fit under tables.

Home for the Stewardess

Q: I’m presently working in Greece as stewardess in a luxury yacht. I’m planning to have a two-storey house built. I want the interiors to be simple but beautiful.  But I don’t want it to be expensive. I hope you can advice me on what to do. —Jinky

A: A local architect/interior designer will really be a big help if you want to have a beautiful but inexpensive home because he or she knows where to buy the good quality cheap materials. Also, it would be good to have the assistance of a professional knowledgeable on climate control, building codes, etc. When you look at pictures of modern Mediterranean homes, a lot of them are interpretations of the traditional Mediterranean style: simple but rich. You can save a lot by following the same concept. Go for simple-traditional lines, white plastered walls but contrast them with textured terracotta tiles. Minimal ornamentation is the key to keeping things within budget. Splurge on a few of the major furniture pieces (like the bed and the sofas) and find the rest in second-hand shops. To bring warmth and character to your home, accessorize with personal items you already have – pictures of family and of your travels, souvenirs you’ve collected over the years as a stewardess, etc.      


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