Living room

RL Makeovers: A Living and Kitchen Transformation for Under P100,000

Interior designer John Vigilia turned glaring green and pink areas into cozy, inviting spaces

Original Article: Sunshine Selga Funa Photography: Kurt Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions Styling: Dagny Madamba and Paula de Guzman Interior Designer: John Vigilia

Homeowner Irish Aguillon and her mother Lilian had already tried to fix their home but there were things that still needed to be improved. For one, interior designer John Vigilia thought that the bright green walls were too loud. He also noticed that the TV blocked the natural light from the windows. It was also difficult to open the door because the TV was in the way.

To address these problems, John and his team set out to repaint the living area in more visually appealing colors. Everything bright green was repainted white, and an accent wall was created by painting the largest wall in the area mustard yellow, using paints from Handyman.

While the interior designer moved the TV and other pieces, he managed to keep most of the major furniture, like the two two-seater gallinera settees that have been with the family for ten years. 

Read the original article ("A Pleasant Surprise") in the May 2014 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details.

To open up the small space, John opted for light colors for the door, walls, and other elements. 

Since the family’s gallinera-style settees have such a beautiful shape and detail, John updated them with cream paint from Handyman. 

“I used sheer curtains [from Robinsons Department Store—Ed.] because if you have blackout curtains, of course, it will block out the sunlight. Since it’s a small room, the brighter it is, the lighter and more maaliwalas it looks,” John shares.

John used a large ceramic jar to make a coffee table. He filled the jar with stones and topped it with glass.

To make the layout more efficient, John had built-in shelves customized using plywood planks from Handyman.

These planks were laminated and then attached to the mustard wall. This three-tier shelving system now holds the TV and a number of decorative items from Robinsons Department Store: blue ceramic vases in varying sizes, a set of four wall art with chevron pattern, two framed artwork, and native storage boxes from Robinsons Ermita’s Filipiniana section.

A desktop computer is situated on one end of the lower shelf, and a sleek chair from Handyman makes this corner comfortable for Lilian, who frequently uses the device. “Sa kanya talaga ‘yan!” laughs Irish. Mingling with these décor pieces are potted live plants that John scattered throughout.

John decided to fix up the Aguillons’ kitchen as well! Some of our favorite pieces are the garapons and the mason jars. Additional shoe racks from Handyman are used as holders for pots and pans.

To add to the new clean, bright, and airy feel of the living and kitchen areas, John chose a few plants for the space.

How Much It Costs:

Robinsons Department Store and Handyman
Decor, soft furnishings, shelves, paint, and other fittings - P 70,000
Labor and other materials - P 23,313
Grand Total:
Ready for your own makeover? Contact interior designer John Vigilia at [email protected]

More on

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