Project Modern Mix: Living / Dining / Kitchen Reveal

I did it! Got the chance to photograph Project Modern Mix a few days ago, and I'm really happy with how everything turned out. The bedrooms are a different story though, there are still no beddings and such, so no reveals for those. Hoping to snap photos of those sooner rather than later, but I'm just stoked I get to share the main area of the unit. 

Now stopping the "intro" chitchat and go straight to the reveal. As stated on the other post about this project, we knocked down one wall to combine two units. This is that wall.

We now have one big open living and dining space. 


The client wanted a very spacious feel, so we installed a grid mirror wall on the dining area. The chandelier is just a temporary fix since the one we got still hasn't arrived yet, so they borrowed one from the store as a placeholder.


We closed the pass-through to one of the kitchen and gave ourselves a showcase wall for their ever evolving art collection. Also note the ceiling textured paper and that big nice chandelier. In love with both!

This is the kitchen we ended up using since it's bigger and right by our intended dining space.

We removed the walls and moved the sink further out to give the kitchen more floor space.


Here's the initial board I presented to the client. Some things have changed (like the chairs, I wanted a more casual chair hence those simple lower ones), but we kept true to the feel and scheme of the concept.




And here are more photos of the finished unit.... and lots of blabber from me. :)

Most of the furniture I had custom-made. Love all the black and wood tone all over the space. It grounds the space nicely, and they pop against our light walls.

That big shelf unit right there will actually be their wine and coffee station. Note the wine glass holder. :) But since they haven't officially moved-in yet (no coffee maker, mugs, wines glasses etc) decided to style it with stuff around the place just for the reveal. hehe

I love love vintage furniture, really I do. But what I appreciate about custom-made pieces is I get what I want. Take the console table behind the sofa for example, I really wanted a simple but graphic base with wood top, and we got it.

Since most of our furnishing are neutral, I wanted colored chairs. Nothing too shocking, just a very laid-back blue. It keeps the space from being too monotonous.

We had a built-in bench built along one of the windows since they have an incredible view of a golf course. But I really struggled capturing this angle since all the sunlight is making the interior really dark, so I decided to turn on all lights and keep the shades down. Bummer. Haha.. Next time, next time.

Even the lamp I had custom-made. Fell in love with a floor lamp I saw online and felt it would be perfect for this project, so here it is. :) It has a really nice tripod legs and natural wood tone.

See what I mean? This lamp is wonderfully weird.


See how the wood and black "pops"? I find it very graphic and nice. That's why I had furniture made with very clean modern lines, I really like the contrast.

That stainless mosaic tiles are definitely a splurge, it makes the kitchen extra special. Since I don't want the kitchen to be sterile looking, I opted for a light wood tone cabinets to echo the new light wood flooring.

This is how the kitchen relates to the space. It's open, but still its own "room". Cabinets lightly matches the floors, grey tile kitchen floors, matches the paint color. And the mosaic tiles sparkles! I want those, but no way it will fit our budget. Haha

I like how everything is clean and modern without being the usual modern space. I really don't know what "usual modern" is, but I just made sure that every piece of furniture is special. Ooh maybe when I go back, I can shoot each piece of furniture so I can share it here. They are simple, but they have special little details here and there. :)


As a bonus, here's the before and after of the "powder room." They actually don't have a legit powder room, what they have are 4 full baths. So instead, they dedicated one of those to be the guest bath, which of course means, it needed to be extra special.

We installed a leather like orange wallpaper to give the space some life. Black sink cabinets were installed, and when I saw this orange / black mirror, I have a "this is it" moment. It's made to be in this room. I'm right, right??

So that's the reveal of main area of Project Modern Mix. I really did enjoy doing this home. There's not to say we didn't have setbacks. We did, as for most renovation. But being able to see the transformation of the space, and my vision come to life, it is sooo satisfying and well worth it. Also got to step out my comfort zone and experimented with some finishes, which is scary but great. Hope to be able to get the chance to photograph the bedrooms, but until then, I'll get to come back to this post and enjoy.

