A Picturesque Three-Storey Townhouse

In this 72sqm dream home, black-and-white details, charming elements, and small space solutions reign supreme

Photography: Jilson Tiu Interior Designer: Anla Li-Tan

What’s the secret behind a successful dream home? Aside from having a theme in mind, some pegs, and the budget, it all boils down to finding a trusted partner who can help bring it all together and deliver the space you’ve always wanted. For the owners of this 72sqm, three-storey townhouse in Quezon City, stumbling upon the past projects of interior designer Anla Li-Tan online proved to be a blessing. “We found the projects so impressive, to the point that we’d like her to design our dream home. Luckily, we got in touch [with her] easily, set a site walk-through, and scheduled the first meeting,” shares the man of the house.

Given the owners’ trust and confidence, Anla incorporated the black-and-white theme the husband wanted and the pieces the lady of the house longed for. However, challenges became inevitable, too. With only 24sqm per floor, Anla had to come up with a clever layout, a few design adjustments, and a bunch of storage options. “When designing, you need to take risks and [trust your] gut feeling,” says the designer.

From the master bedroom to the kids’ rooms—it’s easy to see the thought and effort put into maximizing the space. After a four month renovation period, the family is more than ready to move in. “When we saw our newly designed home, we really fell in love with it. It looks so elegant and very relaxing to live in. It exceeded our expectations,” says the owner.

Living Area

A sliding door serves as the main entrance to the home. Guests can instantly see the living and dining areas once they step into the space. The living area features a laid-back, industrial feel—with its white brick wall, comfy seating, and cozy lighting.

Meanwhile, the coffee table holds decor, a couple of faux plants, and the remote controls.

Living Area

To inject the black-and-white theme, the designer showcased wall accents that follow the said combo. To keep the space from being too masculine, Anla also incorporated hints of gray, taupe, and brown as seen in the chosen furnishings.

Living Area

To create an illusion of a bigger space, Anla defined the dining area with mirrors. Following the principles of Feng shui, she made sure that these reflective panels aren't directly facing the main door.

It's quite difficult to find the right dining table and the designer is fortunate enough to see this extendable piece from L+A Design Concept Furnishing, Inc. Paired with sleek chairs from EDIA, the table with marble top can accommodate around four to six people.

Living and Dining Areas

Even if the space is a bit tight, the first floor doesn't look cramped at all. The colors used add to the light and airy feel, while the accents define each space. Since visitors can easily see the living area, the challenge was how to mount the TV and keep the area cozy.

Anla opted to add a subtle trellis divider that doubles as an accent element. It houses the living area perfectly without disrupting the space.


To set the mood as well as to block the sun's harsh rays, sheer curtains and thick drapes were used. The kitchen may be compact, but it has enough space for tasks and storage nooks for belongings.


The townhouse was turned over with an L-shaped kitchen. "I had the old one demolished because it's too small. I maximized the space with a U-shaped kitchen," Anla shares. Given the changes, the owners have enough space for meal preparation, utensils, food, and other belongings.

As seen on top of the refrigerator, the designer maximized the available space up to the ceiling and turned it into storage.


The open shelves can be used to display decor, potted plants, and jars of sweet treats. Anla chose a glass splashback for the kitchen—a material that works well with the color of the cabinets. It also adds to the light, airy feel of the cooking nook.

Powder Room

Due to the tight space, having a regular swing door will cause it to bump against the sofa. To remedy the situation, Anla installed a sliding barn door. This solution adds warmth to the space and gives it a country touch.

Powder Room

Prior to the renovation, the powder room looks too tiny to be used. To make it functional, Anla added a corner sink, mirrors to expand the space, and patterned wall finishes. The addition of faux potted plants give it a refreshing vibe as well.


Proper lighting was added to illuminate the staircase. To keep within the black-and-white directive, the steps were painted in the said colors. Wall art and framed prints spruce up the wall on each landing.

Master Bedroom

The owners' favorite spot in the home, the master bedroom highlights an elegant feel with a touch of whimsy. To make sure it will follow the overall theme of the house, Anla changed the flooring, installed mirrors to make it seem bigger, and added built-in storage units that mimic a walk-in closet. Although not seen in the photo, a slim niche was also incorporated in between shelves to hold bottles of perfume, decor, and other knickknacks.

The mini chandelier that adds glam to the space is a prized find from MC Home Depot.

Master Bedroom

One of the things the man of the house requested for the room was the inclusion of a four-poster bed, his wife's wish. However, given the available space, Anla considered this as a welcome challenge. "Kasya ba 'yunMaliit lang ang space, 38cm nalang ang matitira on both sides," she recalls. To fulfill the owners' dream, the designer had the bed customized and the final product fits perfectly—with enough space left for bedside storage.

The bench at the foot of the bed can be used when watching TV. Find a similar piece at Our Home.

Master Bedroom

If you look closely, Anla added a few details to spruce up the wall behind the bed. The sleeping space is flanked by two slim mirrors, while a patterned wallpaper defines the middle. Soft furnishings in brown make the bed extra inviting, while two lighting pieces help set the mood.

Master Bedroom

The designer had to make further adjustments to be able to add enough lighting. Having a dropped ceiling enabled Anla to add cove lighting for an extra dramatic feel. Lights were also added under the bed to keep the mood cozy and relaxing.

Look closely—notice the wall behind the TV? Those are laminates that look like tiles. The chosen materials add a luxe, hotel-like feel to the bedroom. An extra shelf was installed above the TV to hold decor and accessories.

Girl's Bedroom

One of Anla's favorites in the townhouse, this tiny bedroom features clever small space hacks, customized pieces, and an inviting feel. The designer was able to incorporate a sleeping space, a closet, and even a table for reading.

Girl's Bedroom

The elevated customized bed has steps that double as storage nooks, a mini shelf on the side, and a cabinet for clothes and other belongings underneath. Since it covered a part of the window, Anla used big curtains to create an illusion of a bigger space.

Girl's Bedroom

The built-in desk serves as a reading nook and a study area. A chair from Our Home completes the look.

Boy's Bedroom

For the boy's bedroom, Anla fixed the layout to make sure he has a comfy sleeping space, a closet, and a desk for getting schoolwork done. The upholstered headboard that reaches up to the ceiling makes the room look bigger than it really is. To keep up with the home's look, black-and-white wall accents spruce up the wall, while neutral sheets and pillows complete the bed.

Boy's Bedroom

Aside from a desk and a sleek chair, wall-mounted shelves were installed to accommodate books, decor, and other must-haves. It can also be used to showcase the occupant's collections.


To create a cohesive look, Anla opted to redo all the bathrooms from scratch. The private spaces now follow a black-white-and-gray theme, with Machuca-inspired tiles sprucing up the floor.

Ready for your own makeover? Click here to get in touch with interior designer Anla Li-Tan. You can also e-mail her at: anlali.tan[at] To see more of her projects, follow her on Instagram—@anlalidesigns.

Do you have an RL-inspired home? Send us photos on Facebook and we might feature you, too!

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