Tips and Guides

10 Budget-Friendly Ideas from Real Living Editors

Discover affordable and interesting ways to improve your home

Photography: Miguel Nacianceno, Vincent Coscolluela and Ocs Alvarez

This month, we celebrate the 12th anniversary of Real Living. While our team has featured hundreds of condos, apartments, and houses, in the span of 12 years, we will never stop being happy for every person who has found his or her dream home. There is something incredibly satisfying about seeing someone living in a place that he or she has always dreamed of. 

However, we know that not everyone can afford the mansion or the palace that they truly want. Many of us live in homes that are far from what we imagined. Thankfully, there are many different ways to spruce up the space that you have now.

For a better home and a better life, here a few simple, practical, and reasonably-priced ideas worth trying:

Reinvent old furniture

"Upcycling and recycling can save the day!"— Cielo

Click here to see more photos and view the full home tour.

Use some paint

"If you want to update your area, you should paint your walls, furniture, or decor." — Therese

Click here to see more photos and view the full home tour.

Fill empty jars

"Instead of buying plastic bottles, store toiletries and products in old mason jars and other kitchen containers." — Bea

Photo courtesy of

Collect Real Living magazines

“Read Real Living every month! It’s like having a designer on retainer for only P140.”  Rachelle

Jazz up empty bottles and buy potted plants

"Dress up empty bottles with spray paint, ribbons, twines, or colorful yarns, then voila! You now have unique vases, décor, extra storage for small trinkets!

Also, do not underestimate what small potted plants can do to livening up your space. A hundred pesos can buy you a plant or two (sometimes, even three!) that you can use to inject color and warmth to, say, a boring TV console."  Sunshine

Start with the essentials

"Invest in basic furniture pieces and scrimp on accessories."  Kaye

Click here to see more photos and view the full home tour.

Look for discounted items

"Wait for sales and shop in Dapitan Arcade or Divisoria. You should also learn to haggle!"  Paula

Photo courtesy of

Display weeds and leafy stems

"Instead of flowers, place weeds and leafy stems from your garden in clear glass vases. These have a more organic feel."  Tala 

Photo courtesy of

Shop at reputable furniture stores

"There’s no need to spend big money on throw pillows and accessories, especially if you like to change the look and design of your space often.

I recommend shopping at places like AllHome, Our Home, and SM Home for stylish items that won’t burn a hole in your wallet, but will still look fabulous in your home." Tom

Click here to see more photos of this living area and home office.

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