RL Makeovers: A Two-Week Renovation for a 30sqm Home

Proper space planning and art-inspired colors transform a house from cramped to comfy, with plenty of room for style

Original Article: Kathleen Valle Photography: Ocs Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions Pictorial Direction: Dagny Madamba

Located on the fifth floor of a walk-up condominium, the 30sqm home of couple Romeo and Joan was filled with clutter, discolored walls, and worn-down vinyl floors. The small space also did not have enough lighting fixtures and storage options.

After only two weeks of renovation and decoration, the homeowners are more than happy with the output. Joan shares that she particularly likes the dining area. "It's so vibrant, fresh, modern, and relaxing. We actually conducted a prayer meeting there with our cell group on the very first night we returned [to] our beautiful condo," she shares. 

Read the original article ("A Mondrian Makeover") in the September 2012 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App ( now! Log on to for more details.  

In the living area, the family used to have locker-like cabinets built for storing everything from kitchen items to linens. However, it took up too much space in the living area. Inspired by the bulky cabinet, the designer decided on a new cabinet with a Mondrian-inspired pattern (Piet Mondrian was a Dutch painter and part of the modern De Stijl movement in the 1900s, and was famous for his colorful, block-and-grid artworks). It has open shelves for books and slots for storage.

The dining area did not look like a space for enjoying meals and cherishing the company of loved ones. To remedy this, the designer got rid of the old bookshelves and moved the TV to the living area. He also created a Mondrian-inspired accent wall. Since the designer thought that the traditional primary colors were too loud for a small space, he chose orange, green, gray, and a bit of purple. He referred to these colors in choosing the Davies Paints to be used for the other areas.

To create an efficient layout, the designer made sure that the spaces were divided properly. Areas were assigned and whatever you need is availabe within arm's reach.

If there is no budget for a complete overhaul, opt for a fresh coat of paint and vibrantly-colored home décor. Since the existing bathroom was dull, and boring, the designer painted the overhead cabinet white and chose bright orange accessories.

The master bedroom used to have a double bed with a single bed on top and queen-size bed on the bottom. The designer replaced it with a queen-size bed with a customized bed frame. The space is livened up with a cool green shade on the walls.

The master bedroom used to have a double bed with a single bed on top and queen-size bed on the bottom. The designer replaced it with a queen-size bed with a customized bed frame. The space is livened up with a cool green shade on the walls.

After homeowners Joan and Romy requested for better lighting, the designer installed lighting fixtures from Firefly Electric in all areas of the unit to aid in the family's activities and emphasize the big improvements in the spaces.

Since the children’s bedroom did not even have an actual bed (only a futon), he replaced it with a bunk bed for the two children. The space is decorated with colorful stick-on murals courtesy of Brushstroke Creatives.

How Much It Costs:

Crossings Department Store
Bunk bed, dining set, couch, linens, tableware, wall hangings, and various decor - P 80,000
Davies Paints
Various paints and paint materials - P 24,072
Water closet, faucet, and other bathroom fixtures - P 22,498
Tiles and adhesives used in the bedrooms - P 30,300
Brushstroke Creatives
Vinyl stickers in the foyer and kids' bedroom - P 17,031
Firefly Electric and Lighting Co.
All the bulbs, circular lamps, and switches - P 11,180
La Farge
Cement used in the bathroom re-do - P 5,000
Command Caddy, picture frames and hangers, Command Hooks, and various cleaning aids - P 5,000
Labor and Materials
Carpentry and various construction materials; paint, electrical, and tiling works - P 98,648
Grand Total:
*Grand Total does not include designer's fee

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