Tips and Guides

Designer Q and A for March 3

Design consultant Issa Villar shares how to create a space for a homeowner's parents and a pet-friendly house


Taking care of the home can be a tough thing to do. It can be even tougher for homeowners living with parents and pets. If you are also sharing your house with mom, dad, and a few furry friends, read on for Real Living design consultant Issa Villar's tips for a neat, organized, and stylish space.

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Read the original article ("Ask It") in the September 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. 

Q: My family recently bought a 150sqm property and I would like to make the house cozy and refreshing. My parents are growing older, and I want them to be comfy in this place. Can you help me? – Ivy Favor

 A: The easiest thing you can do is to give it a fresh coat of paint. This will instantly make your parents' home look "new." Try a calming color like The Good Life (B38-3), which is a light blue, or Happy Camper (B33-4), which is a light green (both from Ace Paints). Paint doors and trims white for a clean and classic look. Keep furniture simple–light beige or gray upholstery will work well with the walls–and accessorize with printed throw pillows, potted indoor plants, and a few paintings. Finish off the space with family photos in beautiful frames and your favorite home scent.

Click here to see more photos of this home makeover.

Q: I'd like to get tips from you guys on how to keep a house with two dogs tidy. It's really difficult.—Ivy Andrada Bautista via Facebook

A: Living with a pet requires extra work on your part, if you want your house to be clean and fresh smelling. Here are some tips: vacuum often, every day, if possible. Pets shed hair a lot, and these hair strands start smelling bad when left to accumulate. A swiffer (available at hardware stores) is also a good cleaning tool because unlike a broom, it doesn’t make the hair fly around. Also, groom your pets outside the house to minimize airborne skin particles that contribute to allergies. Moreover, brushing your dog regularly will reduce loose hair that will eventually be shed inside the house.

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

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