Kitchen & dining

An Under-The-Stairs Home Office Makeover

This nifty home office tucked under the stairs gets a sleek and organized redo by Grace Moslares

Original Article: Maita de Jesus Photography: Michael Angelo Chua (before) & Hans Fausto (after) Styling: Tala Singson Design Consultant: Grace Moslares

Grace Visquera is a bookkeeper who works from home, and part of her job entails dealing with a lot of paperwork for her clients. She stashes all of these within the small home office that she managed to carve out for herself from the space beneath the stairs. “This was my main problem. Dati kasi, malaki yung bahay, tapos naging cluttered na siyang tignan because of my work table and because of my files. And then siyempre maghapon ako nasa bahay, napapagod na ako sa itsura niya!” she says.

Decorator Grace Moslares of Magara Designs wanted to take away the focus from the cluttered home office, though she also wanted to maintain the location, which maximized the small nook under the stairs. The Visquera home office stayed put underneath the stairs, but rather than it being the focal point, it now blends well with the rest of the space. The old, bulky work desk that was made out of spare pieces of wood was replaced by a slimmer desk (that the Magara team re-sized) from Avino Fine Living. The distressed white filing cabinet was retained, as it still serves as good storage.

Now that her little work nook is easy on the eyes, Visquera is more inspired to work. “Dati kasi, pagnastre-stress ako sa work, gagawa ako ng calligraphy, watercolor, or mag-aayos ako ng bahay para maganda naman yung makita ko araw-araw. Ngayon, kahit saan na ako tumingin, maganda yung buong bahay!

Under-the-stairs home office

An Avino Fine Living wooden table replaced the old work desk under the stairs. Moslares had one of the old dining chairs transferred here to serve as more comfortable seating. The decorator also washed the entire area (including the stairwell and living room) in a fresh coat of paint with a few seafoam green accents to brighten up the space.

A bookkeeper by profession, Visquera de-stresses by doing watercolor painting and calligraphy in between crunching numbers. Moslares highlighted this hobby by framing Visquera’s handiwork and displaying them neatly on her desk. She also hung fabric-wrapped memo boards that double as colorful accents.  

Home office leading to dining

Decorator Moslares wanted to take away the main focus of the room from the home office and into the dining area. “It’s the first thing that anyone sees when they enter the house, so it should be inviting.” A long mirror above the settee visually enlarges the place. 

Dining area

Visquera's home office spills over immediately into the dining area, so Moslares asked her to declutter her working area. She then organized these and hid them in matching white stacking storage bins. Once the clutter was gone, Moslares spruced up the dining area by adding a purple settee and pendant light from Avino.

Read the original article ("Move, Mix, and Match") in the April 2017 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to for more details. 

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