The Renovation Story

It all started with this new flatscreen TV that my brother bought as a gift for my mom. When asked when she already opened the box of her new toy, she simply shrugged and said she has nowhere to place it (wow kung maka first world problem si mother haha!).

So then I thought of getting her a new TV stand, but that would mean getting rid of the old cabinet and emptying it of all the mess on display. And we don't know where to place the cabinet if we dismantle it. I took note of these things and put them on the back burner.

Late last year, I dropped by Ikea after work one weeknight because of my meatball cravings. After having my fill of meatballs, I took a stroll and was just too happy to see all the living room inspirations. Days after, I asked my mom to send me a photo of our living room. It looked so sad, so lifeless. I saved it on my desktop and started pinning designs on Pinterest. 

I went home for Christmas and announced my plan while we were eating our noche buena in Cagayan. I will have the living room in Manila renovated. As expected, our old man protested. There’s no need to do such and such yada yada yada, he said. But I gained strong support from my cousins. My reason was simple- I want a nice place to come home to, even if I'm only home a few times a year. My father did not seem to understand, while my mother was at first half-hearted. 

During my Chinese New Year vacation, I met with my interior designer friend and contractors to discuss the plan. We agreed on the simple re-tile, re-paint and updating of some furniture. I set a budget, transferred it to my mom's account who was the overall manager of this project (THANK YOU SO MUCH MA!!!). Like a jolt of lightning, my mom's interest on this renovation picked up and she cant stop sending me photos of the things she wanted for the living room. I had to remind her of our budget. 

The renovation was in full swing in February. The re-tiling was finished around early-March, the electrical part around mid-March, and the re-painting by end-March. The tv stand, new dining set and others were delivered just before everyone went home for Holy Week. 

Now here’s how our living room looked like before the major makeover. The interior was just too drab. We could not let go of the narra set because (1) it’s tooooo heavy and it was probably my parent’s first set of furniture when they decided to buy a house in Manila in the early 80s--- yes we live in an old building with no elevator so the least we can do is prettify our place huhuhu--- and (2) the couch I want is just way too expensive. Maybe next time.

My problem on where to store the tv cabinet after dismantling (and also the old dining set) was solved by donating them to ReStore by Habitat for Humanity Philippines. They accept slightly used furniture, home appliances, and building materials. They only accept items that are in good condition. I hope some families are now happily using the tv cabinet and our dining set. If you're interested to donate some items, you may inquire through this email restore@habitat.org.ph and someone from their office will get in touch with you. 



And now, the most awaited "after" photo. In the end, we had the sala set re-upholstered and it came out really nice! I found the upholstery shop online- the most reasonably-priced and friendliest from the 3 shops that I contacted. I highly recommend Capistrano Upholstery~ Search for them on Facebook! I inquired via FB messenger and they responded within the day. 

The curtains- both sheer and solid colors- and throw pillows are all from Ikea. My interior designer friend suggested a mix of yellows and blues- hence the color of the curtain and pillows. He also recommended what colors should be used for painting, and had the final say on all the tiles my mom had earlier chosen. 



I'm happy to report that we didn't go beyond the budget. I also did not touch my emergency fund but I hustled like crazy so I can buy the dining set I've been crushing on. We also set up a work area for my brother. It used to be our computer area when were all in school. The wall shelves, work desk, and dolly chair are from Furniture Source PH. I ordered and paid online via Paypal and had them delivered. They also installed the wall shelves for an additional fee.

The TV stand and the dining set were on sale at Blims Furniture Macapagal Store. I originally wanted a white TV stand from Ikea but when I checked its price with Ikea distributor Furniture Source PH, it was too expensive at Php 15,000 without delivery and assembly fee. This TV stand from Blims was only less than Php 10,000 so I opted for this. It's simple and complements the dining table really well. They also delivered and assembled both the TV stand and dining set for a very minimal fee.



I spent so much time at home during my last visit. Instead of eating out, I asked my mom if she can cook daing na bangus for me for dinner, and she happily obliged. For lunch, we had our favorite porkchops delivered and we ate at home. Dapat masulit yang dining table na yan. It was the most expensive thing next to the labor I paid for re-tiling. Nakakaloka. 

I still can't believe we were able to pull off this renovation project, thanks to the flatscreen TV that started it all. The first time I opened our door and saw our new living room, I remember whispering my thanks to God for making it possible. Thank You, Lord!!! 

Recent Highlights


Hi! Just thought of writing a quick entry before going on a short vacation. I've been clinging onto the verse above for the past 2 months. I'm a worrier and an over thinker. I always say I surrender everything to Him and try my best to rest in His love, but it is easier said than done. But this week, there's no more heaviness in my chest because I have again experienced His infinite goodness and mercy. Here's to hoping things will fall into place, in His time.

My stress busters come in the form of wings, fries and burgers. Thank you, friends for sharing all the calories with me. And a bowl of hot sesame mochi served over shaved ice with osmathus syrup to complete a calorific meal. Buuuurp.



And presenting to you my beautiful plate of DIY burrito during our church mate Lauren's birthday celebration! The taco-burrito spread was so gooooood!!!

Have a happy weekend! I'm excited to share with you my home renovation project. I hope I can write about it next week :)

Random Thoughts, Lazy Saturday


I wish the weather now is as nice as the photo above. The nonstop rain makes me too lazy to get up and even go out to buy lunch.

  • I’m currently watching Masterchef Junior on the new flatscreen TV ‘given’ to me by my landlord. I complained last time how my TV has not been working and he generously changed it to a new, sleeker one. Dang these junior chefs are amazing… using blowtorch and making smores cupcakes, chocolate ganache tart, steak crostinis… And how can they be so much more mature than those competing in the Masterchef adult edition?
  • More than 40 days of not shopping has left me with a very strong urge to go to Zara. And go to Zara I did. I picked two pairs of chinos because most of my slacks have become baggy— result of too much spinning from the washer, and a dress just because it’s spring! But I need to justify my purchases by saying that they are all for daily office wear hehe.
  • Last week was one of the longest weeks of my life. I still do not know how it was possible for us to organize a Triduum without our church’s “main people,” but we did it. Thank You Lord! Also, a group of Malaysians who attended the Triduum learned about the Holy Week Service through my blog heehee *blush*. I was shy to tell them I was that blogger but I was too happy to learn somebody benefitted from the English Mass post! 
  • BFF time with Monnette. Thank you, Coldplay for having your concert here! Hay I missed having my closest friends to talk to.      

  • Our living-dining room renovation is almost complete! The re-tiling is done, as well as re-painting. The tv cabinet and dining set have all been delivered and assembled. My interior-designer friend said it looks like a Rockwell condo (haha Binondo version nga lang!). I will be home next month to decorate the wall shelves and our mini work area. Still searching for my dream couch, but I had our narra sala set re-upholstered while saving up for a new one. 

The coming week is pretty crucial for me, career-wise. Please, please help me pray for it. Happy weekend!