design projects

Project Modern Cottage: The Big Reveal!

2:56:00 AM
This project was already done monthssss ago so here I am posting the reveal merely five days after the introduction. This will not always be the case once I start posting real-time again just like the good 'ol days since five days = not enough time for a project. Haha.. I know it's so much more satisfying to see the reveal asap rather than you know, a year or more after *ahem tiny house.* But I want to go back to the roots of this blog and maybe just make a pinky promise with the universe that I'll actually push-though and have decent shots for a reveal post. You have no idea how many projects I haven't documented with photos, hence they're not in the portfolio. I know, not a good practice. I'll change. So what do you think? Blog real-time or just wait until everything is done and post them simultaneously? Oooh what a conundrum! *sarcasm*

Anyway, back to Project Modern Cottage. As I said in the earlier post, I LOOOVE this project! It's just a fun little unit and the owners are fun to be with as well. I always stayed at least an hour more after our meetings just to chit-chat. 

Here's the floor plan of the unit. It's an efficient straight forward layout. 


We started from a very bare unit which you can see in the previous post. I decided to document this to include the design drawings so you can see how the plan translated into reality.

Here's the living area and where the boys sleep. It's a daybed with pull-out bed so it can comfortably sleeps two. The tv table is custom to mimic the look of the original design, but customized to function better for the family. 

Decided to put three identical mirrors on the long wall to visually enlarge the space. Didn't want to clutter this wall so much since we have the gallery wall around the tv, a lot of throw pillows to add colors to this wall, and a patterned curtain on the other side.
Throw pillows: Mandaue foam

We kept the original kitchen cabinets since it's just neutral and would work well with our concept. Instead of a traditional dining table, they wanted an island with seating to provide more workspace for the kitchen. 


The bedroom is very fun with lots of accent colors. The tv table is custom, actually almost all of the furniture in this unit were customized to fit the space perfectly.
light fixture: Distinctive Lights Quezon Ave

The accent chair she already bought even before we started the project. I love it. The colors are perfect.

Sorry I don't have a decent shot of the same angle. Hehe.. The bed is simple with straight lines to tone down all the girliness going-on. 


This is the first thing you'll see when you enter the unit. We bumped out the wall a little to create a built-in shoe cabinet. We hang that very cute clock, another nod to cottage design.
Blue artwork: Mandaue Foam / Clock: Wilcon

We placed a modern floor lamp in the corner of the room. It's not identical to the one on the plan, but the moment I saw this, I just knew that it would work well in the space. 
Floor lamp. wooden frames, feather & shell art: Mandaue foam

The client loves to shop for decor stuff, and she has a lot of nice things to work with, like all that tin cans. How cute right?

Love the pattern on that curtains! Bought a fabric that the client and I both love, and had them custom-made. It's also the same fabric used in one of the ottomans.

One of my favorite element in this project is the ceiling. We had it covered in wood looking vinyl. Those are actually meant for floors, but I want it up there! It just brings so much warmth to the space. The light fixture is gorgeous too! I wanted a modern chandelier that would still suit the country vibe, and this one is perfect. 
Wood vinyl: Wilcon / Curtain fabric: Somewhere in tutuban, forgot the store name! Haha

The frame gallery is a collection of postcards they bought on a family trip, artworks the client already owned,  pieces from furniture stores that i bought, and family photos. I wanted that wall to look like a collection instead of all being too matchy. And again, that ceiling and fixture!
Light fixture: Distinctive Lights Quezon Ave

The desk chair is an old chair of theirs that we refinished white. The desk is custom, and it can turn into a vanity by flipping up the top to reveal a mirror and cosmetic storage compartment. I know. I want one too.

The roman blinds in here is much simpler since we already have a lot of patterns and colors in the accent chair, tv table, and beddings. Despite having so many of that, the room still feels calm when you're in there I'm not sure why. Haha...

Oh, I'm trying this new thing where I'll share the sources of the items shown here. You can see them below the photos. Most will probably be out of stock because this post is lonnnng over due. Haha

And just to prove how late this really is, the unit has already been featured in Real Living last May 2016. Hehe..  You can see the complete feature here

So, that's it. Another one down, and hopefully hundreds more to go! :)
design projects

Project Modern Cottage: The Plans

9:23:00 PM
I can't remember the last time I shared a design project here. Well... I can't remember the last time I did anything here except for the last few posts, so there's that. Haha.. So here I am sharing this project I did a little while back. It's one of my recent favorite, I love how everything turned out, and the clients are wonderful as well. 

A little back story, the clients --a couple who has been working in Makati for a very looong time, I can't remember exactly but I guess around 15 years -- has been coming from and going home everyday to Novaliches. They told me the drive was their way to bond and share stories. It used to be tolerable, but since the traffic got worse the past few years, the former hour drive is now 2.5 hours, each way! They decided to buy a condo unit as their half-way home to ease their stress, plus a place for their sons to stay since they are now studying in universities nearby. 

