RL Makeovers: A Chic yet Comfortable Home for 70-year-old Grandparents

Discover how design consultant Elle Uy completely changed the living, kitchen, dining, and bath areas in only two weeks

Original Article: Kathleen Valle Photography: Vincent Coscolluela Pictorial Direction: Dagny Madamba Design Consultant: Elle Uy

At 70 and 74-years-old respectively, it was becoming difficult for homeowners Nemencio and Gween Nicodemus to climb the stairs and go to their own bedroom. To make things easier, they would often eat, sleep, and entertain visitors in the living room of their family home. However, the area was too messy and cluttered – it was not a versatile space fit for all of their needs.

To help Nemencio and Gween, their daughter-in-law, Lanie Apostol-Nicodemus, joined Real Living’s makeover contest. Much to Lanie’s surprise, design consultant Elle Uy agreed to renovate the living area and the rest of the first floor! Elle organized the things and worked with the awkward, “pie-shaped” layout of the 30-year-old house. She was able to create clean, clutter-free, and cozy spaces that would be ideal for different activities.

Read the original article ("Everything’s Coming Up Roses”) in the December 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. 

The elderly couple needed a comfortable sleeping area downstairs. To create this space, Elle opted for two seating pieces from Crossings Department Store which could also be used as beds – a black tufted sofa bed for Nemencio; and a gray, upholstered divan for Gween. 

The black sofa bed and gray divan are complemented with red, green, and yellow décor. These shades are seen on the patterned pillowcases sewn by Elle’s reliable driver and handywoman, Manang Tas. Red, green, and yellow glass canisters from Crossings Department Store complete the space. 

For a clean and fresh look, Elle used beige paint on the walls. This is also an affordable way to reinvent the existing furniture pieces – the old chairs have also been painted gray. On the other side of the space, the old cabinet is now green.

Paint courtesy of Boysen Paints

Adding more lights is an easy way to instantly improve any home. It can brighten up the areas to make them look airy and spacious.

Another way to immediately change the space is to use pieces of the right size. In this house, the old dining set was too big for a small home. Elle replaced the existing dining set with a new mini-table for three.

Lights courtesy of Firefly Lights

Because of the strange layout of the home, the bathroom is too small. In fact, it was only possible to take a full shot from one angle. To make the most of the tiny space, Elle replaced the old bathroom fixtures with a sleek mounted sink, toilet, and other accessories from Homestore. She also decorated one wall with broken tiles laid out in “crazy cut” fashion.

Lanie describes her in-laws’ house’s layout as “pie-shaped,” with the space going distinctly narrower from the living area to the bathroom. To make the most of the existing layout, Elle removed the sink underneath the stairs. She kept the baseboard of the existing counter and built a matching cabinet on the top half.

More on

RL Makeovers: A Fresh Look for a Once-Flooded House in Marikina

RL Makeovers: A Colorful Look for a Plain Living Room

RL Makeovers: Bright Colors for a 50-year-old Living Room


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