DIY Inspirations Help Create an Ideal Starter Home

This former Real Living managing editor picks up a few tricks to design her dream home

Original Article: Chinggay Labrador Photography: Miguel Nacianceno Styling: Issa Villar

Tisha Alvarez-Angluben took the phrase “taking work home with you” to a whole new level. Having worked as the managing editor of Real Living for four years before becoming the editor-in-chief of Good Housekeeping Philippines, she took every tip and trick she learned from the experience to decorate the townhouse she shares with her husband Hamil. With her husband’s male perspective and her arsenal of decorating ideas, they pulled together a home that blends their unique tastes.

Tisha and Hamil didn’t take inspiration from any style specifically; instead they took to particular experiences or concepts when deciding on a theme for a specific room. Their living area’s color scheme mimicked the green, black, and white theme from their wedding while the bedrooms took a gender neutral palette. But what makes the home genuinely unique are the couple’s personal touches to every space—each having a unique story behind it. Even if Tisha and Hamil resorted to decorating it themselves, they have a home they can truly call their own.

Original article by Chinggay Labrador. Styling by Issa Villar. Photographed by Miguel Nacianceno.

Read the original article ("Good Housekeeping") in the July 2012 issue of Real Living Magazine. To download a digital copy of Real Living Magazine, visit Summit Newsstand at

Living Area Thanks to her Real Living experience, Tisha learned a few tips when shopping for furniture on a budget. She credits Mandaue Foam Furniture for her sofa, Dapitan for her blinds, Dimensione for the chairs, Rustan’s for the black rug, and Mobler for the center table. The other pieces were custom-made by a carpenter she had commissioned.
Dining Area Tisha was able to get a bargain for their IKEA dining set—acquiring it from Smart Parenting’s editor-in-chief Mia Fausto Cruz. They, of course, couldn’t let it go without a personal touch so they added white decals spelling E-A-T to capture their easy-going attitude.
Stair Landing Some of the paint jobs around the house were also done by the couple themselves. The white and yellow striped wall on the stair landing was created using masking tape. The wall now features the couple's framed photographs.
Bedroom Tisha and Hamil wanted a relaxed tone for the bedroom—painting the walls with a calming light mocha. White side tables that Tisha got from her mom break the rich color and help brighten the room. To maximize the space, the couple cleverly painted a faux headboard behind their bed.
Bedroom Detail A settee that was originally part of the living area sofa now sits nicely across the bed—filling the space and creating a cozy atmosphere. Above it hangs a Japanese lantern—one of Tisha’s DIY projects—covered with white cupcake liners to make the installation prettier.
Closet Room Tisha and Hamil have a separate room to store clothes, shoes, bags, and cosmetics to avoid clutter in the bedroom. A decoupage mirror above the vanity is yet another one of Tisha’s projects.
Guest Room The couple’s guest room also doubles as their work area where an heirloom desk sits. Tisha made use of a salvaged chair redone by friend Grace Moslares. Dainty frames holding watercolor paintings and silhouette cutouts made by Hamil serve as wall accents.

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