Enter Elle. Haha.. They asked my help to design their one bedroom unit and make it the wife's cottage dream house. Of course, we have to "consider" the 3 boys that would also live there. The husband told me that whatever the wife wants, she should get since she's the queen of the house. (wise man right there! Haha) So I went all out with the elements of cottage, but toned it down by using wood and clean lines, but still remained feminine for the woman of the house (the one in the above photo! Hello Pat!) 

As you can see, we started with a very blank slate. I love it because everything is plain and neutral. The cabinets (kitchen and wardrobe) is a cream laminate instead of those typical super fake orangey tones. The floors in the living room is an off-white tile, and a nice medium walnut color for the bedroom floors. Basic and simple.

This not my typical mood board set-up (I usually use photoshop) but since I needed a lot of different angles, I did a 3d model instead. Anyway, it's a small one-bedroom. The layout is straight forward, there's only a few options so I did the most functional, and concentrated on the design.

For the entire unit, I had a chair rail height bead board installed. It's the one element that really gives a cottage charm. Instead of a sofa, I recommended a daybed with pull-out bed to sleep the boys. Three big mirrors on the long wall to visually enlarge the space and to add texture, without adding much visual clutter since the other wall is a gallery wall.

We kept the existing kitchen cabinets, but changed the counters, added a backsplash tile, and built a cabinet in the space supposedly for the oven. As you can see in one of the before photos above, there's a nook for the oven, but since they're not planning on putting one, we just installed a counter top induction and utilized the nook for storage. We built a custom island that will also act as additional storage and dining table.

The colors for the living space will be pale powder blue, and mint green for the bedroom. We incorporated a lot of patterns through textiles all though out the unit, but kept the furniture in neutral white and wood, except for the tv table for the bedroom. I love how that piece turned out! 

One of my favorite piece is the desk / vanity table hybrid. It's simple in style but packs functionality which is very essential for a smaller place. I'm not sure if I have photos of the vanity aspect of the desk, maybe I can ask Pat to send me one? ;) 

Because of space constraints, we installed a wall light for the bedside to free up much needed space on the table. 

I know this is still really feminine, but instead of using a traditional cottage curvy details, we have modern furniture with wood all around. We even installed wood vinyl on the ceiling, which you'll see on the reveal post. That's just a little extra but totally added so much warmth to the space. This is definitely a queen's space, but the men comfortably live here too. :)

Oh, here's the floor plan since this post is titled "The Plan" so I think it's just appropriate. Haha.. 

On the next post, you'll see how I translated these drawings into reality. I'm proud of the outcome of this unit, it's bright, fun and most importantly, the owners love it and are now enjoying a stress-free evening after work. :)
tiny house decoration

Tiny House Update: The Third Floor After a Year

10:46:00 PM
This is a much long overdue update about the Tiny House. I know I would be so annoyed if I followed this story and never got to see what happened. It's like watching a movie and then boom, blackout! You didn't get to see the ending. So here I am posting the ending one year later. But this isn't an ending, it's actually the beginning of all the decorating this house is gonna get. In that one year that we've been here, there's not much decorating besides the stairway frame gallery and the one above the sofa, which isn't even final. I'll update as we go, but for now, here's our main living space today.

Before showing you all the update, lets do a little recap so everything will make more sense. On this post here, I showed the plans for the house. Basically, we did 3 floors plus a loft. First floor right now is a storage area, second floor is our bedroom / dressing area / main bathroom, and third floor is our main living space. 

Some changes we're made to the plans (kitchen/fridge area) but you get the gist, that's where we spend most of our time. At one point, we even sleep there and totally ignored the bedroom, haha. We did the inverted layout (meaning bedroom is in a lower level, living space higher up) since we wanted to take advantage of the high ceilings the loft would give the third floor. It really did make the space looks so much bigger than it really is. 

I threw in a few construction photos just to show you the progress this house made. Look! -- no walls and floors!

Here's our house today. Much cleaner version of our house that is. :) Love the look of the sofa but it hurts Yuseff's back after prolonged seating so that might be changed sometime in the future. We also had a bench custom made for the window wall since we have a lot of friends and family that come over once in a while. It also serves as one of our "bed" when we did decide to sleep here. Hehe

The frames behind the sofa will receive an update but I'm still not sure what kind. I'm not 100% satisfied with them but for now, it's okay, and better than none at all. Definitely not all white. Something a little more organic. But I love the photos in there so thats what counts right? The throw pillows we already have, good thing I'm into the mis-matched look. Haha...

Another construction shot with me in it. I remember this moment and I was all so excited that the house is coming to life!