So for the next post--Tiny House Renovations / Project Dream Home just started!!! Woohoo... It will definitely be NOT like this place, we don't have that kind of fund, Haha, but I'm sure it will be fulfilling just the same, maybe more. We'll see. Til then!

Small space idea: Work / Dining table

I was doing my usual browsing habit when I came across this idea at Apartment Therapy and I just had to share. I know this blog is mostly a hodge-podge of my non-sense blabber about the dream house and other design projects, but maybe I can throw in something that is actually useful once in a while? :)

I've seen more than a few extremely tiny studio units around here and this may come in handy to those of you who have one -a drop-down dining/ work table. Pull-it down when needed, and it's easily out of the way when not in use. What I love is the use of mirror (or you can even put photo / artwork) so it's actually part of the decor and does not look like a table at all. Brilliant.

I'm sure you can have your trusted carpenter / handyman do this for you. 

And since this blog is a hodge-podge of my non-sense blabber about the dream house, etc, I've got some news. July 19 is demo day. It marks the beginning of Tiny house renovation / Project Dream Home and I can't wait. Well, the bf and I will be doing the demo on the 19th (Lucky Feng Shui date), and we'll officially start with actual workers next week, before ghost month begins.

Yes, I'd like to practice a little feng shui for the house since we're basically doing the lay-out from scratch. I know a lot who believes in it, and a lot who don't. The thing is, I believe in its basic principles... the energy, the flow, basically the good vibes. ;) And besides, everyone I know who practice feng shui are wealthy! Haha.. Maybe it does help? No idea, but at the very least, we'll have a house with a nice flow and good energy so I'll take that.

Hope everyone's safe and dry!

Project Modern Mix: Before and Progress (A.K.A. New-to-Me Style that I enjoyed doing so much)

I told myself that I won't post anymore projects unless it is completely done and I have the after photos to show. I have a very bad track record of sharing projects before and progress, and no afters until a year later. Hence, the extreme quietness of this blog. I'm not sure which is worst, no post at all, or project post without results?! I think it's like watching Extreme Makeover, then cutting it right before the reveal! Cruel. 

So anyway, I choose cruelty. Haha... I just need to share this project right now. We're about done so maybe I can catch after photos soon? Who knows? If not, you'll get it in about a year. Hopefully not!

This is a combined unit so it's quite spacious. Four bedrooms spacious! We started with the basic builder finishes that you see when they turnover new units. Plain, simple, nothing special. The owner wanted "maaliwalas", with special details, and some wow factor. I was somewhat stuck on what direction to take this project since the owner's request's are very broad. But I've always wanted to try my hands on doing non-typical modern spaces, with lots of textures, clean contemporary furnishing, and a not to industrial details. Here's my chance. :)

This is the wall we removed to combine the units. 

Much bigger space to play with! We installed cove lights and wallpaper on the ceiling for that texture I really wanted to bring in. We also replaced the flooring for the entire unit. As you go through this photos, you'll notice the flooring before is your typical orangey glossy laminate, it's fine, but not the look we're going for. What we have now is so much lighter, still with a light natural wood tone, with some texture to it.
Please note that the console table behind the sofa will be altered to be the same height as the back of the sofa. It is actually for a different spot, but as we played around a bit once the furniture arrived, this is the best resting place for it, so furniture maker to the rescue. Haha


The other side is the dining spot. We installed a mirror wall to visually expand the space. One of the owner's request's is "Gusto ko mukang maluwag" (I want it to look spacious), so mirror it is. We're still waiting for the chandelier for the dining space, and I can't wait for it to arrived.

As for the living room light, here's a modern twist to a chandelier. It's big, but it's not heavy-looking because of it's "skeletal" structure. I love it!

