Ultimate Makeover

A Must-See Family Home Makeover

Decorator and former Real Living creative director Gwyn Guanzon changes this house in Villamor Airbase

Original Article: Chinggay Labrador Photography: Miguel Nacianceno Pictorial Direction: Issa Villar Ching Styling: Gwyn GS Guanzon Design Consultant: R.M. Engineering

Homeowner Grace Lucas has lived in the same compound in Villamor Airbase since she was born. She now shares a tiny home with her husband Miguel and their three children. Since their shared space was too small for a family of five, they eventually decided to build an extension for the house.

However, the couple was forced to stop construction when the property was hit by a fallen sampaloc tree during Typhoon Milenyo. The new wing was left severely damaged and the homeowners felt disappointed and frustrated. To improve their living conditions and provide them with a place that would fill them with unbridled joy, decorator and former Real Living creative director Gwyn Guanzon stepped in.

(A few years after this home makeover, it was Grace's turn to lend a helping hand to Gwyn. When Gwyn's father slipped into a coma in their hometown in Antique, Grace arranged for him to be airlifted to a hospital in Quezon City. The interior decorator is grateful for her kind assistance. - ed.) 

Here are 8 decorating tips inspired by this renovated extension:

Before anything else, Gwyn wanted to create a safe and structurally sound property. In order to do this, he stabilized the wall's framework and constructed an actual ceiling.

The original design of the house had a window covered with bamboo or kawayan. Since the small opening allowed natural light and a cool breeze into the home, Gwyn simply decided to replace the rustic bamboo slats with colorful columns.

Speaking of colorful pieces, you may want to fill your place with vibrant hues. Gwyn chose pink, lilac, blue, gray, and white for this particular space.

RL Tip: If you want something simpler, you can start with a neutral backdrop of white or beige walls. You can brighten your space up with furniture pieces, soft furnishings, and assorted decor.

A dining set is important because it is used everyday and it can bring your family and friends together. With this in mind, Gwyn replaced the old table and unsightly monoblock chairs with a Callan dining set from Crossings Home.

Gwyn initially planned to move the simple staircase to a different area. However, when he realized that the bedroom walls were not even, he decided to keep the staircase in the same place. He simply had the old steps covered with new laminated wood from Handyman.

To make the small and narrow kitchen seem more open, Gwyn picked out white building materials. He used white paint for the walls, created a white brick wall-inspired backsplash, and used white tiles for the lone countertop.

Gwyn also used wall mirrors to make the kitchen and the hallway that leads to the bathroom seem bigger than it really is!

The old bathroom did not even have a faucet! It looks like a completely different space because of the new wall tiles and the telephone shower set and sleek water closet from Homestore. 

Read the original article ("Building From the Outside In") in the September 2007 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:

Robinsons Department Store
Dinnerware, kitchenware, rugs, plastic containers, and other furniture and accessories - P 25,075
Paint, paint materials, construction materials, and lighting - P 50,671
Crossings Department Store
Callan Dining Set, Seymour Love Seat, and stools - P 31,443
Water closet, shower mixer, stainless steel shower hose, microphone hand shower, and handshower holder - P 9,329
Labor and construction materials - P 46,995
Grand Total:

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