This Sealed the Deal

As I've mentioned time and time again, lurking the interweb for beautiful interiors, inspiration, and ideas has been a normal day to day occurrence around here.When I'm doing nothing, I do it. Even when I'm doing something, I find myself getting distracted by it. So naturally, I see a LOT of images to inspire me, and this home tour from Apartment Therapy did just that. I rarely post exact tours from other website (alright, I rarely post. period.) But when I saw the navy dining room of this house, well, it sealed the deal, and here I am sharing. The third floor living, dining, kitchen area of the tiny house will be painted this exact shade of navy...
navy blue walls, navy blue dining room, eclectic interior, frame gallery

navy blue walls, navy blue dining room, eclectic interior, frame gallery

navy blue walls, navy blue dining room, eclectic interior, frame gallery

navy blue walls, navy blue dining room, eclectic interior, frame gallery

navy blue walls, navy blue dining room, eclectic interior, frame gallery

Dark, cozy, pairs well with wood, black, whites, metallics, actually, it will pair well with any other color there is. I'm itching to paint the tiny house!!! The only problem is there is still no walls to paint. Haha.. But, we already have concrete posts for the additional floor... Last thursday, we poured concrete. Yay! But for now, we'll keep this images in our mind, and soon enough, our walls will be this. Deal.

Tiny House: Building Options and the Chosen One

From the beginning of all this project dream home conception, even before we landed on the bf's family's property, I have thought of different approach on how to build a house. We definitely won't do the typical build as we have a budget and have a lot of "wants."

BUILDING OPTIONS

1) The first I thought of is your traditional concrete build and just keep everything bare and basic for the industrial look + save on cost by not using the typical finishes like ceiling, paint, flooring.


2) Then my contractor suggested Shipping containers. He renovated a home made of shipping containers here in qc so he knew it is possible. I did my research on it, and even visited the site, it looks promising.

(Check out: Living in a Metal Box)


3) But my very persistent brain thought, "Maybe we could do something cheaper?" Yep, after all the costing I did for shipping containers, it still is somewhat costly for all the modifications you need to do. Plus craning it to higher floors sounds terrifying in a home setting. Hehe... I have inquired about prefab houses and realized we can do that type of construction. Warehouse / factory do this a lot, so why not a residential build right? Just build a metal skeleton frame on a foundation, and clad it with rib-type longspan, insulate and build interior walls. Sounds doable. I've discussed my thought process in this post: New House Construction Idea: Hopefully Cheaper than Shipping Containers.


But even before all the plan progress, we got a hiccup on where to actually build a house! Discussed it all in this post, and in the end, project dream home will rise in the bf's family's property. :) Which of course, needed a new construction approach. It's 3.5 meters wide so we can't use shipping containers, plus I think it would be impossible to bring them in anyway since we're at the far end part of the property. The steel post/beam plus metal cladding will be tricky as well since there's an existing 2 story structure in it.

For a while, we were set on just doing the traditional build. Extend the existing posts and put additional beams using rebars / concrete and do chb walls. No solid concrete flooring, we'll install wood floors just like how all the houses in the compound were built.


THE CHOSEN ONE

BUT then again, even just based on this post alone, you would know that I want to have better options. So I consulted with our structural engineer if it's possible to....

1) Build the post and beam (additional level) using the traditional rebar + concrete so they are all properly connected to the existing structure.

2) But use steel bars + exterior metal wall cladding + insulation + interior walls for all the walling of the additional floor. 

Something like this, but instead of I-beam steel post, we'll have concrete.

So basically, it's the new construction idea of using metal wall clad but in combination of the traditional concrete post / beam build. We will have concrete skeleton for the entire house, but for the additional floors, we'll have metal walls instead. 

WHY? I guess you're wondering why not go with chb walls then if we're doing concrete posts anyway. 

1) Even though the engineer told us that the existing foundation / post can carry the load of additional story, I still wanted the extension as light as possible. Less stress for the structure. 

2) It will be so much more convenient. We're building on a tight space so we actually have almost zero storage / work area. No space to store all the chb, and no space to mix all the concrete for the walls. (We're going with ready-mix concrete for the post / beams) It would also cut construction time significantly, installing the longspan would be easier and no more exterior painting necessary as we're going for pre-painted panels.