Since it's a combine unit, it of course, has two kitchens. We decided to use the other one so we enclosed this pass-through.

Here we are choosing some art to hang. Fun stuff.

Though that one above didn't make it. It will go to the small guestroom, and here's the one that made it. I still need to find two accent chairs and a small table for this wall. I need to find something special, and I need to find it soon!

This is the kitchen we decided to use. It's bigger than the first one, and it's located near the dining space, so win-win.
We moved the sink area further out and opened up the surrounding walls. Stainless backsplash for the entire kitchen wall (fancy I know!) and new light wood cabinetry. Pinlights and undercounter lights were installed as well.

Two units = two master bedroom. Here's the master guestroom. 

My client love this light. I love that he has non-traditional taste, and go for quirky accessories for the place. 

I don't have a before photo of this same angle for the master bedroom, but based on all before photos above, it's the same white walls, orangey laminate floors, and plain surroundings. 

Since this is the Master of all master bedrooms (HAHA), I wanted it to be extra special so wallpaper goes to all surface, wall and ceiling! I'm in love with the wallpaper we used for the walls, it's subtle with some brickish stonish texture to it. I think I'll be using it for our room for project dream home. Of course all the other things won't be this grand, hehe. Artwork will be installed above the headboard. The light fixture is one of my last minute purchases, and I'm glad I waited. I love it. 



They wanted something special for the master bath so I had an accent tile installed over the sink. Also had cabinetries built under all bathroom sink, will show you what we did to the other bathrooms as well, when I get the chance to photograph all the afters, in a year! Haha.. Hopefully nextweek.

I guess that's it for now. I'm proud of this space I did. I've got to experiment on another look/concept which I'm dying to try, and it's a huge plus that the client has a lot of art to play with. Few key pieces of furniture / accessories will be installed next week, and they'll have a house warming the week after that. It's crunch time.


Before and After: Bedroom Makeover

If you've read my previous (very long) post about the what-the-hell-is-going-on-about-project-dream-home update (thank you!), then you might remember that we needed to relocate the bf's mom to another room since the room she was using would be part of the tiny home renovation. That was a so-so room, a single bed, and lots of clutter she doesn't own/need. So this is a great opportunity to give her a space she could relax in, meaning, take the grand kids in which happened as soon as we revealed the room to her! :)

This is the room where we relocated her. It was just a spare room that houses all stuff not needed elsewhere. Don't be fooled, this was shot after we have cleared most of the stuff in here. 

It needed so much tlc. Rundown of what we did to this place:

1) Put a proper wall between this room and the maid's room.
2) Added pinlights
3) Repainted everything
4) Sanded and sealed the floors.
5) Installed aircon and exhaust fan
5) Wiring for new outlet / light / aircon / fans
6) Move in furniture
7) Accessorize


On reveal day, we actually had a ribbon cutting "ceremony". Haha.. 

This is what four days can do to a space. TADA! 

It's a very simple makeover, but it is so so worth it! We painted the walls a bluey purpley pale gray. We think it would be great with all the wood tones we're bringing in. All of the furniture in here are from around the house. They have a lot of beautiful vintage pieces so we have no trouble furnishing this room.

Oh and some of you might remember the curtains, it's the curtains I used for the very first makeover of my bedroom. (Pre-professional-decorating days) I love the print, but never loved it in my room. It just didn't clicked. But in here, it's perfect. Bf's mom loves plants, so this is a great nod to that. And the colors works better with all the wood tone in here, unlike my very ordinary furniture.

Just look at these wardrobe cabinets, gorgeous details, solid narra wood, and a very nice finish as well, not the plasticky shiny thing we used to seeing.

A simple gallery wall is in order. Even all the frames we already have. The main peacock print is something we found while cleaning up, and we have more of those prints! I need to decoupage something with those. There's a vintage portrait of their family, and others have placeholders that we're planning to replace with family photos. 

