belittling interiors

Yaya is losing space in the guestroom. We have moving boxes, appliance boxes, toy boxes all stacked up. Two more months of home stuff collecting then we’re outta here.

We have found our house! It’s the second of a two-unit apartment, inside a secure family compound owned by Turo’s relatives. A small, two-bedroom, two-storey unit, with a narrow covered porch and huge open area outside for gardening and play space, walking distance to UPLB. We so love it.

We haven’t really had the chance to sit down with the owners of the unit for the terms. We’d like to propose some renovations, both inside and outside, so that our new home can conveniently match our current lifestyle, and the fact that we don’t really have a lot of big-time home stuff to begin with. Fingers crossed.

We’ve visited the apartment very briefly just once and since then I’ve been re-creating all corners of that place in my mind, trying to figure out how to make the most of every inch.

The dilemma: It’s a small apartment. It’s freakishly small compared to the space we subsist in now. The ground floor area is probably equivalent to that of our current room. How the hell can we fit the kitchen, dining, living and play space, home office into the same amount of space that currently holds only our beds?

We want this apartment. It may be small but it’s perfect for our needs. Good location. Relatives around the corner. Restaurants a few steps away. Lots of play space. Barbecue grill. It’s really perfect. And by all means, I will make it the most perfect first home we’d ever set our family feet on.

Back to the dilemma. A few months ago, we bought a collapsible modern-ish white oval dining table. I found it on sale in Shangri-la and dragged Turo to go buy it the following week. But, when we visited the apartment, we realized there was no way it could conveniently fit in the space that’s supposed to be the dining area.

And then, “Light bulb!” (in true Gru fashion). I thought we could integrate the dining space into the living space by using the sofa as a banquette for the dining table. The photos below serve as my inspiration for this idea.

By putting the dining and living areas together in one space, what was supposed to be the dining space can be devoted fully to the kitchen. What cook does not want a full kitchen? Plus, we can save a bit because we don’t need to buy as much dining chairs as we originally planned. And we don’t even need to buy furniture for the living area because…

a) Mother offered to split up the sectional sofa at home and lend me a couple of pieces. I just need to have them re-upholstered so the seating height would be proportional to the height of the dining table; and

b) I intend to use the kiddie bed as another sofa. Aside from providing additional seating, the kids can take their afternoon naps here so they can be seen from downstairs. The rooms upstairs are also pretty small and it’s not very comfortable to have two bed stands fit into a small room. I’m thinking of just having a pull-out constructed from below our bed so the kids sleep there, or just buy a mattress as a temp bed. At least while they still sleep with us. Some photos of a bed-turned-sofa are found below.

To complete the living space, I plan to put up the toy cabinet-slash-TV rack against the staircase, as in the layout below. I originally planned to position this against the wall, but I guess there would be more moving space this way and the kids will be farther from the TV.

If the owners would allow us, we’d have some cabinets made so we can fully utilize the remaining space under the stairs adjacent to the sink area as additional kitchen space.

That pretty much covers the ground floor interiors. Except for a little repainting, electrical checks, and the installation of a few shelves, not much work need to be done here. I’ll have the porch area and the upstairs to worry about in the coming weeks.  Meanwhile, below is my planned layout of the ground floor area of our soon-to-be apartment.

When we go back to visit the apartment and have “the talk” with the owners, we need to take measurements to make sure stuff will fit as planned. I hope. I hope.


5 thoughts on “belittling interiors

  1. congrats! where is it exactly?
    i am also now in the look out for a room/studio apartment. it can get a little daunting especially when i can only search online and also pressed for time. ingatz!

    1. it’s inside umali subdivision, right behind LBDH. yes, i can imagine how difficult finding an apartment could be. i’m glad we’re through with that part.

  2. congrats! it’s fun how the internet can help make designers out of us. do you know that i’m a frustrated interior designer? haha. anyway, i’m excited to see your new place. warning lang on the integrated sala and dining area.. watch out for food stains on the upholstery!

    1. well, it’s still a work in progress. i still have tons of renovation projects in mind. and we have limited time and resources, especially now that we’re busy with the farm. the most immediate project though is setting up my home office as i plan to be working from home again by the time my contract with my current project ends next year.

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