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:

More on

Eclectic Zen Style for the Living Area and Lanai for P40,000

A Tropical Feel for a Catholic Priest's Bedroom

Living Area, Kitchen, and Bedroom Makeovers in a 21sqm Condo


Latest Stories

A Taguig Condo With Cool Storage Features And Vintage Accents

This 80sqm unit has everything that its owners need: light and airy spaces, an interesting mix of furniture, and nifty storage tricks

8 Celebrities Who Are Also Amazing Artists

From John Lloyd Cruz to Ian Veneracion, these famous faces put a new spin to being creative

Katrina Halili’s House in El Nido, Palawan

Found inside her own farm, the tranquil sanctuary features spacious rooms and an incomparable view of the lush outdoors

10 Designer-Approved Coffee Tables

Sisters Cynthia and Ivy Almario, first ladies of Philippine interior design, discuss their favorite coffee tables.

These High-End Villages Have Tripled Average Land Prices in the Last 6 Years

Do you live in one?

The Ultimate Quiapo Bargain Shopping Guide

Ready to go on a Quiapo adventure? From Ilalim ng Tulay to Plaza Miranda, you are bound to spot a budget home find. Read on for our list of stores and buyers tips.

The New Holiday Balikbayan Guest Solution: Airbnbs

They will surely feel right at home!

Your P2,000 Budget Can Afford A Mini Makeover

Turn sad corners and uninspired nooks into spaces that wow

18 No-Fail Building Materials For Your Home

These designer-recommended products would make your home last a lifetime, saving you money in the long run

You'll Love These Pieces That Combine Style and Function

An elegant blend of design and style, these picks make a great addition to any room.

All The Breathtaking Design Details At The ASEAN Summit

In photos: Pinoy design and Asian elements took center stage, from the arrival area to the closing ceremonies

This Is How To Choose The Best Products For Your Home

Top tip: seek professional advice!
Load More Stories

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