This Couple’s Home Upgrade is Full of Little Luxuries

The moment the homeowners set their eyes on a newly-built house in the South, the businessman husband and his wife knew that it was meant to be theirs. Not only did it check off all three must-haves on their house-hunting list—good location, a nice neighborhood, and a suitable floor plan—they also already knew how they could transform the areas that needed adjustment.

The lady of the house admits that the decision to buy the house and lot was pretty fast. Their family was growing, and the dream of getting away from the condo life for good had to become reality as soon as possible. “This is really our first home. We’ve been together for a while, and we’re always in condos,” she says. “That’s why our decision to buy this one was really so quick—we just fell in love with the place and every decision came from there.”

It was around this time that they were expecting their third child. They only had a window of four to six months for renovation and interior furnishing before moving in after the birth of their little girl. To hasten the process, they consulted interior designer Christine Manalo-Villamora and her team to transform the interiors of the house. Inside, there was quite a lot of work to be done. The husband and wife’s directive was simple: keep it bright and airy. The high ceiling and large windows of the living area already did a great job of letting light in and giving a spacious appearance. The next job was to meet the man of the house’s vision of a modern and minimalist home.


In accordance with the husband’s sensibilities, plain walls in neutral colors are combined with larger furniture pieces to create a clean and streamlined living area


Apart from the wooden front door, Christine and her team worked on tearing down the wooden steps of the staircase to replace it with natural gray travertine slabs. Underneath the stairs, they changed the cemented area into a small stone pocket garden to add texture to the otherwise clean lines and smooth sections of the main floor. The living area is a play on grays and whites, a neutral backdrop that highlights the darker shades of the sofa, rug, and drapes.

Tucked neatly in one corner and almost hidden from sight is the mint office that was previously a guest bedroom. This little space fulfilled the husband’s long-time wish of having his own workspace at home, something that their old condo unit was never able to provide. The combination of furniture and materials used allow for the easy transformation from a spacious and airy office into a mini man cave and dim theater for movies and games.

On the main floor, the biggest renovation challenge was to expand the kitchen without adding extra space. To accommodate the lady of the house’s small luxury of a bigger kitchen, Christine had to break down the wall that separated the kitchen from the dining area. Sliding glass doors were added to allow guests to move in and out of the spaces easily. It was the perfect set-up to entertain up to 60 people, something that they actually tried and succeeded in during the reception of their daughter’s baptism.


To practice her degree in culinary arts, the lady of the house oversaw the changes made to the kitchen to ensure that it suited her specific needs


Tearing down the walls of the kitchen allowed the lady of the house to spend more time in the kitchen without feeling left out of the conversation going on in the dining area


Interior designer Christine Manalo-Villamora installed sliding glass doors—complete with frosted stickers for safety—from the living area to the kitchen to allow for quiet private moments where the family can entertain without limiting the illusion of free space


The only time that the homeowners played with a heavier hand in colors was in the kid’s bedrooms, where they painted the traditional pink and blue. Since both of the bedrooms have ample space, the wife shares that it is sometimes impossible to get the kids to come out of their rooms and spend time with them. “That’s why we limited the TV and gadgets to the family areas, so they’d have to come down sometime,” she says with a teasing smile


A light blue palette pairs off nicely with white corners to give a nautical touch that still features a very boyish and youthful vibe in this room



The lady of the house operated with just one direction from her daughter: to make the pink room that was fit for the teenager’s style and lifestyle


The master bedroom and bathroom embody the luxury that the couple had always wanted for themselves. Years of living in condominium units taught them the value of space—which is why they didn’t scrimp on their dream home. Even though the original layout included a walk-in closet inside the bathroom and some storage nooks for their personal belongings in the bedroom, the couple unanimously decided that an extended floor plan was a major renovation they were willing to undertake. “We had to extend around two meters, so we took part of the parking lot’s roof to make a bigger and better master bedroom,” says Christine.


Additional windows, neutral finishes, and a lot of storage space give the master bedroom a simple yet luxurious ambiance


What used to be a bathroom with a walk-in-closet was transformed into a luxury master bath following the homeowners’ request to provide as much space as most luxury hotels do


Extending the area not only gave way to more close space, it also allowed for a bathtub and a his-and-hers lavatory to mimic the comforts of hotel living. It is these little luxuries that made it almost impossible for the husband and wife to pinpoint just one favorite area in the house.

Between the little techie corners for the husband—”We installed TV sets almost everywhere so he can watch his games anywhere”—and the lady of the house’s custom kitchen, it’s a big break from years of challenging set-ups and cramped spaces. While the house is still a work in progress, with planned interior additions and a mini golf strip on the side for the husband’s practice, the homeowners have learned to say goodbye to the condo life and say hello to all the space they would ever need.


The use of neutrals in the man of the house’s office gives off a modern and minimalist impression. Combined with the use of plush fabrics and a leather easy chair, it becomes a homey workstation that doubles as a man cave