3) As for the cost, I have no idea if it's cheaper. Haha.. I think it is though overall. Even if the materials would cost the same, labor cost will be cheaper because it would take less time to install.

(Wow this post if full of numbered list! haha)

 I still can't vouch for the longevity of this approach. I just thought that if a metal roof can withstand the elements, then using those as walls could do the same right? Also with all the huge metal warehouses I saw standing strong, I think it would fare well in a tiny house. I think proper maintenance is key, as for all type of house construction anyway.

So is this the best option for everyone? Definitely not. But for us, for now, it is the best plan we have. We'll give you update over the years on how it will hold up, but I'm hoping for the best!

As for what's going on in the construction now, can't give you update just yet as there's nothing to say / show. Haha.. It still basically looks the same like the last time I showed you. All that happened does not translate to photo well as it is all about formwork / framework in preparation for the pouring of concrete for posts and beams happening this thursday! That is one big step as I'm tired of looking at rebars and cocolumbers. Haha.. But after the first pour, we'll have another one for the loft level, which means another round of formworks! This is taking too long.. haha.. But we got to do it properly so we've got to suck it up and be patient. 

Here are some photos I took the past few weeks. Not very nice, I know.





Hoping to share a better update and more progress soon after the first concrete pour. It's a very exciting time as it means that the extension will officially be part of the house. Yay!

Wish us luck.

(Follow the Tiny House Saga here


Project Modern Mix: Bedrooms Reveal

The on-going discussion between the bf and I the past few days are about the bedroom. Bedroom design that is. We basically know the look we're going for for most areas of the Tiny House, except for the bedroom. We can't come to a final concept. We have different ideas. I wanted bright, casual, scandinavian; he wanted art deco, drama, elegant. Total opposite. Hahaha.. No idea how to combine that so the bedroom design is still up for debate. 

Thank goodness this client is so much easier to work with than the bf. He just wanted cozy, with some nice details. He basically gave me free reign. If only that's the case for the Tiny House. ;) This unit has two master bedrooms since it's a combined unit. (See main area here)


MASTER GUESTROOM

I went a little bolder with the wallpaper and installed something dark and cozy. Bought this chandelier on impulse and the client loved it. Thank goodness! I was a little concerned since it's a bit weird, but I guess that's what got him. He's into non-typical and sculptural pieces.

Wanted to have a cohesive unit, so furniture are all modern with clean lines just like in the main area. The colors here are browns, grays, blacks, and white.

I have nothing to do with this, but I love love the polka-dot beddings. The client bought all the beddings and just asked me for color options. This gave this room a bit of fun and playfulness. 


MASTER BEDROOM

For the main bedroom, the client wanted a hotel-like feel. It's quite a common request actually, who doesn't want to sleep in a luxurious hotel right? But I wanted to make it a little more special.

For extra texture and depth, we installed wallpaper on both the walls and the ceilings. It would still be a nice room with plain painted walls, but the wallpaper just took it a notch higher. It's not that obvious in photos, but the design is understatedly beautiful. It's sort of a stone / brick bluish gray pattern. I bought two rolls myself, and it will be in the Tiny House somewhere.

Again, in keeping with the concept of the unit, we have modern furnishing, small dose of color, and black accents.

The light fixture was a last minute purchase, and I love it. Admittedly, this is not the best angle of that light, but believe me, it is a beaut. Love the sliver of gold peeking on the sides. 

I felt a little guilty showing you a bad photo of the light fixture, so while doing this post, I searched for a picture that did it some justice. Tadah! Haha.. 

This bedroom has a hallway which of course, turned into an art showcase. I saw this piece for the first time today (they had other art in here before), and I'm in love. Love the colors, the size, the graphicness of it. I'm no art connoisseur, but they have a lot of pieces that I'm so into. I'm imagining their place to be rotating showcase of art. 

So that's it for this project. The client loves their space and that's all that matters, as always. I'll be back to bedroom design debates with the bf and I'll let you know who won. *ME* 


Should Improving Your Home be a Priority?

