A makeover wouldn’t be called as such if the change isn’t apparent. With Real Living’s September 2011 ultimate makeover winner, however, the change is more than evident—it’s as if the whole house has been breathed with new life. “Ico-cover na lang namin ‘yan ng cling wrap para ma-preserve (We'll just cover everything with cling wrap to preserve it!)!” quips the homeowner. Her husband even chimes that they won’t touch anything in the house and will just treat it like a museum!

The home was originally very dark and dilapidated. It was in dire need of some renovation, especially because of the leaky ceiling. The original narra panel wall also rendered the house gloomy. “Ever since nalipat ‘yung living room at dining area sa garahe, hindi na nag-function ‘yung loob, parati na madilim (Ever since the living room and dining area were transferred to the garage, these rooms have lost their function, they're always dark),” says the homeowner’s son who wrote to ask for an Ultimate Makeover as a gift for his hardworking parents.

Wala kasi silang naipon sa pagpapagawa ng bahay kasi naubos sa pagpapaaral sa aming pitong magkakapatid (They weren't able to save for the renovation of the house because all the money was used to fund the tuition for all seven of us),” he explains.

The family waited for two years to finally be chosen as the winner. The long wait brough them not just one—but two—designers who worked their magic: Hannah Acab-Fasutino and Jean Paul dela Rosa, who were both given the freedom by the homeowners to do what they think is best. Turn to the next page to see just how big a transformation the house underwent.

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

Also in this issue:
33 Pages of Sweet, Comfy Homes
Expert Advice: How to Buy a Proper Bed
Cozy Living, Find Your Comfort Zone

(First published as "No More Room for Gloom" in the "Ultimate Makeover" section of Real Living Philippines' September 2011 issue. Photos by Vincent Coscolluela. Words by Sunshine Selga-Funa. Pictorial direction by Joanne Enriquez-Bohol. Styling by Dagny Madamba. Adapted for use in Female Network.)

Hannah worked around with colors and materials for the walls and the floor to make the living area brighter and more inviting. “As I went along, I chose the furniture that will fit the color [of the living room].” A wall painted yellow courtesy of NVIRO brightens the room, punctuated by a dainty decal. This is complemented by wallpaper from Design Gold and ceramic tiles in wood pattern from Hanwha. A new classy couch from Crossings Department Store is in place.

The vintage stereo, which was originally in the master bedroom, now greets visitors upon entrance. While the radio is the only thing working now, the classic piece finds a new lease on life as a console table. Above it is another salvaged item: a mirror with an old wooden frame. Hannah updated the look by having it painted white.

The new dining area is a picture of flair and freshness. Shelves and cabinets with louvered doors were made for storing dinnerware and as an accent. “Before wall lang talaga siya (Before, it was really just a wall),” Jean Paul recalls. This nook is made more interesting by a pair of framed décor from Crossings. And instead of the usual vase or pot, Jean Paul ingeniously saved a tin bin from the trash and repurposed it as a charming plant box. An old pitcher also became a new decorative piece.

Due to budget constraints, Hannah decided to donate her beloved sunburst mirror, which hangs at the corner of the room. Beside the bed, there used to be a cluttered open shelf that housed clothes and images of saints. Hannah replaced this with a closet and transferred the sacred items to a altar that greets the homeowners upon entering their now pristine bedroom.

Once, one of the homeowners’ sons had to make do with a cushion spread on the floor. Now, the nursing student has a decent bed and Uratex mattress to rest on. To add punch to the room, Jean Paul took a cue from Super Potato, a Japanese design firm that tinkers with junk items repurposed into interesting art pieces: an electric fan cover, a bicycle wheel, speaker covers, and an aircon part were all painted white and were propped up on the wall using hooks from Home Aid—a quirky display that definitely catches one’s attention.

Except of course for the positioning of the bathroom elements, almost everything else is brand new. Subtly breaking the gray–and-white scheme is a large mirror framed in metallic gold from Crossings. The quaint toilet paper holder is actually another original item resurrected in white paint. The water closet as well as the space-saving sink, came from Homestore. The bidet spray and soap dispensers, on the other hand, came from Home Aid, which also supplied all the other hardware and cleaning aid in the house.

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