A Three-Storey Old Office Space Transformed into a Bright Family Home

Colorful furnishings and playful pieces fill up a formerly cold, austere workspace

Original Article: Coni Tejada Photography: Miguel Nacianceno Styling: Issa Villar

A house doesn’t necessarily need to be a single structure made out and built a certain way. The Legarda family turned their old three-storey office into their family home with the right reconfiguration and re-layout of each floor, warm hues, wooden furnishings, and vibrant accent pieces. What used to be a structure made of concrete, slate floors, and stainless steel appliances has become the family’s inviting residence that reflects their lifestyle.

The first floor welcomes guests into a formal receiving area, living room, dining room, and kitchen. Off to the side is the home theater, a favorite spot for the Legardas’ daughters. The theme is modern Asian, dominated by rich reds and browns, and complemented by Oriental wood furniture.

At the second level are the family’s more casual and laidback living room, kitchen, and dining area. The open layout shows off a smaller dining room, while the living room looks more lived in with its invitingly plush almost Art Deco style sofas. The low ceiling does not hinder space, as each room maximizes natural light and space with its large picture windows. The bedroom is set off at the far end to limit noise from the common areas.

Finally, the third floor holds the homeowners’ daughters’ playroom – a whimsical space adorned with colorful child-sized dollhouses that double as shelves. The room is spacious enough for its young occupants, which at the same time, is used as a dance workshop for the girls.

The Legarda home’s renovation leaves no traces of its industrial past – it is a warm, cozy abode for this young family who love to entertain and enjoy artistic activities within the confines of their abode.

Read the original article (“A Multi-Storied Life”) in the August 2006 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details.


From the outside, the house looks bright and airy.


The former office space was turned into a cozy family home, even from the outside, with the creation of a small garden. Greenery line the perimeter walls, while the rock and pebbled grounds give an organic and very natural feel around the three-storey structure.

Formal Living Room

Large picture windows bring in natural light into this formal living room in neutral beige. Olive green and purple dominates the room, leaving no traces of the space’s former industrial vibe.

Informal Living Room

No traces of its industrial, office space past in this room. Colorfully modern and plush sofas provide ample seating.  

Informal Living Room

Well-placed lighting keep the room bright and warm.

Cozy Corner

This area highlights different pops of color that work will with the black and red shades.

Space Planning Tip

Behind the big sofa is a work desk which may be used as a makeshift home office. The TV set is hidden behind a cabinet with sliding doors to keep it stored away when not in use.

Informal Dining Room

At the second floor is the family’s informal dining room, with its 6-seater dining table and red accent wall. A simple gray area rug sits at the center to add warmth to the room’s clean lines. Seats were upholstered in rich red to complement the homeowner’s preference for vibrant colors around the house.

Formal Dining Room

A 12-seater mahogany table was custom-made for the family, who frequently entertained big groups. The room’s butter yellow walls adds sunny vibe to the formality of the room.

Informal Kitchen

The kitchen is highly functional and carefully laid out. The stove lies at the heart of the room, while the sink and counters line the perimeter of the room, with an breakfast nook located off to the side of one of the counters. A smaller, two-seater table is attached to the center island, which makes for a perfect prep station while cooking.

Formal Kitchen

This industrial showroom kitchen may look intimidating, but its red cabinetry give it a less stiff vibe.


The Legardas’ home theater can beat a mall cinema any day, with its muted lighting, purplish-brown walls, wide screen, well-stocked DVD library, and Lazy Boy seats.


Right at the back of the home theater is a bar for entertaining guests and mixing drinks to enjoy while watching a movie.


Truly a haven for girls, the playroom’s green and yellow striped walls create a playful space while the detailed dollhouse with miniature furnishings and décor is the star of the room. The tables and chairs were decorated with the help of the girls’ art teacher. 

Playroom Detail

Kids will love this playroom in bright hues and fun shapes. These shelves are not only fun and youthful, but also provide storage space and keep things neat and orderly. 

Playroom Detail

Bookshelves in the form of houses make the space prettier and fitting for its smaller occupants. Chairs were upholstered in an assortment of fabrics that are young, playful and whimsical.

Playroom Detail

The mural and cabinets were also decorated by the girls’ art teacher.

Master Bedroom

The couple initially wanted a Japanese-style bedroom with a low bed. However, their interior designers voted against it as its occupants are quite tall and might have a hard time with a low bed. To compromise, a platform bed was built. The red chaise lounge is perfect for lounging on or reading.


Looking for a more modern way to display your treasured photos and mementos? This shelving’s irregular shape keeps to the room’s clean lines, yet it isn’t boring or bland. 


In the same vein, this bookshelf in the form of an “E” is a showstopper.

Outdoor Area

The outdoor area highlights a grotto in one corner and a variety of plants. To enjoy a moment of calm and peace, one can simply take a stroll outside.


Latest Stories

This One Home Appliance Can Cause A Fire

Hint: Did you straighten your hair this morning?

Would You Live Inside This 9sqm Water Pipe?

This modern designer studio unit (inside a water pipe!) in Hong Kong may be the home of the future

Miss Universe Philippines Catriona Gray Is An Awesome Artist

We discovered the Binibining Pilipinas-Universe winner has some mad painting skills!

8 Properties That Will Make You Want to Move to Pampanga ASAP

When it comes to investing in real estate, Pampanga is the place to be right now

Team Kramer Gives A Tour of Their New Home

The house will have an elevator, an infinity pool, and a classroom for the kids

17 Important Loan Terms That You Should Know

Buying a house? Here’s an A-to-T glossary of financial terms that won’t leave you in the dark.

A Loft-Type Bachelor Pad Found Inside a Family Home

The owner worked with interior designer Erika Uichanco to transform an ordinary bedroom into a remarkable, condo-like personal space

This Hostel in Makati Has Calming Bedrooms Perfect for Staycations

The bonus? You get design ideas for the different rooms in your house, too!

Lazada Plans to Launch an Online Grocery This Year

Shopping for the home will be easier as the e-commerce startup aims to build cold storage hubs in Metro Manila and nearby provinces

What Kind of Furniture Do Millennials Look For?

Are they all about aesthetics or do they care about functionality, too?

The Ultimate Kamuning Shopping Guide

Once the go-to place for affordable fabric and tailoring, this Quezon City district is now a happening place and a treasure trove of hip vintage stores, cool furniture shops, and more

14 Baguio And Ilocos Destinations To Visit On a Summer Weekend

The beginning of summer vacation is the perfect time to head up north! Here are fun and easy places to visit and shop at.
Load More Stories

Get inspiring design ideas and handy hints.
Subscribe to our newsletter now!