A Look Inside the Charming 47sqm Home of a Real Living Reader

Working with white helped the owner achieve her dream space

Photography: Jilson Tiu Styling: Kamila Arianna Garcia

While many shy away from working with an all-white palette, one of our readers bravely used it in transforming a one-bedroom condo unit she shares with her husband. “I wanted it to be a space where I can express myself, hence, I had it in white so I can play with the colors, details, and theme easily without spending too much. It’s like having a canvas where I can paint anything I want,” shares Celeste.

Inspired by a bevy of ideas gathered from books, magazines, and Real Living, the lady of the house was set on her vision for the space. After contacting an interior designer, Celeste finalized the look of the unit. “She had suggestions as well. We collaborated and she made the 3D drawing for us. When I had a 3D drawing already, my husband started looking for contractors,” she shares. Fortunately, they didn’t have to look far and wide for one. One of the contractors they found lives in the same building and in a similar corner unit. “He had his unit renovated as well so he and his team were already familiar with the layout, the electricals, and the necessary permits,” Celeste recalls.

Celeste’s husband and their contractor had second thoughts about using white, worried that the space might look boring. “I told them to just do it and they will be surprised with the things I can do when I start designing the unit,” she says. After a two-month renovation period, the condo home looks homey and inviting even if they only worked within a specific budget. Truth be told, opting for an all-white palette and making smart choices proved to be a good call. It gives the owners enough room for home improvement projects. “I had to accept that we were on a budget and I had to focus on the details that will still make the space look nice and elegant. There will still be opportunities to improve the space in the future, when our time and resources permit,” Celeste says.

Open Layout

The first time Celeste checked the unit, it was love at first sight. “I’ve always wanted a bright ambiance with natural light coming in. I already liked it a lot because of the big glass windows,” she shares. The abundance of natural light makes the unit look bigger and airy.

Living Area

Celeste’s favorite area in the house is the living area, a special place where the owners can enjoy coffee while admiring the view, entertain guests, relax, and even sleep. An area rug livens up the floor and adds warmth to the space. To keep it from being boring, pops of color were incorporated into the look through furniture and accessories.

Living Area

To stay within their budget, the owners had their old furniture pieces repainted and reupholstered. “My old furniture pieces were in shades of brown. What we did was we drove around Mandaluyong and we found a shop and a furniture factory that can repaint and reupholster the furniture,” shares the lady of the house.

RL Tip: Work with a reputable shop or expert when having your pieces reupholstered or repainted. Ask about the process and make sure your pieces will be properly handled. In this unit, the sofa and chairs showcase white synthetic leather, while the tables and other furniture pieces were painted white in smooth finish for easy maintenance.

Find similar pillows at Robinsons Department Store.

Living and Dining Areas

It’s safe to say that the owners and their contractor achieved a lot in less than two months. The home has a country-like charm with a Scandinavian-inspired aesthetic. “The first time I checked the unit, the walls were painted in yellowish brown, and the storage areas were few. I had the walls repainted and I had the contractor build built-in cabinets,” says Celeste. The space near the dining area serves as storage center. The mirrored cabinet doors make the space look even more spacious.

Living Area

One of the reasons why Celeste chose to have white walls is her tendency to get bored seeing the same theme all the time. “I want to be able to change it from time to time,” she explains. To break the monotony of an all-white space, the wall behind the TV was painted in a neutral color that pairs well with white. From afar, one can admire the seamless aesthetic of the unit.

Décor Detail

The lady of the house loves playing with colors and details. To keep within the budget while still being able to update the space, she brought in knickknacks and trinkets in playful colors that can be easily changed. 

RL Tip: If you are decorating your space, you may work with framed colored printouts, photographs, and scented candles to spruce up a shelf or a dull corner.

Find similar décor pieces at Robinsons Department Store.

Dining Area   

The dining area will remind you of inviting country homes and memorable brunches with the family. “The droplight is beautiful yet inexpensive. It makes the area look elegant. Since the dining table is white, I can play with the centerpiece and change it whenever I want,” shares Celeste.

Find a similar lighting piece at Habitat Manila, 5th Avenue and 28th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.

Dining Area

A bench seating was added to accommodate guests during get-togethers. If you’re currently redecorating your space, you can work with chic table runners and colorful plates aside from experimenting with the centerpiece.

Find a similar dining set at Mandaue Foam and Furniture Store, 489 Shaw Blvd., Mandaluyong City.


The owners don’t really cook so they don’t mind the small area allotted for the kitchen. Even if they don’t use it a lot, it’s still kept spacious and organized. The bar area can function as a breakfast nook with the addition of two barstools.


Natural light streaming in from the huge window makes the bedroom even more relaxing. A play of neutral and soft colors complete the sleeping space—making it seem warm and inviting. “The bed does not have a headboard. I had our contractor custom build an accent on the wall that looked and served as a headboard without taking up space,” says Celeste.


Celeste loves this little corner beside the bed—her vanity desk. She can maximize the available natural light when getting ready for work. To keep it clutter-free, she has a bunch of organizers for her accessories. A few essentials are also kept in boxes.


Some of the things that Celeste learned in furnishing the unit is to be resourceful and to be on the lookout for items that aren’t just found in malls. “There are a lot of resources in Metro Manila. Not all pretty things need to be expensive,” she says. Her favorite piece in the unit, the colorful chair in her vanity corner, was purchased from SM Home.


The bedroom is definitely a place where the owners can relish a deep slumber. They also have enough space for storage with the cabinets available. When decorating a space, Celeste shares that homeowners need to “stick to what they want and what will make them comfortable and happy.”

In completing the unit, the homeowners shopped at Mandaue Foam, Our Home, SM Home, Robinsons Department Store, and Living Well. “Nothing really expensive, but every item complemented each other and the general look and feel of the unit,” she adds.

Do you have an RL-inspired home? Send us photos for review via Facebook messenger or e-mail reallivingonline[at] with the subject RL Reader Home.

More on

A Stunning Mediterranean-Asian House By The Sea

This 17sqm Studio Unit Gives Us Small Space Goals

The Beauty of Recycled Pieces Shines in this 22sqm Studio Unit


Latest Stories

IKEA PH To Open Soon!

The Swedish furniture giant finally found a local partner

This Mom Built Her Kids a Tree House in Their QC Backyard

Read on to find out how she did it—you can do this, too!

You Can Earn An Extra P20K Every Month By Managing a Home

Discover how one Pinay does it

3 Bathroom Styles We Can Learn from Kris Aquino

From colorful to masculine—we’ve got looks that can spruce up even the tiniest of T&Bs

A Tiny Studio Unit Becomes A Hotel-Style Home

In another makeover marvel by Elle Uy, the decorator transforms a dark studio unit into a chic and airy space

Get the Look of Iza Calzado’s Bedroom

Give your sleeping space an easy, dainty makeover with the right pieces

5 Amazing Closet Cleaning Tips You Can Try

Achieve your dream wardrobe with these handy tricks

How To Vacuum Your Home Properly

Here’s how to avoid all the usual vacuuming mistakes. Plus, learn about a revolutionary new material that will help you bust all that dirt at home.

A Cozy and Modern Family Home in Quezon City

Works of art, beautiful fabrics, and a mix of old and new pieces bring this townhouse to life

5 Things To Never Clean With Baking Soda

This finely milled powder has its downsides, too

There's An Affordable Way To Keep Your Home Smelling Good 24/7

Say no to artificial fragrances with this three-step hack

A KonMari Reality Show Is Coming To Netflix

Will de-cluttering diva Marie Kondo's new show spark joy?
Load More Stories

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