Just the other day, we went to a friend's studio apartment to celebrate his birthday. It's just his half-way house since it's just across the street from his work, but he's been staying there on workdays for years. It's small, around 15 sqm(?), no proper furniture in sight because of space constraints, the walls are in need of a new paint job, and well, the space is begging for a makeover.

(I'll be including inspiration photos, and links to previous posts that you might find helpful)

>> Studio Units: How to Make it Work <<


I asked him, "Will you still be staying here much longer?" he said yes. I then proceeded by offering to help him makeover the space. I kinda begged actually. Haha... He won't budged. I then pointed to his collection of expensive rubber shoes.  He got around 7 or so in there. "May pangbili ka ng sapatos, pero ayaw mo ayusin bahay mo?"  (you have the money to spend on shoes, but you don't want to fix your house?). He just laughed. I told him that I'll steal one of his shoes, sell it, and fix his place. Haha.. Of course I won't.

>> How to Deal with a Small Bedroom? <<


But it got me thinking, is improving one's home a priority? Don't get me wrong, if he's happy with it, then I'm all for it. I felt like an annoying meddling kid but I just got the itch to help, since I know that for less than the cost of one of his rubber shoes, he'll have a nicer place to go home to everyday. But as I always say, your house, your call.

I know that a lot of people can relate to him, why spend on a place that is not yours? Something that is just temporary.  You'd rather spend it on food, on clothes, on shoes, on rent, on your kid's allowance or something that is much more important than paint or some furnishing. I get that, we all have our priorities. I guess I'm just biased since I've been dreaming of sprucing up my own space for a long while now. 

>> Spice things up in your bedroom <<


So why should improving your home be a priority? I believe it should NOT be the number one on the list, but it should be there somewhere. There's only one reason I could think of, a very important one...

You spend your precious time there. You go home to wind down and relax after a long day's work. You spend time with your loved ones there. You have your friends over once in a while. You create memories there. That's where you start and end your day. If you work at home or you're a stay at home mom, you spend most of your time at home. You deserve a nicer place. I always say that your environment deeply affects your mood, your outlook, and I believe it to be so true. I'll know for sure once we're done with the Tiny House Renovation and I'll report if I'm in a happier mood, haha.. But seriously, whenever you're in a nice and organized space, may it be a restaurant or a friend's place, don't you notice a difference in your mood? As for me, it makes me calmer, and it clears my mind. 

>> How to Use Pattern for your Windows <<


Okay, I'm not saying you all spend hundreds of thousands and fix your place. I'm not even writing this so you'll feel inclined to get my services (it would be nice if you did though.. haha).  What I'm saying is, maybe you can sacrifice a little to have a happier home? Instead of buying your everyday starbucks fix, put them in your house fund. Or why not skip this month's shopping spree? Or instead of purchasing the latest gadget, give your home some love. But please, still eat okay? You're health is more important than your house. Hehe..

>> Decorating with Silhouettes <<


The point is, you do not need to spend so much. A few gallons of paint is not that expensive. You can DIY. You can refurbish your old furniture. You can add some nice throw pillows. Frame some of your beloved photos and hang them on your walls. Put up some nice curtains. Heck, even changing your light bulbs can change the ambiance of your house. Clean. Organize. Throw away all the unneeded clutter. Your house will thank you. Your family will thank you. And most importantly, you'll be in a calmer happier mood every time you're home.

Are you happy with your house right now? Or do you have a long list of to-do's to have the house of your dreams? You can do it. Little by little, you'll get there. 

Oh and if you're curious on what our house looks like, check out this page--> Our Old House
All posts were from years ago, but it's fun to see all the DIYs I did before my professional decorating days. You might even learn a thing or two about budget makeovers. Happy Decorating!

>> Budget Bathroom Makeover <<



The Office that Never Was

Let's take a break from the Tiny House update, since, let's face it, there's not much picture-worthy progress since the last post. More rebars and form works went up, and that's about it. Can't wait to share something more substantial, but until then, I'll go back in time and share the office that never was.

We made a lot of progress in the showroom before we left (DIY floor, kitchen, main showroom), but the second floor rooms (bedroom and office) was never completed and stayed in it's chaotic status until our last day there. The moodboard above was the plan for the office/studio.

