Home remodeling: Where to begin and how

Published March 31, 2021, 2:58 PM

by Jonnah Lynne Pante

The sudden shift in people’s day-to-day lives led many to realize how significant it is to have a conducive home that’s fit for living and working. This can be among the reasons why more and more people are finally seeing their home renovation projects started these days. Embarking on a home makeover journey is an investment of time and money and it’s only fitting to make the most out of it.

This was the core topic discussed in the recently concluded webinar hosted in partnership with the Manila Bulletin and East Bay Residences by Primaries, A Rockwell Company, titled “Less is More: Turning Spaces Multifunctional.” It gathered some of the country’s respected interior designers and decorators namely Raleene Cabrera, co-founder at Gussy; Mark Steven Perez, one of the partners at Empire Designs; and Ram Lopez-Vito Bucoy II, founder at Casa Buddha, who shared tips and insights that answered one of the most daunting questions when it comes to home remodeling: “Where do you start?”

On budgeting and home sectioning

Budget is a crucial part of home makeovers. While there are countless things to consider, Raleene shared that one could begin in identifying their needs and priorities based on lifestyle and design tastes.

“Try to list down your priorities for your immediate budget,” she said. “Decorating is also a never-ending process for some and you can take time to create a layered live-in look so this part of the budget can be a long haul thing.”

Raleene also noted that the budget depends on how finished one would want their homes to look and that it’s advisable to invest in key pieces like beds, sofas, and workstations as these things can be brought along in case one would decide to move to a different home.

“Budgeting doesn’t really mean just sectioning out monetary value for construction materials, labor, and furniture. Sometimes, this also means allotting a part of it to trained experts like interior designers, decorators, contractors, and architects,” Raleene said. “Most designers have access to discounts as much as five to 30 percent. So you’ll be saving money and saving much of your time in handling the whole renovation process.”

When it comes to dividing home spaces, Raleene said it’s ideal to have four areas: public spaces, which are your lounging area and guest rooms; primary living spaces including the living room, bedroom, dining area, bath and vanity rooms, and work and study spaces; secondary living spaces like a garden, balcony, entryway, or an outdoor entertainment space; and last, storage.

“Think about your lifestyle and how much time you spend on each activity,” she said. “Nowadays, there are more multi-use spaces, which I think are perfect because we get to spend more time and center our lives in the home.”

On decorating small spaces

One can live large even in small spaces, this is what Ram emphasized. “Small space living is all about finding an optimum mix of texture and patterns to keep things visually compelling without creating clutter,” he said, adding that a small area shouldn’t be limiting when it comes to adding standout pieces.

“Create a space that you think would work for you. For me, for example, I live in a 50-square meter apartment and I made sure I have a big sofa because that’s the main piece I mostly use in my space,” Ram said.

Durability is another point to look at when decorating limited spaces. “You should always opt for performance fabrics when available. They’ll hold up to average wear and tear as well as to the extra strain small-space living puts on them,” he added.

Ram also noted that keeping things organized is a must in small-space living. For those whose home spaces cannot allow the luxury of having built-in cabinets or shelving units, he suggested the use of console tables, and not be afraid of playing around with texture, heights, and depth.

“When decorating small spaces, don’t think about design as it was presented to you before. Think of designs based on your moments at home, and it should be a presentation of how you live and who you are,” Ram said.

On stylish and functional home office spaces

A work area at home should be effective and comfortable for any kind of user, Mark shared, noting that when designing a space for a home office, it should translate to productivity.

“These spaces should be well-lit and free from unnecessary distractions and unnecessary clutter. You would have to consider what are the things you would need to put in your space and you have to let go of the things that don’t matter to you anymore.”

In putting up an efficient workspace at home, Mark said that storage spaces are a good help in staying organized while adding personal touches like choosing a color scheme that gives a happy and inspiring vibe is important.

Also a nonnegotiable is choosing the right chair. “You will be sitting there almost the entire day and you wouldn’t want your back to be aching the whole time. If need be, you have to sit down on every chair that you are planning to buy so that you have that comfort that’s just right for you.”

Mark also mentioned that another route to take when creating a home office especially for those who are willing to spend for construction work is to have combined spaces. An example he showed the webinar’s audience was a one-bedroom unit of The Larsen Tower at East Bay Residences where the entertainment area and work-from-home setup are merged.

On modern and serene living

The right balance of modern living and tranquility is what The Larsen Tower at East Bay Residences provides. Located in Sucat, Muntinlupa, the 20-story tower has properties ranging from 35 to 107 square meters, which people can decorate and remodel according to their different needs, lifestyles, and living preferences.

The Larsen Tower at East Bay Residences also takes into consideration the well-being of residents. Inside the property are safe common spaces including a spacious Central Amenity Area, clubhouse, function room, fitness gym, jogging path, lap pool, kiddie pool, and a tree court.

Access to retail and services is also made convenient with the East Bay Retail Row which has The Marketplace, Starbucks Coffee, Suds Go, RoyceTea, Pan de Manila, BDO, and Prim and Pretty.

Its strategic location offers proximity to business districts, lifestyle malls, and hospitals in the South, as well as to academic institutions like San Beda College Alabang, De La Salle Zobel, and Southridge. East Bay Residences is also easily accessible via major thoroughfares of the country including the South Luzon Expressway, Skyway, C-6, Cavite-Laguna Expressway, and the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway.

With a convenient quality of life and a safe neighborhood, The Larsen Tower at East Bay Residences makes your investment worthwhile. Explore more by visiting

https://www.primariesarockwellcompany.com/projects/east-bay-residences/ and take home makeover inspirations by browsing through modern spaces by following East Bay Residences on Facebook. Hear more of what Raleene, Mark, and Ram shared about home renovation through the replay of “Less is More: Turning Spaces Multifunctional” to be uploaded on the Facebook page of the Manila Bulletin in the coming days.