Tips and Guides

Designer Q and A for October 31 (Part 1)

Interior designer Lilli Beth Gelvezon gives advice suited for a 20sqm home and explains how pink can liven up a kitchen


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Read the original article ("Ask It”) in the March 2007 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details. 

20sqm Home Blues

Q: I am about to have my little house constructed. I have a very tight budget, and I'd like to know how to allot my P10,000 for the construction of my kitchen, bathroom, and gate. By the second quarter next year, I can save some money for the dining, bedrooms, and living area. For this, I'll be needing your advice on how much I would probably need. My house has a 20sqm floor area with provision for an attic. It is so little and bare and so is my budget. - Jennifer L. Arguilla, Marikina Heights, Marikina City

A: It would be misleading for me to tell you how much you need because it depends on a lot of factors like labor, materials, unknown damages, etc. Your best bet is to meet with a number of contractors who can assess your place and give you an approximate figure of the costs. Get referrals from friends. It would help if you have building plans prepared. And you don't have to commit to any of them right away-it's your choice to choose the best contractor who gave you the best price. For more information, visit

As for your P10,000, you should probably start spending it on the gate and fencing first since you want the house secured. Once that's done, then you can think about the kitchen and the bathroom. But I think you have to shell out more than that to construct all three (including materials and labor).

Accent Hue

Q: Our kitchen is located in between the first and second floor. What would be a good accent color and accessory that would add life to the area? - Perfecto Arturo B. Dillera

A: It seems that your kitchen needs a little more warmth. Don't fall off your chair but I'm going to propose a very unexpected color choice that will definitely liven up your space: pink. You can inject the pink through window treatments and/or through colorful fruit bowls. If pink doesn't exactly float your boat, red would be a great second choice. Small kitchen appliances in red will make it come alive. Find a bright red KitchenAid mixer or coffeemaker to put on the counter and you immediately have a focal point on which you can base the rest of your accessorizing.      


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