We actually got some of the major things done. Here's what the room looked like most days.
Hahaha.. I know, I know.

It never really became an office, but more of a storage / workshop. As you can see, the major moodboard elements were there: white walls, black accent wall, green storage, DIY hanging light, reclaimed table, wood floors, gold accents, chairs, and wall art, but we never got around to finally complete all the details. Too bad since the room has a lot of potential, we just don't use it that much to warrant a major sprucing up / clean up.

This metal dear head sculpture made by the bf got a corner spot. I love it so much, it will eventually have a special spot in the tiny house.

Of course, we needed a gallery wall of some sort. This wall was the target.

We just got some random frames, prints, and stuff and installed it on the wall. The E (elle) and Y (yuseff) are from a store signage that was given to us. We'll probably install them in the tiny house and have them actually back-lit (exciting!). The bf hated the pointing finger print until we realized that it will be pointing at you wherever you are in the room. Haha.. it's optical illusion, I know. But it's quite fun to move around the room just to see that it is, in fact true. We did it a number of times. Yes, mababaw ang kaligayahan namin. 

See, still pointing at you. Haha

I love this space despite all the mess. It's bright when the suns up, and cozy at night. I love the natural wood floors, and I love the fact that we created some great stuff in here (hence the mess). It would be nice if we finished it, but we have a new office to do in the tiny house so there's still hope. 

Oh and the bedroom, never finished it either. We painted the walls a, what we lovingly call, dungeon gray. The bf loved the color, I hated it. Is it gray? Is it brown? Grawn? Bray? I'm not sure. Haha.. But he loved the cave like feel of the space.
As for the pink bed, that's another story. We kept going back and forth on what to paint the bed. I wanted coral and so he agreed, AS LONG AS he's the one to choose what kind of coral. He saw a shoelace and chose the shoelace color for the bed. When it was done, he was shocked at how pink it actually was and even accused me of altering the color. In which I showed him the shoelace (that he chose), held it beside the bed, and he saw that the color perfectly matched. 

MORAL OF THE STORY: Never choose a color from small items, they are deceiving! haha.. If you're unsure, especially for big pieces or walls, test a few paint colors first before deciding. It will save you some money, or the agony of living with a pink bed. Which I, of course love. 

So that's my throwback for you all. Or I guess flashback since it's Friday. The showroom will always be special to us, we even peek inside whenever we pass by. We're on stalker mode since we wanted to see what the next tenant did with the space. Too bad we can't see much past the main door. As much as we loved this place, I'm sure we'll love the tiny house so much more. I promise not to have grawn / bray wall color in there, and I'm sure the bf will promise not to have a pink bed. And we promise to have a much cleaner and organize office, hopefully.

Tiny House Renovation: What happened in a month?

Before I bore you with construction site photos complete with rebars, coco lumbers, and debris, let me thank everyone for not freaking out over this big change. Yeah, 'coz of all of the problems in this world, a blog name change is something to freak out about. I live in a bubble. But seriously though, it's a big deal for me, and I really believe that everything will be better from here on out. (Bubble. what did I tell you?)

Anyway, boring stuff ensues. Where in the world did that month go?? I don't even know. House progress is steady, but as I've mentioned here, it's somewhat snail-paced. They say it's easier to start from scratch than do all the demo and work with an existing structure. It's time consuming. But this is what we have so we'll work with it and just be thankful for the savings we'll enjoy because of this. Imagine building all the foundation works, exterior walls from scratch? That would totally add up on cost.


Week 1: Already discussed it here. It's just a 3-day work week since they started out late that week, so only minor demolition happened. They ripped out wood wall partition, ripped out ceilings on both floors, removed some doors, and start with jackhammering concrete walls.



Week 2: This is basically still demolition week. Because of change of layout on first and second level, a lot of concrete walls must be removed. It's a very dusty week and I'm thankful for the bf's family's patience. Their whole house is practically covered in dust but we didn't hear a word about it from them. Thank you! I think this week, they also started building the formworks for post and beams for additional structural support. 


Week 3: They removed the roof. As much as we wanted to hold on to it because we don't want to expose the existing second floor wood flooring to moisture, we kinda don't have a choice. hehe... Since we're adding a new level, framework and formwork should be done so bye bye roof. They finished the beam for the flooring of the third level, and started building the post.


