A Small Space Makeover for a Family of Three

Built-in pieces, light colors, and clever use of space make a difference in this compact home

Original Article: Sunshine Selga Funa Photography: Michael Angelo Chua (Before) and Kurt Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions (After) Styling: Paula de Guzman Interior Designer: Van Acuna-Solana

Starting a family is a challenge on its own and having a space where you can build memories and dreams is quite another story. For the owners of this small unit, the first order of business would be how to achieve a seamless aesthetic given two different tastes of the husband and wife. Just like in other tiny spaces, it’s also important to keep the vibe light and airy, while still having an efficient and functional home.

To turn the once plain and crowded space into a bright and envy-worthy haven, interior designer Van Acuna-Solana stepped in. With the help of Fergill Construction, Van was able to improve the entire unit with must-haves from Avino Fine Living, Handyman, and Studio Eleven. Aside from giving it a new look, she also made sure that the owners have plenty of storage options. See the rest of the transformation below:

To wow guests upon entry to the unit, Van removed a couple of pieces and replaced them with multipurpose ones. In the foyer, stone gray walls help update the look while a customized daybed with storage underneath take up one side. Aside from serving as extra seating area, it also works as yaya's sleeping area. A lovely wood-framed mirror from Avino Fine Living keeps it from being too plain.

Instead of keeping the freestanding pieces in the home, the designer opted for built-in cabinets and a desk to save on floor space. The owners considers the work corner as their favorite with its built-in desk, reproduction Tolix chair, and the overhead cabinets. To balance out the gray walls, most of the furniture are in white.

Who wouldn't love the bright and homey feel in this living/entertainment area? To make the most of it, a new sofa from Avino Fine Living was chosen for the space. Aside from providing comfort to the owners, it can also moonlight as storage and a bed for extra guests.

Wallpapers from Studio Eleven helped liven up the walls in this area. Frames in different sizes, precious photographs, and a dainty wallpaper make up the gallery wall above the seating piece. Adding zest to the dominantly neutral space are the area rug with geometric patterns and pillows.

A rectangular mirror from Avino Fine Living helps create an illusion of wider space in the compact unit. Since storage is very important in any home, Van replaced an old TV console with a customized piece that can hold the TV and provide extra storage for the owners' belongings, too.

Ready for your own makeover? Get in touch with interior designer Van Acuna-Solana through e-mail at vanacuna[at]

Read the original article ("Small-Space Wonder") in the April 2016 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to for more details.

*Ed's note: Final cost does not include designer's fee.

How Much It Costs:

Labor and assorted materials - P 25,000
Paints and other construction materials - P 40,000
Avino Fine Living
Sofa and mirrors - P 56,300
Studio Eleven
Wallpaper - P 28,630
La Europa Ceramica
Subway tiles for the kitchen - P 3,715
Grand Total:

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