Tips and Guides

Designer Q and A for November 9

Interior designer Lilli Beth Gelvezon helps solve dilemmas— from choosing kitchen paint colors to finding a fountain for the garden


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Read the original article ("Ask It”) in the August 2010 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details. 

All Boxed Up

Q: Our family owns a lot of books but we do not have enough space for shelves so I keep them in a box instead. Do you have any suggestions on how I can organize them without taking too much space?—Cecille Marquez, Cavite

A: Multi-functional furniture  are must-haves, especially in small spaces. In your case, furniture that can also be used as storage is your savior. Use a chest as your coffee table (you can find beautiful second-hand chests at any thrift shop). This can easily fit four dozens of books. Also, don’t let the space under your beds go to waste! Find affordable covered baskets at Dapitan Arcade, neatly pile your books in them and store them under your beds. But if you find free space in your home, you should really invest in having shelves made especially for your collection. I find books beautiful. They definitely look best displayed. 

Hello, Yellow!

Q: I want to re-paint my kitchen walls lemon yellow. Can you please suggest a color for my kitchen cabinets that will also go well with my granite countertop?—Gem Manalo, Makati City

A: I don’t know why I don’t often see yellow walls. The color is perfect for kitchens because of its richness and warmth. A simple color scheme that combines different shades and strengths of yellow (from light yellow to butter yellow to yellowish wood to gold) can make any kitchen inviting and homey. Lemon yellow is a bit more intense than the rest of the yellow family but will still work in kitchens. With your granite, it will look best toned down with white or gray cabinets.

Fountain Hunt

Q: We’ve been looking for garden fountains made of bamboo for our garden and lanai but we don’t know where to buy. Can you please  tell us where we can get one?—Jean A. and family

A: There are a number of places where you can buy garden fountains that will help you create a peaceful outdoor space. The greatest things about these shops and stalls are the amount and variety of choices made available to homeowners. I love going to Manila Seedling along Quezon Avenue! Prepare to spend because you’ll buy more than what you need when you go there. Aside from garden fountains, they have beautiful bonsai trees and elegant pottery. Also, check out the stretch of landscaping stalls across White Plains in Katipunan, Quezon City. If you don’t fancy what they have on hand, they can probably create a customized garden fountain for you. Just ask around to get the best price.

Safety First

Q: My daughter is seven years old and wants to sleep in her own bed. The problem is, she moves too much in her sleep and I’m worried she might fall off the bed. Any tips to solve this dilemma?—Debbie Sanchez, Laguna

A: When I was a kid, this was also my dilemma. I used to move around a lot when I slept. I even sleepwalked a couple of times! What helped me from falling off my bed were pillows. I had stacks of pillows on both sides—soft barricades that helped me sleep soundly. If you still don’t feel at ease with just pillows protecting your daughter, you should “fence in” her bed in a way that is not suffocating. Start by placing her bed against a wall in her bedroom. This just leaves one side open,which you can secure with a cozy armchair or her dresser. You can also put a fluffy area rug or a pile of throw pillows around her bed so that in case she does fall, it will at least be a soft landing.


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