Real Living (Philippines) - - Front Page - in­te­ri­ors KATHARINE MANUEL pho­tog­ra­phy MICHAEL AN­GELO CHUA (after) & KURT AL­VAREZ (be­fore) styling PAULA DE GUZ­MAN words SUN­SHINE SELGA FUNA

HOME­OWNER CHERIELOU PAGDILAO can­not con­tain her ex­cite­ment about her home’s redo. “Parang ho­tel na yung ba­hay ko!” she ex­claims. As a work­ing mom with two kids, Cherielou ad­mits that she and her hus­band Nathan have no spare time to fix their space. But thanks to in­te­rior de­signer Katharine Manuel, the liv­ing area of the Pagdi­laos now looks invit­ing.

The rel­a­tively spa­cious liv­ing area was pop­u­lated with a sofa set flushed to the wall on one end of the room, while the tele­vi­sion set was on the far end. The space looked or­ga­nized enough, but the lay­out proved to be quite im­prac­ti­cal and very ba­sic. “Wala pang ef­fort to make it com­fort­able. It was all just func­tional… awk­ward that the tele­vi­sion was right across the room. It wasn’t in the ideal spot.

Daanan pa siya,” re­calls Katharine when she first saw the space.

To ad­dress this prob­lem, Katharine di­vided the liv­ing area into two sec­tions ac­cord­ing to the fam­ily’s ac­tiv­i­ties. “It’s log­i­cal that you con­duct your main ac­tiv­ity in the big­ger area,” says the de­signer. She de­fined the area by bring­ing in a new sec­tional sofa and slim side ta­bles from Blims Fine Fur­ni­ture. A wooden cof­fee ta­ble and a Scan­di­na­vianstyle rock­ing chair with foot­stool from Handy­man com­plete the cozy setup. The de­signer had the white walls re­painted in a soft dove gray (with Nip­pon paints from Handy­man) to keep the space from look­ing staid.

Katharine chose dove gray for the walls to bal­ance out the fem­i­nine de­tails of the liv­ing area, like the tiles that fea­ture a dainty print. Fur­ni­ture pieces from Blims com­ple­ment each other, cre­at­ing a cozy am­biance that’s per­fect for rel­a­tives who come over on week­ends. SINCE THE FIN­ISH OF THIS WALL IS NOT SMOOTH ENOUGH TO AL­LOW FOR SEAM­LESS WALL­PA­PER IN­STAL­LA­TION, IN­TE­RIOR DE­SIGNER KATHARINE MANUEL USED PAT­TERNED CERAMIC TILES IN­STEAD. THIS TREAT­MENT CRE­ATES A VERY IN­TER­EST­ING AND UNIQUE FO­CAL POINT. CUS­TOM­IZED SHELVES WERE IN­STALLED IN AN ASYM­MET­RI­CAL PAT­TERN TO OFF­SET THE LIN­EAR DE­TAILS IN THE LIV­ING AREA. THESE HOUSE VAR­I­OUS DEC­O­RA­TIVE KNICK­KNACKS FROM DAISO.

“Ev­ery­thing is con­crete, hard sur­faces, but you have all these nat­u­ral el­e­ments out­side. Plants re­ally trans­form a space,” ex­plains Katharine when asked why she pep­pered the space with greens. She bought planters from Handy­man and Daiso to house these lively ac­cents.

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