Showbiz exec’s tips to beautify your living space

The Philippine Star
Showbiz exec�s tips to beautify your living space
The living room, which features a painting by Ted Penaflor, reminds everyone to embrace life, be open to all and welcome new adventures.

“M.E.” is a showbiz marketing executive who shall not be named in this piece. He is a good friend whose condo bachelor’s pad is a favorite go-to place for other close friends and colleagues, who have repeatedly gathered there for get-togethers. Pre-pandemic, M.E. hosted regular lunches and dinner parties in his home until COVID-19 put the brakes on everyone’s social activities.

Early last year, when lockdowns began to ease and the world slowly moved towards the new normal, M.E. began thinking about refurbishing his bachelor’s pad. After all, it had been almost 15 years since its last major renovation.

The first step in the undertaking was meeting with his contractor and design team, Golden Eight Design and Construct, which is owned by his nephew. His non-negotiables were simple: more storage space and clean, sleek lines. His color palette was to be various shades of white to bring in more light for the plants and to make his home feel cleaner and more relaxed. According to him, the shades-of-white palette also showcases art and display items very well.

A simplified reading nook with painting by Sanso.

The project took six months, which meant he had to move out of his unit and rent a smaller one in the same building while the work was ongoing.

But the wait was well worth it. When I finally saw the finished result days ago, I was in awe of how much more beautiful his home had become.

I asked M.E. to share tips for those who are planning a major renovation or beautification of their living spaces, and he was happy to oblige as long as I didn’t identify him. And so, here are some of M.E.’s do’s and don’ts for those who may renovate their condo units, as well as other words of wisdom about condo living:

When you move to a temporary place while your condo is being renovated, take advantage of the time to purge all the “junk” you have accumulated through the years. Simplify and be clutter-free so you have less things to clean and are left only with your most cherished possessions. As he repeatedly said, “You must snuff out sentimental feelings when purging.”

Don’t fill all your walls or cabinets or display areas with knickknacks and collectibles. Displays work best in threes or fives at most, and never display an even number of items.

Recycle, reupholster and refurbish what you can to save money and to preserve the memories associated with those objects.

A pseudo mid-century attempt in the bedroom, his sanctuary.

Though shopping online for furniture is very convenient, he advises against this. “Go out and touch it, sit on it, feel it and make sure it matches your lifestyle,” he offered. “Online stuff tends to be either expensive or absurdly cheap, so it is best to see and touch anything you’re interested in purchasing.”

In choosing a color for your pad, select one that you can live with for at least five years and match it with one that you can replace through accents and accessories.

Even though M.E. lives alone in a 200-square-meter unit, he has developed a system to keep his pad clean and tidy without any household help. In fact, he has learned to do his own laundry after purchasing a washing machine and dryer. Prior to the renovation, he sent his clothes to the cleaners until he realized that he was losing items of clothing every time he collected the clothes! For him, the best cleaning tip is CLAYGO — clean as you go.

M.E. also recommends setting a weekly schedule for how much to clean and what to clean, and to just do it. He emphasizes that cleaning one’s home is excellent exercise as well!

For M.E., condominium living is best for those who live alone, since the fees cover maintenance work that one would otherwise have to worry about if he/she had a house.

Based on how exquisitely his renovations turned out, I’m certainly inclined to believe everything he advises!

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