New Year, New Beginning

It’s been a while since I wrote about interiors. And so today, I take a break from my travel stories and share about one memorable milestone in our life. I’ve always dreamt about having and designing our own home. It’s always been on the top of my wish list and life goals. And this year we find ourselves making it happen.

It wasn’t easy. And it all came as a big rush. We’ve been looking for our own place for a long time now, actually since before we got married. But there were a lot of considerations. I don’t like too many stairs. I don’t like the idea of having to go up and down a lot of floors as it’s too tiring. I want it convenient. But most of the townhouses we see are 3 or 4 levels. My dream house is a high-ceiling bungalow with a gazebo. We prefer our home to be flat, wide and spacious rather than narrow and tall. Another consideration is the location and security. We want an area that has 24-hour security. And I want it to be closer to my family and to go back to the area I call home. But houses in the village where my mom lives are really expensive and out of our budget. So we’ve been biding our time since then. We just rented a condo first in Ortigas when we got married in 2012 and decided to keep looking until we see something we really like.

But then something happened in the middle of last year that pushed us to move immediately. The last quarter of 2014 was very challenging. The moment we got back from our US trip during Sept, we packed our life in boxes and suitcases and moved to my in-laws home in the South. And we lived that way for months. Thank God that a month before we left for the States, we finally found a place that we liked. It’s a very reasonably-priced spacious flat that had a balcony, 2 parking spaces and very strict security. And it’s in a central area, very accessible and literally just a stone’s throw away from my family. And another thing I like is the property has plenty of trees, gardens, a playground and a pool so it’s very family friendly. We were fortunate enough to find a place we were really happy with that met all our non-negotiables.

The original layout of the place is very odd though. It’s like a maze of rooms with low ceiling so we had to break down a lot of walls, change the ceiling to the maximum height possible to open up the space further and create a well-ventilated and naturally-lighted 3-bedroom home with a family room. Another good thing with the space is since it’s  2-units combined, it gives us a lot of windows all through out. We decided to break down walls to give way to the sunlight. And we’re lucky we get to enjoy both sunrise and sunset through all the windows.

Here’s a peek at how the unit looked before. It’s old but very well maintained since it hasn’t been lived in. Technically it’s still brand new but outdated.

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The challenge was how to fix it within 60 days. We were approved to do renovations although ours was quite major. Our goal was to be able to move in before Christmas. We want to be able to spend our first Christmas and New Year in our own home. It drove our architect and contractors nuts haha. It was very stressful and tiring time but we pulled through. And on December 20, 2014 we moved in (to the first half of the house that has been finished) while the rest was being completed. The other half was finished before the New Year and the kitchen was completed just last January. It’s only now we get to fully enjoy our little home and we’re loving every bit of it! ❤

Looking back, just like any other renovation or construction it was stressful. But I really really loved it! I’m not an interior designer but I’ve always wanted to design my own home since I was a little girl. It’s such a fun experience that I wish I can do again. We chose and bought everything from the palettes, wallpaper, flooring, tiles, down to the cabinet knobs and everything else. My dream home style is Vintage French Colonial — predominantly white (white cabinets, closets and furniture) with gray walls, white arches, French double doors, lots of moulding, panels, etc. It’s meant for a house but we tried to incorporate it in our own home as much as we can despite it being an apartment. And we’re quite happy with the result. We were able to make our home look and have the space and feel of a house instead of an apartment.

Here’s some photos of my favorite spots of our home while the rest we’ll keep private. I’m sharing this to show how you can transform an old place into the style you want for your dream home while still keeping it within your budget. We just had an idea of what overall style we wanted and all our furnitures were all from our old home. We didn’t buy new ones anymore as we still want to be able to use all we bought when we got married. Good thing it still went with the design of our new home. I’m very much into vintage furniture too so I like restoring the old and making it good as new.

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Dec. 20, 2014. Stepping into our first home.

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The foyer with white arches and white patterned shoe cabinet I love so much!

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Our “Wander Wall” yet to to be updated with our latest travels.

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Across our Wander Wall is the Schematic of Structures. A compilation of all the iconic structures and buildings around the world.

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Our goal is to see all of these places and structures. Our photos across show us with some of the structures here.

I’ve always been in love with white arches and I’m so happy Ken gave me this for our home. The white arches lead to the family room and into balcony. In the morning, it’s nice to see the sunlight pass through from the balcony to the blue double doors and inside the hall.

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Ken and I spending our first New Year at our new home! ❤

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Our niece and nephew with their New Years gifts!

 

For New Years Eve, my whole family celebrated it together with us. We were supposed to celebrate in Tagaytay but we cancelled to be able to have the first NYE at home. It was fun as we discovered that our balcony and the rest of our windows had a good view of the fireworks from all over. Now we’re excited to spend the holidays at home!

Here are some of my favorite spots in our home.

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The family room.

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This was our old sofa and lounge chair that we had reupholstered for a new tufted look.

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This is our favorite room where we can enjoy cozy movie nights with family and friends.

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2015 NYE kaguluhan with the kiddos!

Ken and I both love unique vintage travel decors and artworks. So we when saw from the US some cool typography posters and maps of our favorite cities we got our favorite ones for our home. This includes The Schematic of Structures in our foyer, the line maps of our favorite cities (London, Paris, and SFO) in our dining, and these ones in our living room which are what I love best! ❤

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This is my favorite nook in the living room.

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I love this gold framed calligraphy world map! ❤

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Overall, our house is pretty much just kept to a minimum. We’re excited to fill it up bit by bit, design and style each area more as we live in it. Right now, it’s been almost 2 months since we moved into our new home and we are grateful for everything everyday. It’s just so fulfilling to be able to enjoy a home that we envisioned, designed and created on our own. It’s become a place that we like coming home to, waking up to, and just staying in on most days. It’s become such a happy haven for us that we don’t go out anymore unless we need to. We enjoy cooking in our kitchen. I love our white kitchen with accent backsplash and I love our oven! I’ve always dreamt of having our own oven as I’ve always wanted to learn how to bake and now I can do that anytime I want to.

The past months have been really challenging for us personally as there are a lot of things we had to deal with. Our new home has come to us at the right time like an assurance that there’s a lot to be thankful for and good things are about to happen. We can’t wait to build our own family and have our own little ones in this very home. ❤

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