Living room

An Inviting New Look For A Plain Living Area

Working on the layout and adding a charming focal point completely changed this space

Original Article: Sunshine Selga Funa Photography: Kurt Alvarez (Before) and Michael Angelo Chua (After) Styling: Paula de Guzman Interior Designer: Katharine Manuel

While styling a limited area can be challenging, a spacious room can pose a different set of concerns, too. More often than not, many of us instantly fill it with furniture to make it welcoming and ideal for entertaining guests. There are also those who are quite reluctant to maximize the space for fear of ending up with a cluttered look.

Take for example this living area—it looks clean and organized but the layout can do a bit of work—one side is complete with seating pieces, while the TV is situated at the far end of the room. To make the most of the space and bring order into the room, interior designer Katharine Manuel divided it into two sections. The once bare corner became a TV area with a sectional sofa helping define the space, while the old TV area was turned into a chic storage center. Using must-haves from Blims Fine Furniture, Handyman, and Daiso—the owners now have a special spot where they can bond and spend time with visitors.

From TV area to storage center

Prior to the makeover, the TV used to be mounted on this wall surrounded by cabinets. How can the family watch their favorite shows and movies if the seating pieces are situated across the room? "It wasn't in the ideal spot. Daanan pa siya," says Katharine.

To give the owners enough room for storage and decor, the TV was moved and the area was transformed into a storage nook that can also function as a study and play area for the kids. Three round mirrors from Handyman serve as accents while various plants add life to the space.

Planters from Handyman and Daiso hold the different plants chosen for the space. According to the designer, these wonders help soften up the look of the living area as it's dominated by hard surfaces that make it seem so stiff and dull.

Photographs and different knickknacks personalize the space on top of the cabinets while huge plants take up floor space. With natural light streaming in, the living area now feels extra homey.

The main entertainment area

Katharine shares that the living area was divided according to the owners' activities. Defined by a sectional sofa and side tables from Blims Fine Furniture, the bigger space was turned into an entertainment/TV nook meant for welcoming relatives, friends, and enjoying shows. The designer also chose to repaint the walls in dove gray to complement the furniture and the other details that complete the space.

The captivating focal point

Notice anything about the walls on both sides of the TV? Given the uneven surface, Katharine opted to install patterned ceramic tiles instead of wallpaper to create a seamless look. The chosen design worked well with the accent wall and the plants used as decor.

To allot space for storage and accessories, the designer also had the shelves and the console below the TV customized by contractor Diosdado Zafico. The shelves were installed in an asymmetrical pattern to balance out the clean lines in the area and keep it from being dull.

The accent wall

Instead of keeping the TV across the room, Katharine transferred it near the seating pieces. Now mounted on a false wall made of gypsum, the owners and their guests will surely have a relaxing time. To spruce up the shelf above the TV, framed art, a wall clock, and more photographs were put on display.

Loved the detail of the wall? The faux-stone pattern was accomplished using Nippon Paint (available at Handyman).

The designer also added a rocking chair with footstool from Handyman in one corner to accommodate more guests. It's also perfect for weekend afternoons when the lady or man of the house want to take a quick break with a good book or a magazine.

Ready for your own makeover? Get in touch with interior designer Katharine Manuel at katharinemanuel[at]

Read the original article ("Bright & Dainty") in the July 2016 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to for more details.

*Ed's note: Final cost does not include designer's fee.

How Much It Costs:

Paints, furniture, lights, and other construction materials - P 40,000
Blims Fine Furniture
Sofa and side tables - P 30,996
Daiso Japan
Small accessories - P 5,000
Labor and assorted construction materials - P 25,000
Grand Total:

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