The homeowner clearly recalls being part of what their neighbors touted as “the model family house.” It wasn’t a luxurious abode back in the 1980s, but it was a home filled with warmth and good memories. A few years later, an unforeseen domestic drama prompted the family’s relocation to Tarlac. Their family was no longer TV commercial ideal, and their home—rented to five families in a span of two decades—has never been the same again.

Last year, the homeowner—together with her mother, brothers, and daughter—moved back to their old house to start a new life in Manila, but all she found was a harrowing run-down structure. “It is sad that the home you loved and gave roof to others turned [out] to be so neglected, ugly, and barely standing still,” she lamented in her letter to Real Living. The house had become so depressing that the homeowner dreaded coming home to it.

While she was dead set on convincing her mother to sell the house, a well-meaning aunt intervened and persuaded her to try her luck in the magazine’s Ultimate Makeover promo. See how the entire team, together with interior designers and good friends Jean Paul dela Rosa and Kristine Neri gave the home a fairy tale makeover.

Click "next" to see the rest of the amazing photos.

Get more fabulous home makeover ideas in the May 2013 issue of Real Living Philippines, out on stands now! You can also subscribe to the magazine's digital edition.

Also in this issue:
How to do the HIGH-LOW mix
SPLURGE, SAVE, & everything in between.

(First published as "Hope Floats" in the "Ultimate Makeover" section of Real Living Philippines' September 2010 issue. Words by Kathleen Valle. Pictorial direction by Gwyn Guanzon. Photography by Miguel Nacianceno. Adapted for use in Female Network.)

The once ceiling-less house not only has a proper covering, but is also accented with a chandelier from Handyman. The yellow patterned sofa from Mandaue Foam Furniture Showroom (matched with a dining set from the same store) compelements the cool blue walls.

The master bedroom owes much of its classiness to the relaxing palette and the sense of symmetry. Each side of the bed has a restored table, a lamp from Mandaue Foam Furniture Showroom, and framed wrapping paper. The white wall accents also add interest to a room without taking up space.

The simple mirror looks classy against a background of shabby grills, which were actually unearthed from the family's small, open elevated outdoor storage room.

Prior to the renovation, the house only had very few furniture since the family left their belongings in the province. "There was no more budget for installing the dividers in another area in the living room. Also, they somewhat didn't fit ," says Kristine. "Then Jippi [Jean Paul's nickname] had a brilliant idea of using them as headboards," she adds. Painted white, these makeshift "very Hamptons" headboards make for stunning bedroom accents.

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