Week 4: I took this last photo a few minutes ago (we're on week 5 now). Last week they did a lot of formwork / framework. (gawd how many times would I even say those words in this post? Haha.. But that's basically what they did. Formworks. Frameworks. Formworks. Frameworks.) It's quite a long process since we're like building a new house, so that's where were at. We have maybe a week or two to go before we pore the first batch of concrete for the post / beam. Then we'll move all the formworks on to the next level for the last pouring of concrete. After would be metal works, walls, roof, then electrical & plumbing, only after then we would be tackling the interior. If my calculation are correct, we'll have 2-3 more months to go. Urrrghhh.... so near yet so far.

So what did I learn the past month?

1. I am impatient. I've been staring at the construction site everyday and all I can think about is "Naiinip nako!" I wanted to see it move further along quickly, and I wanted walls and roof NOW. 

2. I need to be patient. Obviously, all this won't happen overnight. There's a process and we need to stick by it. It will be done soon. It will be done soon. If I keep repeating that, then it will be done soon.

3. Hauling is freaking expensive! Since we demolish concrete walls, we need to get rid of all our debris (panambak). 
That load of truck costs us P2500. We already did 2 loads. That's P5000 just for throwing away debris. We could buy bulbs, faucets, toilets, with that. But we have to dispose them somehow, so we just suck it up and did it. To save a little, we asked our delivery people of coco lumbers if they could haul one batch of debris, they already have a truck anyway. So they did it for P1000. Hay salamat.

4. It's quite fulfilling to know exactly what goes on inside your house. Like literally inside all those frames and concrete, inside the walls, where would everything go. Those little things makes you feel more connected to the space. Like you really know it. I'm weird.
I even did a few of the rebars support. Like 3. The bf made something like a hundred, and I did 3. Way to go! Haha.. But in my defense, I would have a done a lot more, but delivery of materials came, and no space were left for me to work with. But I'm proud of those 3. Somewhere inside the post or beam of the tiny house were my work of art. Hehe.. 

5. You need to set a budget but you need to be flexible as well. We have a rough idea on how much we'd like to spend for the house, and it's quite a small number that we're aiming for. So we did what we've got to do to save on cost, but in the end, you need to have a contingency fund to cover unexpected expenses. We're so far from actually knowing what our total would be, so I'll let you know how that goes. But as of today, we have spent 96,735 Php. Eeek.. and we have a long long long way to go. We'll give a final breakdown when that time comes. Soon I hope! Haha

I guess that's it for now. I cringe at how boring this post is because if it weren't our house, I wouldn't even read this. Haha.. So to those people reading, thank you! But still, I want to document this whole build your house thing. I want to look back and see how far we've come, or even to just reminisce on all this process. Eventually, I'll post the fun stuff, the inspiring stuff, but as of now, please bear with me as I compose another post about ready-mix cement. Haha... No I won't. 


My New Home

Last week while I'm on site at Tiny House Renovation, I was looking around observing the framework and posts slowly inching up, thinking "this is it, this is going to be our house." That very same night, the bf and I were again on site, and we had the very same thought.. "The posts are SLOWLY inching up!" Naaatat nako!! Haha.. and that same scene and conversation went on each night after that. I'm so anxious to get past this structural part and dive in into the finishing stage (never had I been so excited to shop for tiles and grout!), I feel like it's taking too long, but in reality, we were just three weeks in. But I guess that's part of this whole build your house thing, you can do and have exactly what you want for the house, but you have to be patient, very very patient... WHICH I'M NOT.


This was taken from the roof of the main house. That's the formwork for the third floor extension. On the left would be the stairs / powder room, middle part would be the kitchen / dining, and on the right would be the living area, where our future chesterfield sofa would be. You see how anxious I am?? From formworks to furniture! Haha... 

I'll share more details of the second and third week progress sometime soon, because this post is not really about the Tiny House. Yeah, that was just me doing a little introduction and I got carried away. 