Here's the house now at almost the same angle. I love all our windows but it's too difficult to take a decent shot. All you'll see through out this post are glare! Haha.. But I'm not complaining, I love all the light we get in here. Never need to open up a single light during the day. 

Here you can see our tv wall that I still have no idea what to do. It also has our aircon, so I just put an artwork in there to make it a little more finished. But it definitely is not. Haha..  It's a big tv for such a small space and we love it. Movie nights are great. Though movie days are not because, glare.  Maybe we'll add roller shades in here someday. But those are expensive so that will be a further someday. The printer is there temporarily until we finish setting up the office. Another someday, but hopefully a little sooner. 

WINDOWS!!! We're not short on those. And the good thing about these windows are the view. We live in the middle of the city but since we're higher up, all we see are trees, which is amazing. I'm hoping that our neighbors never cut those. The coffee table are from Yuseff's grandparent's old home in Masbate. 

The other side of the third floor. This side has the kitchen, dining space, and powder room (behind the black door). 

Dining table was bought from Mandaue foam, but the design is based from Ikea's Norden Gateleg table. I'm not in love with the look, but it's super functional. We can close it up if we need more space, but it's open most of the time. Plus, storage! We'll probably refinish it down the line. Chairs are all vintage that we had collected even before we built the house. The wall beside the table is our future garden wall. I would love to have shelves with tons of plants in there! I think it will be gorgeous. :) 

This is the kitchen that we rarely use. Haha.. We mostly eat at our cafe, but we have a few snacks in here. :) I'm planning to fully utilize this sometime soon. We don't have a traditional stove, just an induction cooker that we can keep when not in use. Definitely not a chef's kitchen, but it does the job. 

I didn't bother to style the shelves, nor the counter. Actually, didn't style anything for this photos. I just clean up our crap, and shoot. Hehe.. We have adequate storage for now, but if in the future we need more, we can easily add a pantry under the stairs to the loft (right side of the fridge).

Here's our view looking up at the loft...

Here it is today. I'll share more about the loft on a future post. It was supposed to be a shared office so initially it was mostly black with one pale pink wall. But at one point, we decided that Yuseff will get the first floor, and I can use the loft as my office. Which obviously means it should be painted all pink right? Don't worry, it's not a bright or bubblegum pink, just a pale peachy pink. That's what I told Yuseff so I could get my way. Haha

So that's our space in one year of living here. Once in a while, we'd still stop and stare and feel grateful that we have this, dare I say, beautiful home to call our own. We created it together, which makes it a lot more special going home here every day. It's not perfect, I'd love to have a bigger kitchen (and I'm a terrible cook which is ironic!), or a yard for dogs. I love dogs. But it's perfect for us now, and would hopefully last us a lot of years. It's also great that we're near our families, his family is literally just next door, and mine is a 10-minute drive away. We're clingy that way. Haha.. 

Anyway, I'm closing this post lying here at our sofa, looking around at our now messy space, smiling like a fool. Not relevant, just letting you know... Haha. Are you home now? What do you see? Are you living at your dream home or still dreaming about it? Whatever it is, smile, you have a roof over you head. :)
frame gallery

Tiny House Decoration: Frame gallery for the Stairway

10:39:00 PM
I love frame galleries. I really do. I've done a lot of it may it be in our old home, or my clients' spaces. To prove my point, I'll show you some of my favorites:

Our old house... 

A teenage girl's bedroom... 

A very chic office...

An ice cream shop... 

A newlywed's condo...

A half-way house... 

I could go on and on, but that will just be me showing-off my work (HAHA!). The point is I love them so much that my own home will never be complete without one.  The one obvious wall to have a gallery is on our stair way. It's just a big blank wall.  

Apparently, I don't have a before photo of that said blank wall. So this construction shot should suffice. Hehe

I usually don't buy brand new frames for our own use. I just gather old frames and make them work. It's cheap, and by cheap, I mean free. 

We only spent on spray paint for them to be cohesive. This time, I used black because that's the theme of that said wall. Black and white. All the photos are also printed in b/w.

Here they are starting to install our gallery. We first started with the chalkboard art of our names that we used in our wedding back drop. (You can see the wedding DIY details here) I love it so much that it needed to be displayed in our house! HAHA.. I'm just wondering how long that chalk would last.. though it still looks good now which is already more than a year after the wedding.  Hopefully it would last much longer!

Here they are all done.  I adore that wall. It's us and our families which makes it a lot more meaningful. When I'm having a stressful day, I just look at them and it usually calms me. :)

And here's a pulled-back shot showing a preview of the dining area. Next post I'll show you a lot of photos of this floor which is our kitchen, dining, and living space. Major Tiny House update y'all!

I think a home should have photos of people we love, or even things or places that makes us happy. It's just what makes a house a home, aside from the people living with us of course. What about you? Do you have a wall that calms you?