A Small Home Makeover for P90,000

Real Living gives a home makeover to GMA News Reporter Chino Gaston

Original Article: Tisha Alvarez Angluben Photography: Miguel Nacianceno Styling: Issa Villar Ching Interior Designer: Hannah Acab Faustino

Since this tiny unit used to be a commercial space for rent, it has served as a party needs store, an RTW store, a hair salon, and as a store room, among other things. Eventually, it was converted into a studio apartment for homeowners Chino and Tricia Gaston. 

To make the place more livable, Chino tried to fix the roof, paint the walls, and rearrange the furniture. However, in spite of his best efforts, he and his wife were still quite unhappy with the results. 

Fortunately for them, interior designer Hannah Acab-Faustino was able to turn everything around. She chose a charming country-inspired style and picked out light earth colors like brown, blue, and green. She also replaced the worn-out vinyl flooring material with vinyl wood planks from Apo Floors.

Here are the 8 things that we can learn from this renovated family home:

Tricia initially wanted a "Shabby Chic" look for their studio apartment. However, she was afraid that it might seem too sweet and saccharine. For something that would better appeal to the rest of her family, she soon decided on a charming country style.

This theme helped the interior designer choose the color palette, furniture pieces, and other essentials.

Since the couple did not have a closet, they simply hung all of their clothes on a metal rod. The clothes rack made the cluttered room seem even messier.

To create a neat and organized space, Hannah wanted to keep everything hidden behind closet doors. She installed built-in cabinets for clothes and other belongings.

Since the old vinyl flooring was already falling apart, Hannah had to install new vinyl wood planks from Apo Floors. 

She also moved the old and new furniture pieces around to define the living, dining, and sleeping areas. The new layout makes the studio apartment seem bigger than it really is.

Since a wall would make the already modest space appear even smaller, Hannah simply used a lighting fixture to define the dining area. A lighting fixture above the dining table separates the dining area from the rest of the family home.

To grant the homeowner's request for a country-style home, Hannah reupholstered the bright yellow seats with a plaid-print fabric.

Although the bathroom was initially not a part of the budget and schedule, Hannah decided to work on it as well. For more privacy, she replaced the old swinging saloon-style doors with a standard door. She also installed brand new fixtures and tiles.

Apart from retiling the entire bathroom, Hannah also added new wall-mounted shelves and cabinets in the kitchen. She also improved the space with a gilded mirror, a bathroom tray, fresh flowers, and peppermint oil.

Read the original article ("Room Rebirth") in the November 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
Pillows, bed sheets, area rug, shower curtain, towels, hamper, kitchen and dining items, decor, and accessories - P 26,439
Paint, tiles, and construction materials - P 28,817
Apo Floors
Vinyl wood planks, adhesive, and labor - P 15,232
Labor and construction materials - P 19,210
Grand Total:
Ready for your own makeover? Contact Hannah Acab-Faustino at (0917) 897-1363.

More on

RL Makeovers: A One-Week Transformation for a Studio Unit in Manila

A Kitchen and Dining Area Makeover for P90,000

A Living and Dining Makeover for a Young Family for P95,000


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