So that's the four day makeover challenge. She loves it so much, she even texted the bf that night to tell us how much she loves the new room, and all the details we put in there. Super worth it. 

As for the bf and I, we're still in a hazy organizing spree. And I'm guessing we'll be on it for the next couple of weeks. And after that, it would be a hazy renovating spree. We are looking forward, and a little bit dreading, the process. We know that this will be a step closer to the dream home, but I can just imagine the stress! Haha.. We'll get there. Slowly, very budget-consciously, get there.


Behind the Scenes of Project Dream Home A.K.A The Tiny House Renovation

Half a year done and we're finally making some progress on Project Dream Home. Last January, I did some sort of to-do list for the year, and I put "Start building House, latest April." I guess that didn't happen. Well a lot of things happened actually, but just not the building part.

I almost wrote "quick update on Project Dream Home" on the subject of this post since I needed to sleep badly and I just wanted to share some updates, but I realized that this will not be quick at all. I have a lot to tell and sleep can definitely wait. Hahaha...

So let's back up a little. (This is the chronological order of what has transpired in relation to this project, prepare yourself!)


1) When we started dreaming up this house, we originally planned to build on the bf's family lot. They live in an apartment type compound so it's quite small, but we know that we can make it work and build us a cozy home.


2) But then we realized we wanted to have a showroom so their space is not enough, so I thought, why not build on my family's lot instead? It's big (400sqm lot area) with so much wasted space. We could definitely carve out a small portion up front for the showroom / house. (Lot is very expensive in our area and we don't want to be very far from our respective families so building on either of our family's lot is the ideal solution for now... you've got to work with what you have you know haha)


3) I told my dad of the plan and asked permission, and as kind and generous that he is, he agreed.


4) Which of course makes me so excited and I started researching and came up with some plans on how to build on the cheap. That's where the container van idea and metal cladding idea came in. And being my obsessive self, I did floorplans and moodboards for this particular set up.

Click photo for larger view (measurement in ft)
Had a few more tweaks to the plan especially of the rooftop level, but that's the basic idea.

Here's a moodboard of the living space on the third floor.
Obsessed I tell you.


5) I showed the plans to different contractors and asked for quotations, which of course came way higher than we can afford. Haha.. I know it's four freakin' floors so it should well be expensive. But we didn't let it bother us so much, we thought that we can start building the lower floors first, then just add up as we go. Or maybe live in a a very raw house without windows, tiles, working toilet, and paint? We wanted industrial so we might as well live up to it. Haha..  


6) Then the real problem came. LOT of issues. Literally, issues about the lot itself. Haha.. Since my dad is not the exclusive owner of our house yet, and some people didn't like my idea as much as I love it, it just won't push through. I won't be expounding on this since it's a very sensitive topic, but God has a plan so I'm just letting it be.


7) Back to the drawing board, which means back to the bf's house idea! He then asked if we can buy a small portion of the house and build there, and the answer is yes yes yes. Thank you! 

As I've said earlier, their house is in an apartment compound, meaning much smaller footprint. Here's a diagram of the tininess of the Dream Home.

Small, yes. Doable, of course. It's basically just the garage so the width of the house will be just a bit wider than your car. Thankfully, I never dreamed of living in very big spacious house, I wanted simple, easy to maintain place. Of course a little bigger than 26.25 sqm lot would be ideal, but who am I to complain? We've now got a space to actually build one so I'm just super excited. 


8) But the issues are not over yet. Since it will sit in a small property, we wanted to build up. As in five floors up. Haha...
1st level: a place to stock our products (I wouldn't dare call it a showroom, but maybe I can since it's literally just a room?! haha)
2nd level: living, dining, kitchen
3rd level: bedroom, full bathroom
4th level: My office (future kids room?!?!), walk-in closet
5th level: powder room, bf's workshop
PLUS rooftop!

One night when I still don't have actual measurements of the space, I came up with this moodboard for the 2nd level (living dining kitchen space). Also why I posted about living/dining combos.

