A Living Area Makeover for a Young Entrepreneur

Interior designer Joby Belmonte turned an old-fashioned space into a charming haven

Original Article: Tisha Alvarez Angluben Photography: Miguel Nacianceno Styling: Issa Villar Ching Interior Designer: Joby Belmonte

Many homeowners have lived in the same house for ten, twenty, or maybe even thirty years or more. These homeowners can tell you that while the calendar on the wall and the pictures in the frames may change through the years, most of the furniture pieces have remained firmly in place. While these old items may be a familiar and comforting sight for some people, others may be longing for a drastic change and a modern look.

In the case of entrepreneur Liza Marinas, she felt that her living area seemed like it was stuck in the 80s or 90s. She dreamed of a brand new look similar to the beautiful pictures she would see in design magazines, but she simply didn't know where to begin. Thankfully, interior designer Joby Belmonte knew exactly what to do!  

Here are the 5 things that we can learn from this living area makeover:

Since Liza travels at least once a year, she thought it would be a good idea to cut out a world map from an old calendar and use colorful pins to mark the places that she has been to. Inspired by the homeowner's little project, Joby commissioned Alfred Galvez Wall Art Design and Finishes to make an accent wall. 

RL Tip: Do you want your own wall mural? Click here to contact Alfred Galvez!

Joby covered the bright yellow walls with white paint. He also repainted the ceiling, baseboards, cornices, stair balusters, doors, and doorframes with semi-gloss paint from Handyman.

Next, he used aqua paint over the white, and softened it with a brush/sponge application. "The aqua green is not a solid coating," explains Joby. "Rather, [it is] a brush-up effect where the white base could still be seen."

"I like bright colors, kaya sinabi ko kay Joby na gusto ko 'yung something na pag umaga, maliwanag 'yung dating," Liza explained.

In line with her request, Joby did not only work on the walls. He also chose brand new curtains with green, white, and lavender stripes.

The TV used to be placed on an old wooden cabinet for the sound system. For a Shabby Chic feel, Joby painted the piece white and used it as a stand for the aquarium. 

Joby also repainted the niches between the living and dining areas. To make the spot more interesting, he replaced the contents with three fucshia vases.

Read the original article ("A World of Difference") in the January 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:

Paint, paint materials, carpentry, lighting, and accessories - P 20,097
Robinsons Appliances
Sanyo 21-inch TV and Philips DVD Home Theater - P 19,985
Robinsons Department Store
Furniture and accessories - P 16,422
Curtains, curtain rod, and throw pillows - P 8,355
Bright Ideas
Assorted candles - P 6,017
Lionel Lights and Lamps
Floor lamp - P 5,000
Furniture and accessories - P 29,988
Labor - P 8,700
Slipcover materials and labor - P 7,600
Miscellaneous - P 1,565
Grand Total:

More on

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A Small Home Makeover for P90,000


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