Interior Design Projects | What Else Michelle - Part 2

Archive of ‘Interior Design Projects’ category

Design Project: Light and Airy 23 SQM Condo Unit in Makati

Studio or converted 1-bedroom units are now becoming my favorite project. They are quick to design and I love the challenge of space planning in such very limited area.

A young soon-to-be married couple asked me if I could design their newly turned-over unit in Makati. Of course, I was interested because not a while ago, I told my husband that I wanted to try designing a unit from SMDC. I was used to designing from scratch so when they told me they have bought most of the furniture (sofa, dining table and chairs, shoe rack, a foldable wall mounted table and bed), I didn’t know if it was a good or a bad thing. It turned out that it was a good thing since I love everything that they chose.

Because the space is really limited, I wanted it to be light with punches of cool colors. The window, although not that huge, surprisingly was good enough to light the entire unit despite the partition. I always love a good source of natural light because it definitely helps give an illusion of larger space.

So anyway, here’s the quick moodboard that I created. The design and construction process was finished in less than a month. I love quicky projects! Haha!
moodboard1I used seafoam green for the ceiling for that cool punch of color and used white all over. To make the black granite kitchen countertop relatable to the rest of the unit, black accents were used. I painted the other side of the kitchen wall with black chalk paint. I’ve always wanted to do this so I was so glad that the clients were also up for it. Yay!!! And of course, I couldn’t help writing a little message for the couple. Haha!

Decorating Tip: If you’re decorating such tiny space, choose one dominant color except for white, then pick a secondary one that can be carried on small furniture or accessories/decors. Consider the 60-30-10 rule in creating a color scheme. In this case, I chose the seafoam green as the main color (60%), black as the secondary one (30%) and yellow as the accent color (10%). So far, only the throw pillow is yellow but it can also be used for vases, art prints, small baskets, anything small. livingarea2Photographing a small space is sooo hard for a non-photographer like me. I used my phone to take this panoramic shot. Hehe!

livingareaAnd the other side… Love the rugs from H&M and the light that they sourced from Soler St.! I’m not sure what the original color of that light was, but they spray painted it black to follow the moodboard. Love these clients! Haha!

light-ceilingThe kitchen… Again, sorry for the photo quality. By the way, the ceiling color is similar to the wall colors in our living room but I realized, this color looks better on ceiling and in a room that gets a lot of natural light.

kitchenAnd the bedroom. I did that tie up curtain again. Hehe! The headboard was supposed to be on the other side as I was still planning to install a foldable ledge which they can use as laptop table but there had been a problem with the bed supplier. Oh well… The wall on the bed side still needs to be worked on, another DIY project for the couple. 🙂

bedroomThe bathroom… Black, white and blue are still carried in this area. Still needs accessorizing though. bathroom

I can’t wait for them to add their own touches in the unit. I hope to take pictures again in the future. furniture-plan

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Design Project: A Relaxing Studio Unit in Quezon City

Finally, after almost three months, I have a blog entry!!!! Not gonna make excuses. I just took a “vacation.” 🙂

Anyway, this is another project where the design was left entirely on me. Honestly, the hardest challenge is when the client says, “Bahala ka na kung ano maganda.” Sometimes, I don’t understand why some people have no idea what exactly they want in their own homes. They just want something nice and I have no idea what was nice for them. So, I based the idea on the basic facts I know about the client and crossed my fingers that she would like the result.

The client is in her 50s, single and working a 9-5 job. She loves nature and her idea of relaxation or break from her busy work is coming home to her hometown in San Fabian, Pangasinan. Her condominium is located along the busy street of Tandang Sora Avenue. Given those very few facts, I thought it would be nice if I could transform the small unit into something fresh, airy, relaxing with a reminiscent of nature. I also thought making the unit look youthful would help her feel invigorated after office hours and long commutes.

Here are the ‘before’ photos…

The unit is just 28 sq.m. and may not look much at all, but the first thing I noticed was the ceiling-to-floor windows/door that occupies more than half of the wall, flooding the unit with natural light.before1The sink was a big NO for me and I really insisted that we take it down and build a new one despite the very limited budget. The cabinets were made of MDF which easily gets ruined when exposed to water; the faucet was chrome-plated plastic and the counter top was showing early signs of rusting. If were to use this, we would only be able to initially save at least P10,000, but the expenses and hassle would be a lot, lot more when this thing finally breaks down.before2The kitchen was a bit of a splurge because I used mosaic tiles. But since the unit is small, I think it deserves a little jewel corner. Isn’t it nice?:)kitchenBecause cool colors visually help expand a space, I decided to use light green (Clear View- Dunn Edwards) for wall color, yellow green and turquoise for accent colors. Again, nature colors but a bit vibrant.