But after measuring, we realized we can actually fit a separate living and dining space. But instead of doing the usual moodboard, I played around and did this very rough rendering. Please excuse this, haha, definitely not the exact look we wanted, but the basic layout and finishes are here. I just can't contain myself and I needed to see something in print and not just in my imagination.

So we had our architect friend do a proper plan which I've shared a glimpse of here. But when we asked some city hall insider regarding permits, they told us it won't be approved since it's too narrow for all the level we wanted. womp womp. 


9) OH KAY. I was actually quite fed up already with doing plans, moodboards and imagining day in and day out and then nothing ever happening. But as persistent as I am, we came up with a new plan. We're originally planning to knock down the existing two storey structure (which is somewhat connected to their main house through doorways and such -- his mom's room below, bf's room upstairs) 

So I asked the bf about letting go of our "wants" -- our own offices, his workshop, my walk-in closet, rooftop -- and just renovate the existing structure, add a floor with a loft, and just have what we actually need. He thought about it, I thought about it, and we both decided to just simplify everything.


10) Since I've not learned my lesson yet, I, Elle Uy, of course, made another plan, AGAIN. 

Click on photo for larger view (measurement in mm)
First and second floor will be the original structure, and third floor and loft will be the addition. You might wonder why the master bedroom is on the 2nd level, and have the main living space on the 3rd. Well, the 3rd level will be more spacious since there'll be a very high ceiling in there so we can achieve the industrial loft look, even in a much smaller scale. We'll be spending most of our time there anyway, so might as well utilized the nicer space.

And while I didn't make a new moodboard yet, I've been doing some sketches of what the 3rd level would be like. 


11) I had this new plan quoted by a few contractors and I'm just waiting for their feedback (fingers crossed!)


12) I'm not yet done. Oh my gawd I'm already tired, but I need to finish my story so here we go. (I'm seriously hoping that at least a few people are reading this so this late night writing will be worth it Haha..) Since we're getting that part of their house, we need to relocate bf's mom to another room (she's currently using a portion of the first level). They have extra rooms, yes, but they have a lot of stuff. Things that were from decades past that they just don't have the time to sort and let go. So the past few weeks, the bf and I sorted and disposed of what I believe is a room full of stuff. We're far from done, but today (technically that's yesterday), we have started renovating his mom's new room. Hooray!! Progress!! It's a small start, but I have this dizizit feeling. 


13) Once his mom moved to her brand new room (which will be so much nicer than what she has now), we can then again sort, organized, move stuff out of the current tiny house structure and start on renovation. That will of course depend on the quotes I'll be getting next week! But I'm assuming it will be MUCH MUCH cheaper than our previous quotes for a 4 storey ground up build on an 80sqm lot. We now have a renovation plus addition in a 26.75 sqm. That is quite a downsize so I'm hoping the cost will be sooo downsized as well. Haha...


Whooo. So all that happened in I guess 9 months time span? Maybe longer. I really don't know and I don't wanna remember. I'm just so happy where we are now. We are slowly getting there. That's what matters most. Will it be our forever home? I hope not since it's really quite a tight fit. Maybe we'll become extremely rich and buy a lot and build our bigger dream home, I don't know. But now, this is our dream coming true. I believe that whatever happens next is the actual plan for us, so all the mishaps from the past were just His way of saying, it's not for us. Maybe we don't want to live in a house without windows, tiles, working toilet? Haha.. With this new renovation plan, we can at least have some more left in our savings and do other things like maybe travel? :) I know a house is not all that is to life, I'm not that weird, so maybe with this tiny footprint, we can simplify our lives, enjoy our small house, and enjoy everyday without worrying too much about rain coming in our windowless house. Haha...

That's all folks. It has been 3 hours, who knew. I'll update you with what's next and share his mom's new room as well. Wish us luck! :)

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