RL Makeovers: A Bright Look for a Two-Storey Family Home

A young couple and their three girls get brand new living, kitchen, and dining areas

Photography: Vincent Coscolluela

Homeowners Eric and Tricia were used to living a life of chaos. After all, this might be the price one has to pay for having three  adorable young girls — seven-year-old Nia, three-year-old Vamee, and one-year-old Isha. However, Tricia never gave up the dream of living a life less cluttered. She constantly browsed and kept magazines for future reference. She even bought a few items here and there to keep in storage while they waited for the kids to grow up. As her decorating plans were kept on hold, their kids and their toys gradually took over their two-storey home. 

Real Living contributing stylist and  first-time makeover designer Issa Villar came to the rescuewith new living, kitchen, and dining areas.  “I gave her free reign over the project. I just wanted to maximize her talents, ” Tricia says . Although she kept suggestions to a minimum, it turned out that her vision and Issa’s were a perfect match. Moments before the photo shoot, Issa thought that a floor lamp would have been perfect in an empty spot by the new sofa. Surprisingly enough, Tricia had the exact lamp that she could use!

Read the original article ("The Law of Attraction") in the March 2011 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details.  

Eric’s mother was a piano teacher and left the family this piano when she passed. Although the musical instrument was helpful in doubling as a divider between the living area and the kitchen, Tricia secretly resented the gloomy mood its dark wood evokes. “We had it re-varnished, but it didn’t really help,” says Tricia.  Since letting it go was out of the question, Issa had the piano re-painted white to show off its form and go with the new blue-and-white color scheme of the living area. 

The dining table, a remnant of Eric’s childhood, had been languishing in the garage for years. When Issa suggested using it to replace the awkward glass-topped outdoor dining set they had, Tricia wasn’t sure it could be restored to its old glory—with minor refurbishing, it did. Today, Eric fondly runs his hands over the refinished wood, saying, “I grew up with this table.”  Three little girls now await their turn on this little piece of family history. 

Tricia plans to convert the dirty kitchen to a bedroom for her father-in-law. With this in mind, Issa visualized a space that could eventually turn into a fully functioning indoor kitchen.   That’s why she created a partition by building a shelf to separate the area from the living room. “Before, ‘pag pasok mo, kita na agad lahat,says the designer.  The shelf also provides extra storage for tableware. The existing cabinets were re-painted white, while underneath; the sink area was re-tiled in fun-patterned tiles in the same blue and white color palette of the living room. 

Issa kept the palette soft: blue and white with touches of green and silver for the décor. The original yellow paint Tricia had chosen to brighten up the room was actually doing the opposite. “People always think yellow makes the room bigger, but it all depends on the shade and the lighting,” says Issa. Though in a slightly softer robin’s-egg shade, blue is for the men of the house, Eric and his dad, who are otherwise surrounded by so much female energy. Tricia herself is happy about the color scheme as it breaks the floral and feminine mode they already have in abundance in the bedrooms. 

How Much It Costs:

Crossings Department Store
Center table, sofa with ottoman, mirror, fruit basket, cutlery, picture frames, plates, and glasses - P 60,000
Labor and Materials
Paint, electrical, and carpentry materials, drawer pulls, lights, etc. - P 43,369
Grand Total:
Ready for your own makeover? Contact Issa Villar at 0917 858 9635, or email her at [email protected]

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