living-area1The framed black and white photos were from my vintage Vogue circa 1969. I just thought she would love that. 🙂living-area4The bedroom is kept simple. I tried to keep an open floor layout without sacrificing the client’s privacy so half of the “bedroom” is walled and the other half is covered with waist high cabinet. There are cubby-holes at the upper back where she can place her books and other nighttime knickknacks. It also has casters so it can easily be moved in case she needs extra storage under the bed.

bedroomThe client requested for a huge shelf where she could put her books. Right now, it looks a bit empty but eventually, I know she will be able to fill it up with more books, memoirs and display items.

shelfAlong with her request for a bookshelf was a study table. Since the space is limited, I always see to it that all furniture work hard, meaning all items must have two or more function.

dining2She can use this table for eating and working, but when she has some friends over, the table can be expanded. The blue stools are originally part of this custom designed dining set, but I also used them as coffee table. Hehe! The native poufs are handy for extra seating too. dining-kitchenThe bathroom is really tiny and this is the only picture I can take decently. I used a light cool blue, Air of Mint from Dunn Edwards.

bathroomHere’s the panoramic shot of the place. The wall partition didn’t block the natural light so it didn’t contribute to making the space smaller. I think it actually helped make the place roomier and I was able to maximize the vertical space for extra storage.panoramic-viewThe floor plan…

floor-plan

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How To Update a Condo’s Kitchen on a Budget

Some condos, like DMCI, will not turn over the unit to the owner until it has been thoroughly finished. The good thing about it is that you can move in right away. But the downside of not having a choice to leave the unit bare is that you’re pretty much stuck with whatever kind of finish they specified for the project. It’s a homeowners’ dilemma because taking down the brand-new cabinets or re-tiling the floor and bathroom is kinda “nakakahinayang.”

When I was asked to decorate my sister-in-law and friend’s unit in Acacia Estate, the first thing I wanted to change was the kitchen cabinets and countertop. The laminate color was too dark for the unit and so the cabinets made the kitchen look even smaller. And since the kitchen is one of the first areas you see when you enter the unit, I want it to have an impact. But both my clients had very limited budget so having custom-made cabinets was out of the question.

Here’s what I did and what you can do too if you want to give your kitchen a make-over. Both projects cost less than P7,000.kitchen-before2

kitchen-after2

Spot the difference! From vertical to horizontal cabinet handles. Just apply wood filler on the screw holes and proceed with these steps:

  1. Laminates can definitely be painted over. You don’t need to strip it off since it would damage the surface, making the project even costlier. Prep the surface by sanding it a bit using 220 grit sandpaper. Laminates are too smooth for the paint to adhere onto. Even if it is a textured laminate, sand it still.
  2. Next prime the surface using flat white latex (water-based paint). I personally don’t want to use oil-based enamel since condos usually have limited ventilation. Enamel odor takes forever to leave the room and you don’t want that.
  3. Choose any color you want in high/semi-gloss finish. Remember to still use water-based paint.

TIP: Since water-based paint dries much quicker than oil-based one, using a foam or cottom roller would ensure a smoother finish. Paint brush would leave brush marks unless that’s the finish you’re after.

With my sister-in-law’s kitchen (above), the mirror backsplash cost around P4,000 plus the quart of paint for P400+.

kitchen-before1For my friend’s unit, I wanted the kitchen to look clean, sort of Scandinavian-inspired. I initially planned on replacing the cabinet doors with melamine board for the glossy look but I realized that I had to replace the entire cabinet too with melamine board and that would go beyond the budget. So again, I had them paint glossy white.

kitchen-after1aThe glass doors looked great with the back of the cabinet painted blue-green. It might still have looked great if they only had white ceramics as contents. But who wastes precious space for such stuff anyway? So to hide the clutter, (because it really shows through despite the frosted glasses) I had the back of the glass painted too. Not bad, eh?

kitchen-after1bThe black countertop was actually just 60x60cm plain black granite tiles laid over the existing granite. I had the left part extended for a cooktop so the gas and trash can could be stored underneath. It looked more customized like that than just placing a gas range in that spot.

Those white little subway tile-like (30x30cm) cost just P23/pc and the black granite tiles were about P150/pc (tiles were from Floor Center.) For this particular project, we spent no more than P8,000 including the tiles adhesive, grout, plywood for the extended countertop, paint and labor.

I really wish I could take better photos because these kitchens look way better in actual. Hehehe!

If you have similar kitchen and are dying to give it a fresh look, go ahead! P10,000 would go a long way. You can paint the cabinet yourself and just ask the help of someone reliable to do the tiling. Lucky you if you have a handy husband!



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