Ultimate Makeover

RL Makeovers: A Two-Week Renovation for a 30sqm Home

Proper space planning and art-inspired colors transform a house from cramped to comfy, with plenty of room for style

Original Article: Kathleen Valle Photography: Ocs Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions Pictorial Direction: Dagny Madamba

Located on the fifth floor of a walk-up condominium, the 30sqm home of couple Romeo and Joan was filled with clutter, discolored walls, and worn-down vinyl floors. The small space also did not have enough lighting fixtures and storage options.

After only two weeks of renovation and decoration, the homeowners are more than happy with the output. Joan shares that she particularly likes the dining area. "It's so vibrant, fresh, modern, and relaxing. We actually conducted a prayer meeting there with our cell group on the very first night we returned [to] our beautiful condo," she shares. 

Read the original article ("A Mondrian Makeover") in the September 2012 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App ( now! Log on to for more details.  

In the living area, the family used to have locker-like cabinets built for storing everything from kitchen items to linens. However, it took up too much space in the living area. Inspired by the bulky cabinet, the designer decided on a new cabinet with a Mondrian-inspired pattern (Piet Mondrian was a Dutch painter and part of the modern De Stijl movement in the 1900s, and was famous for his colorful, block-and-grid artworks). It has open shelves for books and slots for storage.

The dining area did not look like a space for enjoying meals and cherishing the company of loved ones. To remedy this, the designer got rid of the old bookshelves and moved the TV to the living area. He also created a Mondrian-inspired accent wall. Since the designer thought that the traditional primary colors were too loud for a small space, he chose orange, green, gray, and a bit of purple. He referred to these colors in choosing the Davies Paints to be used for the other areas.

To create an efficient layout, the designer made sure that the spaces were divided properly. Areas were assigned and whatever you need is availabe within arm's reach.

If there is no budget for a complete overhaul, opt for a fresh coat of paint and vibrantly-colored home décor. Since the existing bathroom was dull, and boring, the designer painted the overhead cabinet white and chose bright orange accessories.

The master bedroom used to have a double bed with a single bed on top and queen-size bed on the bottom. The designer replaced it with a queen-size bed with a customized bed frame. The space is livened up with a cool green shade on the walls.

The master bedroom used to have a double bed with a single bed on top and queen-size bed on the bottom. The designer replaced it with a queen-size bed with a customized bed frame. The space is livened up with a cool green shade on the walls.

After homeowners Joan and Romy requested for better lighting, the designer installed lighting fixtures from Firefly Electric in all areas of the unit to aid in the family's activities and emphasize the big improvements in the spaces.

Since the children’s bedroom did not even have an actual bed (only a futon), he replaced it with a bunk bed for the two children. The space is decorated with colorful stick-on murals courtesy of Brushstroke Creatives.

How Much It Costs:

Crossings Department Store
Bunk bed, dining set, couch, linens, tableware, wall hangings, and various decor - P 80,000
Davies Paints
Various paints and paint materials - P 24,072
Water closet, faucet, and other bathroom fixtures - P 22,498
Tiles and adhesives used in the bedrooms - P 30,300
Brushstroke Creatives
Vinyl stickers in the foyer and kids' bedroom - P 17,031
Firefly Electric and Lighting Co.
All the bulbs, circular lamps, and switches - P 11,180
La Farge
Cement used in the bathroom re-do - P 5,000
Command Caddy, picture frames and hangers, Command Hooks, and various cleaning aids - P 5,000
Labor and Materials
Carpentry and various construction materials; paint, electrical, and tiling works - P 98,648
Grand Total:
*Grand Total does not include designer's fee

Latest Stories

Designer Pieces We Love in Derek Ramsay’s House in Alabang

The actor doesn’t shy away from investing in pieces that make his home distinct and personal

6 Ways To Increase Storage At Home

From custom-designed pieces to minimalist shelves, explore clever ideas to amp up your storage potential

Here's How To Keep Your Clothes Wrinkle-Free When Traveling

Get perfect OOTD's with this handy (and travel-friendly) gadget!

Neutral Colors Make This 50sqm Condo Unit Extra Homey

Taking inspiration from an accent wall, interior designers Honey Mutia Cervantes and Rosa Manduriao were able to achieve a modern yet comfy look for a one-bedroom vacation home in the city

5 Plants That Can Repel Mosquitoes

Keep your home safe and these pesky pests away with these natural solutions

This One Home Appliance Can Cause A Fire

Hint: Did you straighten your hair this morning?

Would You Live Inside This 9sqm Water Pipe?

This modern designer studio unit (inside a water pipe!) in Hong Kong may be the home of the future

Miss Universe Philippines Catriona Gray Is An Awesome Artist

We discovered the Binibining Pilipinas-Universe winner has some mad painting skills!

8 Properties That Will Make You Want to Move to Pampanga ASAP

When it comes to investing in real estate, Pampanga is the place to be right now

Team Kramer Gives A Tour of Their New Home

The house will have an elevator, an infinity pool, and a classroom for the kids

17 Important Loan Terms That You Should Know

Buying a house? Here’s an A-to-T glossary of financial terms that won’t leave you in the dark.

A Loft-Type Bachelor Pad Found Inside a Family Home

The owner worked with interior designer Erika Uichanco to transform an ordinary bedroom into a remarkable, condo-like personal space
Load More Stories

Get inspiring design ideas and handy hints.
Subscribe to our newsletter now!