An Outdated Townhouse Gets A Modern Makeover

The before-and-after photos will inspire you to turn cluttered spaces into inviting areas that even guests will adore

Photography: courtesy of the Designer (Before) and Hans Fausto (After) Pictorial Direction: Kamila Arianna Garcia Interior Designer: Johanna Corteza

It’s hard to imagine that this multi-storey townhouse used to be gloomy and cluttered. From the living area to the master bedroom, it’s easy to see the effort put into creating functional and homey areas. However, just like any renovation project, getting to the inspiring result wasn’t easy. “[The renovation covered] the demolition and dismantling, only the walls and beams were left as is. Lahat iniba na. Para kaming nagtayo ng bagong bahay,” says the owner.

To help transform the space into a contemporary home, the owners tapped the expertise of interior designer Johanna Corteza. The project is the second collaboration between the designer and the owners as she also designed the family’s 75sqm condo unit that we featured in 2016. “We followed the usual makeover process. I discussed the layout and look with the owners, got ideas from them, then we prepared the layout so they can see where the furniture and cabinets will go. It was easier because I already know what they want, plus we got the same contractor who worked on the condo,” shares Johanna.

For the new look, the owners wanted a minimalist feel, with subtle colors and captivating furniture pieces serving as accents. “We took inspiration from minimalism, Japanese-inspired design. Maliit lang ang space, we want to maximize it,” adds the owner. Though the project took longer than expected, the owners were satisfied with the result. Going beyond the initial budget and trusting their designer gave them a beautiful home, with well-thought-out pieces and inviting areas that you’d love to have, too.

Prior to the makeover, the townhouse follows the look of the other homes found in the compound. It now stands out with its extra level and minimalist facade.

The main door used to be situated on the side, with a narrow hallway used as laundry area. This is one of the major changes done in the townhouse, as main door was moved in front. As mentioned by the owner, they made sure that every inch of space was utilized. There are no empty spaces in this home, with corners turned into storage and functional pieces added.

Entrance/Living Area

From the main door, guests are greeted by a sleek cabinet where shoes are kept. To separate the entrance from the main living space, a step up was incorporated, somehow elevating the living and dining areas. The living area is defined by a wall spruced up with tiles. Adding color to the space is a painting given by the owner's cousin.

The owners opted for a leather sofa in a gray, with pillows in light colors making it extra comfortable.

Find similar pieces at Decor Contemporary Furniture, #14 C-3, Quezon City.


The staircase is one of the first things that you'll notice once you enter the house. Instead of the usual railing, acrylic glass was used to ensure the safety of the owners' kids. It's safe to say that the staircase is one of the major highlights of the renovated property. It took a month or more to finish it since narra was used on the steps. "It was still fresh, nakabit na, then lumabas yung kulang pala sa treatment, we had to take it out. It took time, then nagka-wood bugs naman. Tanggal ulit. Thrice inulit. Tapos na sya, pero wala kaming steps," the man of the house relates.

RL Tip: If you plan to use wood in your space, it's best to consult with an expert or a design professional. It requires proper treatment and handling to avoid damages, termites, and other problems.


The townhouse follows an unusual layout. While we're used to having the living, dining, and kitchen areas in one space, in this home, the kitchen can be found on the second floor. Just like the other parts of the home, it was given a major redo. For a clean and streamlined look, the owners opted for a modular kitchen, white walls and cabinets, and red accents. The man of the house considers the cooking area his domain, as he enjoys cooking and prepping meals for the family.

Red beveled subway tiles were chosen as backsplash. The bold color complements the white cabinets and give the aesthetic a lively punch. The owners love red, as their kitchen in the condo unit is filled with pops of red, too.

Completing the look of the kitchen are the modern barstools from Decor Contemporary Furniture, metallic droplights, and a granite breakfast bar.

Find similar droplights at Home Cartel. Shop for subway tiles at CW Home Depot.

Master Bedroom

Found on the new floor of the townhouse, a door leads the master bedroom, master bathroom, and the couple's walk-in closet. Johanna was able to maximize every inch of floor space while giving the owners enough storage and creating a calming hotel-like feel.

The customized storage units that complete the walk-in closet were done by the contractor.

A veneer headboard that takes up the entire wall defines the sleeping area. With warm tones dominating the space, we're sure that it will be easy for the owners to get a well-deserved rest. At night, accent lights can be turned on, defining the wall. It sets the mood in the space and helps create a hotel-like feel.

Master Bathroom

The owners were very particular about following a clean look. For the T&B, they took inspiration from bathrooms found in hotels and opted for all-white fixtures, minimalist tiles, and storage for toiletries and other essentials.

From this angle, one can see that the T&B is encased in glass with another enclosure separating the shower area. This design decision gave the bedroom a more open look and keeps it from looking confined.

Kiddie Room

Instead of keeping the playful colors on the walls, white was chosen to keep it flexible and easy to update when the young ones grow up. A bunk bed with hidden storage compartments is the perfect choice as it can be used to store toys and other belongings. The extra cabinet on the side holds clothes and shoes.

Find a similar piece at Mandaue Foam, #489 Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City.

Kiddie Room

To make the room extra functional, a built-in desk, colorful chairs, and a storage piece were also added to the space. This spot comes in handy for studying and reading. Pops of red liven up the room and keep it from being too plain.

Find similar chairs at Dimensione, Unit 901, Quadrant 5, 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

Eldest Son's Room

Simple yet homey, this bedroom features a comfy bed from Uratex, veneer panels similar to what's seen in the master bedroom, and select furnishings. 

Most of the pieces and materials were chosen by the owners, with Johanna giving feedback and suggestions every now and then. Given the extended timeline, they chose to buy furniture from stores instead of customizing every piece as initially planned.

RL Tip: The mattress and bed frame seen in the bedroom are from Uratex.

Guest Bathroom

Gone are the dated tiles and old fixtures. This refreshed bathroom has lovely tiles from La Europa Ceramica, white fixtures, and an enclosed shower area.

Find similar pieces at CW Home Depot.

Planning to work on your own home makeover? The owners and Johanna give these tips:

  • Trust your designer and contractor. Keep communication lines open and welcome their inputs.
  • Meet halfway and compromise. Be open to suggestions and alternatives when it comes to materials.
  • Know your budget and make sure you get trustworthy professionals to work on the project.


Get in touch with interior designer Johanna Corteza through mobile at (0977) 899-3926. You can also email her at jobel_6675[at]

More on

The Complete Renovation of a Bare Condo Unit

An Unfinished House Gets an Extreme Makeover

An Eight-Day Makeover for a Bare Concrete House


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