Ultimate Makeover

A Complete Makeover for a Family Home

In just 10 days, design consultant Grace Moslares and the makeover team were able to give this property a major overhaul

Original Article: Tisha Alvarez Photography: Rene Mejia Styling: Gwyn GS Guanzon Design Consultant: Grace Moslares

From showering us with unconditional love to giving us the best in everything, there’s really nothing parents wouldn’t do for their children. You’d agree when we say that the same applies when we already have jobs and our own paychecks. We pay it forward by treating our parents to trips, nights out, and giving them the things they need. For 2009’s Ultimate Makeover winner, giving back to her parents meant joining Real Living’s annual contest in the hope of having their family home improved. Since her father undergoes dialysis three times a week, a huge chunk of the budget goes to medical expenses and they barely have time to keep the house in order. Over time, it started to show signs of wear and tear—as termites took over the walls, leaks have damaged the roof, and clutter is everywhere.

Design consultant Grace Moslares and the makeover team were more than willing to help the family, and in just 10 days, it seems as if a new house was built. The different areas of the home were improved and the problems were addressed with smart solutions. Given a heartwarming goal in mind and the support of the whole family (and their neighbors, too!), the project became a team effort and truly one of the most memorable makeovers in RL history. See the changes below:

Living Area

Like any other house, this home underwent changes over the years. To accommodate the growing family, the former foyer/storage area became part of the house. Unfortunately, the owners' belongings took over the space. To breathe new life into the living area, Grace and her team had to relocate the main door and casement windows—a wall was knocked down, the wrought iron grills were removed, and the floor area was extended.

Notice the roof? It was raised from 2.20 meters to 2.45 meters to make the space look bigger and to allow air to circulate. Since the ceiling was rotten, Pando Adarayan, the contractor, added new steel purlins (an essential part of the roof) as well as reused a few of the old G.I. (Galvanized Iron) sheets.

RL Tip: Tackling the roof is an important part of any renovation or construction project. Leaks and other problems can destroy the overall look of a home.

When working on a makeover, check if there are pieces you can refurbish and save. Since the gallinera and the matching chairs were old, each was given a fresh coat of black paint. These seating pieces were also updated with upholstered cushions and paired with a center table from Mandaue Foam.

As a souvenir of sorts from their old house, Grace used a wrought iron piece from the old gate as wall accent in the living area. Another throwback to the past? Since the home used to have touches of yellow, Grace chose furnishings in subdued mustard. The pillows and curtains add a zesty feel to the now airy home.

RL Tip: Don't forget to check your breaker! The home's old and overloaded breaker became a fire hazard. To avoid any accidents, an electrician rewired everything and added new power outlets, too.

Entertainment Area

Who wouldn't want to spend some time in this cozy entertainment area? After the makeover, this became the favorite spot of the owners. Gone are the dirty yellow walls as Grace chose a soft oyster gray color to transform the space. The same color can be seen on the floor and ceiling for a calm, cohesive, and airy look.

To make bonding time more comfortable for the occupants, well-chosen furnishings complete the space. An upholstered couch from Mandaue Foam serves as the focal point, with the area rug, also from Mandaue Foam, defining the area from the rest of the home. Meanwhile, the throw pillows from Robinsons Department Store serve as accent pieces. Look closely at the walls and inspect the framed pieces—these are pillows, too!

To maximize the space, a new entertainment system that does not take up floor space is the best option. The flat-screen TV and DVD player from Robinsons Appliances were placed on a sturdy floating shelf from Handyman.

Dining Area

To be able to brighten up the dining area while still maximizing every inch of space, Grace replaced the rectangular dining set with a round table and matching chairs from Mandaue Foam. A glass vase serves as centerpiece while another set of framed throw pillows liven up the wall. These throw pillows feature intricate beading by Lerie Pangilinan.

Instead of keeping the ceramic white-and-green flooring in the dining area, the design consultant had these painted using gray rubber paint to achieve a seamless look.


Grace considers the kitchen as the area that got a major facelift. The old one with leaks, which was part of the back of the house, had to be torn down. From having a galley kitchen (wherein the work centers are placed on two counters that are opposite each other), the owners now have an L-shaped cooking area.

To complete the look of the kitchen, shelves and cabinets were built. These are painted in black to echo the look in the other areas of the home. The plumbing was also fixed and an exhaust fan was installed. Grace and the team worked with budget-friendly terracotta-colored tiles for the counter and backsplash as well.

In order to make preparing meals an efficient and fun experience, new appliances, including the Elba oven and range, from Robinsons Appliances were added. To avoid clutter, the cabinets can hold utensils, dinnerware, and other essentials. The water dispenser and gas tank were cleverly concealed as well.


Prior to the makeover, the winner's parents used to sleep on the lower part of a bunk bed, with clothes, containers, and other items taking over the top bunk. To make sure they will get the rest they need, Grace replaced the bunk bed with a new bed from Mandaue Foam. An AC unit from Robinsons Appliances also ensures a good night's sleep.

With the bulky bed out of the picture, a light color was chosen for the walls. To keep the room from being boring, touches of green can be seen on the soft furnishings. These additions make the sleeping space seem brighter and more spacious.

Aside from the master bedroom, Grace also improved the remaining bedroom.

To expand this bedroom and make it more comfortable, Grace used a portion of the old kitchen. Two bunk beds were placed in the room to accommodate four occupants and instead of having a cabinet separating it from the dining area, the makeover team built an actual wall.

Both beds were repaired to make sure each is sturdy enough. Colorful, patterned, and chic beddings spruce up the beds and add life to the room. According to the owners, it used to be the hottest part of the home before the makeover. With the newly installed exhaust fan, it instantly became even more inviting and the coolest part, too!


To give the bathroom a new look, Grace had the walls painted. New fixtures were also installed to make it more functional. Since the old water closet was cracked, a new one was brought in and a shower was added for future use, too. The tiles were retained and additional accessories like the shower curtain from Robinsons Department Store and the utility rack from Handyman serve as useful accents.

Ready for your own makeover? Get in touch with design consultant Grace Moslares at magarainteriors[at]

 Read the original article ("The Grandest Makeover Ever!") in the September 2009 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:

Mandaue Foam
Three-seater sofa, dining set, bed and mattress, study desk, wardrobe, area rug, accent lights, table lamp, wrought-iron rods, vases - P 54,785
Construction materials, paint, and paint materials - P 58,662
Robinsons Department Store
Pillows (also used as wall hangings), curtains (also used as cushion covers), kitchenware and utensils, rice cooker, silver rods, frames, rugs, bathroom accessories, mattresses, storage units - P 50,000
Robinsons Appliances
LCD TV, range, air-conditioner, exhaust fans, stand fans, oven toaster - P 50,000
Construction materials for roof - P 34,377
Labor courtesy of Magara Designs - P 58,660
Additional labor costs - P 1,690
Additional materials - P 486
Grand Total:

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