The homeowner never had any luck with contests, not even with cake raffles, but while writing her entry to Real Living’s Makeover Contest a few days before the deadline for submission, her palpable gut feel assured her she would hit the jackpot this time.

“I’m like a hopeful child who wishes to someday afford a simple makeover. It has always been my dream to have a homey and pleasantly colorful space,” she writes in her entry. Perhaps her yearning was so intense that she permitted herself to believe she would win despite her elusive luck in the past. Her gut feel was not in vain.

Interior designer Lisa Salvador examined the rented home and noticed, among other things, that “the furniture items she was using were a bit oversized which made the house smaller than it really is.” All their furniture, including the boxy sala set and the huge oval dining table, are mostly hand-me-downs. “Nasira kasi nang [Typhoon] Ondoy 'yung mga gamit namin, kaya puro bigay ang furniture namin. Wala pa kaming pambili nang pamalit (All of our things got destroyed when Typhoon Ondoy struck, so almost all of our furniture are donations. We still don't have the money to buy replacements),” says the homeowner, who also got some furniture from garage sales.

Lisa found the area challenging because “the space was deep, it only provided an ‘alley’ type of layout.” Click “next” to find out how she got around it.

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

Also in this issue:
Beautiful Homes!
RL's Must-Have Guide to Surface Finishes
What's the Hottest Color Today?
Cut Down Your Air-Con Usage!

(First published as "Truly Gifted" in the "Real Makeover" section of Real Living Philippines' December 2010 issue. Words by Kathleen Valle. Pictorial direction by Coni Tejada. Photography by Miguel Nacianceno. Adapted for use in Female Network.)

The open layout for living room, dining room, and kitchen does wonders in making the whole area seem roomier.


The couch’s mod silhouette and fall colors temper the dainty floral curtain and the patterned pillows.


Robinsons Appliances provided the wall-mounted TV. A no-nonsense shoe cabinet, also used as a console table, is positioned right below it. The ceiling fan, courtesy of Handyman, is a serious step-up from others of its kind. Meanwhile, the homeowner’s three-year-old daughter uses these small-scale, sturdy furniture.


Filling the new sleek rack are small appliances from Handyman and pots, pans, and plates from Robinsons Department Store.


Sitting on top of the microwave oven are tree accents, which the homeowner adores. A slim storage rack fits just right under the stairs. The accent wall, painted rust, features whimsical stickers.


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