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Tips and Guides

Create Your Own Real Makeover For 30k

Get the look of one of our favorite makeovers—here are five steps (plus products) to do it.

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Original Article: Hannah Dormido Photography: Vincent Coscolluela & Paolo Feliciano Interior Designer: Dagny Madamba

Real Living will be making its open call for our 2017 Ultimate Makeover soon. (Want to know if your home needs a makeover? Click here to find out.) In the meantime, while you’re waiting—or if you’re too impatient to try out your luck—perhaps you might want to consider working on your own makeover. 

Let’s use one of our most popular makeovers as an example: our deputy associate editor Dagny Madamba’s redesign of homeowners Paul and Caroline’s living room. (To see more of this makeover, click here.) It wasn’t bad looking, but the couple admitted that they had “run out of ideas,” and that it was “monotonous” with its all-neutral tones and dark, bulky couch.


Dagny volunteered for this makeover, saying that she wanted the room to “match the homeowners’ charming and bubbly vibe.” Here are some of her tips that you can cop for your own makeover, plus a list of products at the end—you’ll still have enough money to give the walls a fresh coat of paint!


 1. Use light-colored walls for cramped space.

"Choose a light neutral shade for the walls to make the space wider. If you want a pop of color on your wall, choose a light hue," suggests Dagny. The couple wanted their space to look lighter and welcoming, so the designer painted the walls off-white, and added a blue accent wall to give a pop of color.  

2. Choose well-proportioned seating furniture.

The original maroon sofa took up most of the living room space. "Dikit na dikit yung mga gamit, everything looked too compressed," shares Caroline. To solve this, Dagny chose a slimmer and armless sofa and stools, which provided more seating options for guests.

3. Mix and match your frames for a charming photo wall.

Caroline always wanted a photo wall. "That's my dream. I wanted to print our pictures in black and white, then display them, but it did not happen," she recalls. So Dagny picked frames of varying shapes and sizes as wall art.

4. Use mirrors to make a small area appear more spacious.

The living room used to have a mirror hanging on the wall right above the sofa. Since mirrors are a great trick at making a space appear twice its size, Dagny chose to keep the mirror and hung it vertically on the accent wall.

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5. Cozy up and anchor the area with a rug.

To complete the look of the living room, Dagny threw in an easy-to maintain rug. "This will also give perimeter to the area and will cozy up the living room," she adds. Caroline's kids love to seat on the floor when they watch TV, so the rug will also provide them with something comfy place to sit on.  

Get The Look:


1. Start with the most important piece, the sofa.

Two-seater sofa, P12,000, Mandaue Foam

2. Add a space-enhancing long mirror.

Mirror, P850, Mandaue Foam

3. A slim lamp can save precious floor space.

Elite Floor Lamp, P3,750, Habitat

4. Anchor it with a funky-colored rug.

Patterned Flat-weave Rug, P1,190, H&M Home

5. Get a classy coffee table with space to stash magazines underneath.

Niall Coffee Table, P7,998, Blims

6. Choose ottoman stools with storage.

Ottoman With Side Pocket, P999.75, SM Home

7. Hang framed prints in threes. 

Framed Print, P349.75, SM Home

8. Finish the look with two eye-popping pillows.

Pillowcases, P299 each, H&M Home

Product images from Blims, Habitat, SM Home, and H&M Home websites; SM photos of ottoman and print by Kurt Alvarez

More on Realliving.com.ph

RL Makeovers: A Colorful Look for a Plain Living Room

3 Mini Makeovers For P3,000 Or Less

7 Style Tricks from This Year’s Ultimate Makeover

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