Contrasting Ideas Create a Seamless Starter Home

With a little compromise and help from an interior designer, this three-storey home is now a bright and youthful home for a starting family

Original Article: Katherine Lopez Photography: Tammy David Pictorial Direction: Rachelle F. Medina and Nat M. Clave Design Consultant: Elle Uy

When the Tans acquired their humble, three-storey townhouse, it wasn’t the picturesque home young married couples wish to move into. It was gloomy and old—filled with dark wood and plain white walls. But that didn’t stop the Tan couple from creating a happy livable home they could call their own. After seeking the help of interior decorator Elle Uy, the couple was able to spruce up the space into a bright, dreamy townhouse that perfectly suited their tastes.

Colorful, light, and airy were elements of the vision that the twosome had for their home. Pale blue walls and stark white furniture eliminate any dreary atmosphere. Pops of color from the teal door and yellow sofa add a playfulness the couple wished for their space. Everything combined results in a sunny ambiance that opens up the space perfect for a comfortable home life for the couple.

Original article by Katherine Lopez. Pictorial Direction by Rachelle F. Medina and Nat M. Clave. Photographed by Tammy David.

Read the original article ("A Colorful Union") in the September 2013 issue of Real Living Magazine. To download a digital copy of Real Living Magazine, visit Summit Newsstand at


The couple had their front door painted teal to create a more welcoming and playful atmosphere.

Dining Area

Given a small space, a glass-top dining table was chosen in lieu of a solid top so as to not seem too bulky. To break the stark white pieces in the space, sea-green upholstery were added to the dining chairs. Joana’s hot sauce collection on the wall adds a homey attitude to the room.

Dining Area Detail

Joana utilized the space beneath the staircase by placing a feminine buffet table to which she added fun accessories.

Living Area

With the limited space available, interior decorator Elle Uy suggested against a coffee table. The yellow sofa, a custom-made piece made by Joana’s family friend in Pampanga, acts as the focal point and immediately brightens up the neutral space.

Detailed Decor

As wine is displayed on the counter, the side table highlights an interesting piece of decor -- a vase filled with corks.


Books, photographs, and other interesting decor are found on these carefully added shelves.


Being a caterer, Joana made sure her kitchen was one she could use efficiently. The space was expanded to house her refrigerator and stove and a bar was built in to add more prep space. The bar also acts as a divider between the kitchen and the rest of the first floor.


Adding character to the space are photographs on the wall and simple hanging lighting fixtures.

Master Bedroom

The bedroom adapted a neutral color palette as it is a common living space for the couple. Here, the blending of two tastes is dominant as seen in the black accents here and there.

Master Bedroom Detail

An interesting vignette was created in Joana’s vanity area. The leather chair together with the round wooden mirror makes for an eye-catching contrast.

Powder Room

Contrasting textures were applied in the powder room walls to create a heightening illusion to the small space. Wallpaper, a lighting fixture, and a planter was added to make the room more interesting.

His Space

If the first floor suggested the style of the woman of the house, the third floor screams the taste of the man. The distinct red walls and the black furniture immediately denotes man cave. A theater-style sofa, quirky pieces, and the manly accessories make a perfect escape for any husband.


To exude the vibe of the man of the house, framed photographs of race cars adorn the walls. Extra seats are also added --- especially when guests are expected.


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