Ultimate Makeover

A Complete Makeover for an Old Apartment in Marikina City

Architect Orange Clemente created a bright, well-thought-out, and modern home where she and her brother can live and work comfortably

Photography: _heartout on Instagram | courtesy of Ar. Orange Clemente Architect: Ar. Orange Clemente

How does a design professional take on the challenge of achieving his or her dream space? You might be surprised to know that the process doesn’t differ from how they work with clients. It all starts with a vision, understanding what needs to be achieved, and making the most of the space you have.

For architect Orange Clemente, her vision for her own home is to “design a space that’s human-centered and adaptive to change or the new normal.” She says, “it’s important to nurture the inhabitants, me and my brother, in order to enhance our living and working experiences from the inside out.”

READ: After 23 Years, This Family Was Finally Able to Renovate Their Home


In photo: A peek into the apartment before the makeover.

Prior to the pandemic, Orange was renting a space near her place of work. Since she started working from home, the architect realized how having her own home can help lessen her expenses. “We were lucky that my grandparents invested in apartments and were kind enough to let me, as an architect, practice my design skills, renovate, and use one of the units,” she shares with Realliving.com.ph.

READ: This Couple Gave an Amazing Makeover to Their 36-Year-Old Rental Apartment

See the complete transformation below:

Living, Dining, and Kitchen Areas


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Before the renovation, the apartment looked outdated and needed repairs. Orange went for a mix of contemporary and Mid-century modern design by incorporating clean architectural lines, open planning, and muted tones.

During Renovation



For the open living, dining, and kitchen areas, Orange worked on a bright and airy look by having the walls painted white. The living area is specifically designed as a space where coffee can be enjoyed in the morning as well as where they can watch Netflix in the evening. It’s also cozy and roomy enough for entertaining guests.

The architect also took advantage of the high ceiling by improving the apartment’s ventilation and taking it as an opportunity to hang designer pieces that moonlight as storage.

READ: A Complete Makeover for a Family Home


“I placed a dark-colored rug which defines the living area apart from the dining and kitchen areas,” she adds.

Since the siblings are both sneakerheads and since the apartment is located in a flood-prone area, Orange raised the flooring of the bedrooms then used the space underneath as shoe storage.


Dining Area

Keeping in mind the online meetings she needs to participate in, Orange designed the dining area as a dining nook and mini conference area in one.


She incorporated a back-painted glass on the wall where notes can be written on, a white table where material samples can be checked, and a lamp for late-night reading.



Minimal yet impactful changes were done in the compact cooking area. In the words of Orange, the design is “simple and straightforward.” “The clean and crisp lines of the backsplash lure your eyes from the living area and makes you pay attention to the end of the room. I also used black laminates and a gray solid surface countertop to blend well with the overall palette,” the architect adds.


Before / During Renovation


Before the makeover, the doors of the rooms are located near the common areas.


Aside from raising the personal spaces, Orange also had the doors relocated and now facing each other.

To personalize the apartment, the architect put her toy collection on display including photos she personally took.



One of the bedrooms used to feature lackluster flooring and chipping wallpaper.



To transform the space, Orange chose a lighter color palette then combined it with accent pieces that showcase her personality.

“The goal is to make the room warm and cozy where you can rest after a long day of work. I used wood tiles to differentiate the use of the area from the communal spaces,” she explains. The architect also made sure she has an ergonomic chair and good lighting in her workspace to boost her productivity.



A low wooden bed completes the bedroom, giving it an inviting and minimalist touch.

One of the well-thought-out features of the home is the layer of glass blocks at the top of the rooms. “It helps us know if there’s someone outside who turned the lights on. It’s helpful in many ways as well – making sure we don’t forget to turn off any lights in the evening, plus, it can be used as a night light when going to the bathroom. It also allows light to stream into the room in the morning,” explains Orange.


Ready to transform your own home or make your dream home a reality? You can collaborate with architect Orange Clemente! Get in touch with her through Facebook or Instagram: Orange Clemente. You can also email her at orange.h.clemente[at]gmail.com.

More on Realliving.com.ph


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