Worth the Wait: This Stunning Family Home Took Two Years to Renovate
It all began as a simple home improvement project. Their house in Quezon City is the second one they’ve moved to since the couple got married in 2001. After over five years of living with the pre-made style and with typical house problems starting to show cracks in the old design, homeowner couple Corrine and Gerald Chua knew it was time for a change.
Their first decision was easy enough: Corrine gets to be the interior designer and Gerald will be the architect. However, before they can do more than pry off the intricate baseboards that came with the home’s old classic look, Corrine’s father-in-law intervened. Corrine smiles, looking half-sheepish and half-nostalgic from the lesson learned, “My father-in-law saw that we didn’t have anyone guiding us and told us we were spending a lot more than we should.”
Luckily, he got the couple in touch with Architect Arnel Dayanghirang, who got them started on the planning and renovation phase that would last for two years. This is around the time that the couple saw the project move from a home improvement plan to an investment in the making.
For over a year and a half, the couple devoted one day every week for meetings, planning, and sourcing. They would move out of the home for two years to rent out a place to stay, pore through many pegs and design inspirations, and visit several furniture shops to find the right pieces they wanted for their home.
It was same tedious but necessary experience when they met up with their interior designer Rossy Yabut of Heim Interiors. “When we met with Rossy, we were wondering why an interview and questionnaire was necessary, while all we were asking for was help from an interior designer,” said the lady of the house. As they would understand later on, this getting-to-know-you phase with Rossy proved to be essential in delivering a dream house that’s worth the wait.
Rossy had a shell of a house to work with and a detailed list of the client’s requests—in other words, the dream client of any interior designer. There were times when the design phase would run smooth, wherein Rossy agreed with the client’s love for tall windows for natural light and pops of color to give the house a lot of character. Other times, she needed to put her foot down in suggesting new and exciting options. Corrine remembers that the Drizzle Blue paint on the walls was not even on their list, but Rossy was adamant: there would be no neutral or stark white walls because it would take away the house’s welcoming appeal. Now, the couple loves the shades of dove gray and light blue on the master’s bedroom walls.
It helped that Corrine’s investment in the project extended to being very hands-on with everything—even if her husband lightly pokes fun at the fact that the most background she had in design was a degree on looking at pegs on Pinterest and design magazines. He recalls his wife doing this, partly in the hopes of decorating a house that was someday worthy of being on the cover of one of the pages that she had pored over with love.
Even with the house already done and the family fully moved back in since September 2015, there’s a very noticeable trend in each area: the house doesn’t look a day older from the time they wrapped up renovation. Corrine beams at the praise, clearly happy that what they wanted for their home was appreciated by others apart from themselves. However, behind the designer showroom feel of the immaculate house, the couple says it was all about discipline for the entire household.
Since they’ve moved in, Gerald has already ordered a repaint of the house’s exteriors and fixed a few of the tiles. The couple’s four kids were also taught to be invested in the house at an early age. One rule that applies to everyone is that they were never allowed to bring food into their rooms. Everyone has been doing their part since then.
For some, two years may be too much time for a renovation. But for the Chuas, it was a reassurance that they would get a house that they love and an investment that they can enjoy with no regrets.