Tips and Guides

Designer Q and A for December 8

Design expert Issa Villar gives advice to a homeowner in Marikina and a couple with a 48sqm condo unit


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Read the original article ("Ask It”) in the February 2014 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details. 

Separation Anxiety

Q: My husband and I moved in to our new townhouse in Sta. Elena, Marikina last year. The walls and ceiling are painted white. When you enter the room, it has an open plan layout, and looks like one big room. We want to decorate our first floor to distinguish or separate areas, like the living area, dining area, and kitchen. Can you help us? —KM Siayngco

A: There are a few things you can do to separate areas within one open space. You can place rugs in the middle of your living area and under the dining table—area rugs pull furniture together, so it won’t look scattered randomly.

You can also paint an accent wall to draw the eye towards a particular area. Stick with just one wall though, so you don’t walk into a multi-colored room. If your walls are flat, meaning, there are no columns to break the expanse, add a frame to your accent wall with moldings. You may also use screens to divide a space without totally closing off an area.

See more photos and view the full home here:

Designer for Hire

Q: My husband and I will be moving in to our 48-sqm condo unit. We want to have storage solutions and organized, kid-friendly interiors. We also want to hire an interior designer, but our budget is tight at around P300,000. Will this suffice?— Mary Lianne Valdez

A: P300,000 is not bad—a lot can be done with this budget. To make sure you get your money’s worth, it is a good idea to hire a designer because they will be able to give you exactly what you need. Some designers charge per square meter, while others charge at a percentage or lump sum. Ask around and get recommendations to find a designer that best suits your needs and taste. 

Find interior designers here:


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