Danilo, an OFW from China, immediately knew that this condo was meant for his parents.
"When I acquired the property, I knew from the very beginning that it was for my parents. I just wanted it clean and spacious-looking, while being cozy at the same time," he shared.
Since he worked overseas, Danilo entrusted the project to interior designer Ina Rivera, giving her free rein in terms of choosing the furniture, materials, finishes, and accessories.
"I just had to insist on my preferences in terms of the appliances," he added.
For her part, Ina took into consideration Danilo's wish to have an airy and comfortable space.
"It had to be spacious to accommodate guests, have enough storage space in every area of the unit, and additional prep space without doing anything major to the existing kitchen," explained the designer.
Ina's involvement in the project went beyond design as she also played the role of contractor and project manager, handling the purchasing, construction, and styling of the unit prior to turnover.
Though they only saw each other twice during the renovation, Danilo and Ina became friends after.
"I saw the reaction of his siblings, and more importantly, his parents. It hit me then, that this home that I helped create is a tribute to the sacrifices his parents made for the entire family," Ina remarked.
The unit opens to a spacious cooking area defined by light blue subway tiles, light-colored laminates, and an extra prep space that doubles as a breakfast nook.
"The family enjoys entertaining guests and cooking," Ina said.
"I was to retain the original layout and kitchen cabinets, but I had to figure out how to add more space."
The slim wooden table with metal legs gets the job done without taking up too much space.
Ina chose stools that can be kept under the table to keep the area from the door free from obstructions.
According to Ina, the most challenging part of the project was maximizing the small space.
"I had to encourage movement and interaction among the users and between the users and the space.
"Ang laki at maluwag niya tignan kasi there are no big scaled furniture in the unit and I painted the walls and ceiling in white."
The kitchen is easily accessible from the living and dining areas, allowing the owners and their guests to move around freely.
Ina chose a calming color palette, giving the unit a relaxing appeal.
"It's supposed to mirror puddles of water as well as textures and colors you'll find in a cave and nature in general," she said.
With natural light streaming into the unit through the sliding glass doors, it was easy to feel at home and at ease the moment you step inside.
Ina also had extra lights installed featuring pipes.
"I had to think of a way to further illuminate the room without a drop ceiling. Those pipes (near the sliding glass door) connect the outdoor lights to each other," the designer added.
The posh dining area can seat four people comfortably.
Ina opted for a Scandinavian-inspired dining set with matching chairs and a glass-topped table with wooden legs.
When the owners have guests, the extra prep space in the kitchen can accommodate two more people.
Look closely at the walls, the designer chose a sleek wallpaper to spruce up the walls.
"Wallpaper gives the room more character and texture, plus, it can be installed in a day and it lasts longer when properly maintained.
"I chose a wallpaper pattern that looks like concrete with grooves and bolts."
The wood and glass piece complements the furniture and accessories chosen for the area, creating a cohesive look.
There are so many things to be admired in this living area—the choice of furniture, the wall accents, and the smart small space solutions incorporated by Ina.
A two-seater sofa with storage is paired with a bright yellow accent chair, and a coffee table that can be used as extra seating when needed.
Notice the ledge behind the sofa?
It's a clever way of keeping wires and other knickknacks out of sight.
"The built-in ledge houses the electrical wiring as well as the internet and landline wires. It has a secret open shelving on one side to hide the Wi-Fi router and some other items."
We also cannot help but fall in love with the hexagonal shelves serving as wall accents.
According to Ina, they were supposed to have moss art displayed on the wall.
She said, "We didn't have enough budget, so to create the same look, I asked some of the workers to make these shelves instead."
Matching the prep table in the kitchen are the shelves and entertainment console in the living area.
These have enough compartments for the owners' favorite things and a few plants, too.
Similar hexagonal shelves spruce up the simple yet inviting master bedroom.
Ina chose a double-sized bed from Mandaue Foam to give the occupants enough room to move around.
She also used a neutral but textured wallpaper to liven up the walls.
"It gives that relaxed hotel bedroom vibe when styled with all the bed linen and pillows."
Mirrors serve as wall accents and help create an illusion of a bigger space, too.
Instead of buying a bed, Ina and Danilo decided to have the bunkbed customized by the workers.
It has two drawers underneath—one each for the occupants of the bedroom.
"Since this room has a window that overlooks the hallway from the elevator, I had No Plain Surface install window decals similar to what's seen in the kitchen." Ina said.
Posh and organized, the T&B features a lovely wood accent wall in the shower area.
According to Ina, the said design element required minimal masonry work.
The designer also decided to create a beautiful vanity using the existing fixtures by adding a round mirror and wall lamps.
For a cohesive look, they also used the same wallpaper seen in the living and dining areas.
To keep clutter at bay, there are enough storage nooks and stackable wire baskets.
"There are no closed cabinetry here, lalo na yung ilalim ng sink para if there would be plumbing issues, madali pa rin siya ma-access.
"It still looks airy and you can see what items you already have."
Ready for your own home makeover? Get in touch with interior designer Ina Rivera through mobile at (0947)-279-4166 or e-mail vezadesigns[at]gmail.com.
This story originally appeared on RealLiving.com.ph.
*Minor edits have been made by the PEP.ph editors.