Since I'm ever so impatient about our real house, I did find myself a new home online. Notice something different? :)


I can't do anything much to speed up our house, but this blog? I'm on it. I've wanted to do this for a long time now, change the blog name that is. But I never got around to it for so many reasons (I've had it for more than 3 years, readers might feel alienated, I don't know what name I wanted, it takes work and I'm lazy haha). But as we're building the house, I felt the urge to finally do it. 

Why do I want to do this switch you ask? I love SWITCHEROOm the first time I came up with it. I felt oh so witty using wordplay and adding that "m" to the term switcheroo. I thought I nailed it. And I think I did. But the thing is, some people don't get it. I guess it's not that obvious. I saw someone linking up to this blog using "SWITCH A ROOM", or when someone ask me what my blog is, the conversation goes something like this:
me: "switcheroom.com"
someone: "switch room dot com??"
me: "no, switchEroom.com"
someone: "Oh, switch a room dot com."

True story.

It's frustrating and I kinda fell out of love with my blog name. I love the blog itself, but the name? Uhmm.. it could be better. Which is quite sad because that is my web identity, my brand, or whatever. I wanted to have something I love. I'm not sure if that contributed to the neglect of this blog, I didn't feel connected nor inspired. Or maybe I'm just too lazy busy. Whatever it is, it's not good.

So the quest to find a blog name ensued. I remember I always wanted to incorporate the word "happy" since that's what I am, that's the vibe I wanted this blog to have, and generally, I want people to be happiest in their own home. Regardless if you live in a mcmansion or a simple little house, do whatever you can to make you (and the people you live with) happy being in it. 

I'm not sure why I didn't end up with a "happy" blog name to begin with since that's what I really wanted. I guess some names that I liked were already taken, or maybe I thought of SWITCHEROOm and had that "this is it" moment and forgot all about it. 

Anyway, I asked the bf for name suggestions even before I told him about the mandatory "happy" word, well, he got some.... 

KWARTORIFIC

ROOM GROOM

ROOM BASTIC

HERE COMES THE ROOM

and my most favorite of all..

ROOM PANES! 

Hahahahaha... he got some more but I left my notes, so maybe I'll add to this very insightful list of his. Seriously though, he got some nice suggestion but it just didn't clicked. Then lo and behold, he told me "What about Decor Me Happy?"

Something in me felt right about it, I was quiet, really thinking about that name. Do I really really want it? Would I change my mind in 3 years? Turns out, I LOVE it. It felt more me. So off I went and checked if the domain is available. It is! Bought it right then and there. (THANK YOU BF!)

I spent the next two nights doing some design tweaks, updating the blog, and changing the url altogether. And here we are, my new home. DecorMeHappy.com

Was I afraid that I might lose some readership though google search / pinterest links and such? Umm, not so much. It would affect pageviews and all, but those are just passersby who saw some image, checked the site, and left.  As they say, few good friends are better than many acquaintances. :)

So to those "friends" I have, do stick with me as this blog will be better. I'm more excited about it now more than ever (wow rhyming! haha). As we build our tiny house, I'll be sharing our progress, choices, ups and downs, and all the fun and not so fun bits in between. As more projects come in (thank God for all this:) ), I'll be sharing ideas, inspiration, and project reveals more often. The bf and I have a lot of DIY ideas for the furnishing of the tiny house, I of course, would share all that too! Tidbits of my everyday life would be seen here as well, I wanted you guys to know me, not just our house or my projects. Don't worry, I won't be sharing what we ate for breakfast or any OOTD (unless you're interested? Haha!), just my life as a decorator / home "owner" that can maybe inspire, or help you have a happy home. That's the dream right?

And on that note, here's something a little personal for you...
the bf and I

See? We're happy! Or surprised? Angry? (He'll kill me if he sees this here haha.. hi yuseff!)

While the tiny house is still in (snail pace) progress, I built myself a new home in two days. And I'm so HAPPY about it, can't you tell? :) So please feel at home and drop by anytime you want, no notice necessary. And while you're at it, a comment or two would be much appreciated, 'coz I wanted to know if I do really have "friends" here or I'm just some weirdo talking to myself. Though I must say, it's kinda therapeutic.

So dear friends, what do you think of the new name and the updated look? Love it? Hate it? Don't care about it? You can be honest, I won't bite. :)


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