Living room

See How a Bare Space Was Transformed into A Contemporary and Spacious Haven

An efficient layout, a fresh coat of paint, and proper furniture proportions did wonders for this two-bedroom home

Original Article: Coni Tejada Photography: Miguel Nacianceno Styling: Issa Villar

The story of Captain Harold Pre and wife Melanie is different from other makeover contestants. Their dream of having a home of their own was shattered after Harold went through a tough three-year ordeal. “After almost three years in military detention, I was fortunate to be granted a pardon... Luckily, I was granted a government loan to have our own place after five years of renting. We are very happy about it even though it is just a bare place to live in,” he shared.

This “bare place” was the ideal size for the couple and their daughter, but it looked smaller because of the dark yellow paint used on the walls, the bulky furniture pieces, and the existing layout which hindered easy access from one area to another. Interior designer Vivian Gacad assessed the two-bedroom home, made a couple of changes, and successfully turned it into a modern and relaxing space for the Pre family.

Here are three makeover ideas that we learned from this transformation:

Select furniture proportional to the area

To give the illusion of spaciousness, avoid getting bulky pieces. A two-seater love seat and a side table replaced the large furniture in the living room.

If you are currently furnishing your own home, it's best to choose multipurpose pieces. Drop by your favorite stores and scout for ottomans, sofa beds, and furniture that can easily be folded. 

Consider an efficient kitchen layout

An L-shaped kitchen layout was adapted to maximize the available area. Vivian also extended the kitchen counter to have a spot for food preparation, and replaced the old burner stove with a sleek cooktop.

Before working on any renovation project, do your research on the different kitchen layouts so you can choose the best one for your space. If you're in doubt, do not hesitate to consult with a design professional.

Keep clutter at bay

For the only daughter’s bedroom, Vivian added shelves to keep all her books and toys in order. If the bedroom also has a limited floor space, it's best to work with built-in cabinets and wall-mounted shelves. These storage solutions allow you to display and keep items in place.

Looking for other storage solutions for small spaces? You can add organizers behind the door and utilize the space under the bed for shoes and containers.

Read the original article ("Back to the Barracks") in the December 2009 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to for more details.

How Much It Costs:

Handyman Do-It-Best
Paint, electrical, and carpentry materials - P 29,091
Mandaue Foam
Sofa, side table, dining chairs, bookshelf, other furniture pieces - P 40,000
Robinsons Department Store
Curtains, frames, candles, and other home accessories - P 11,004
Additional paint and paint materials - P 9,240
Additional carpentry materials - P 13,499
Construction materials - P 4,003
Labor and Other Costs - P 30,450
Grand Total:
Ready for your own makeover? Contact Vivian Gacad at 0917-532-8484 or email her at [email protected]

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