DINING ROOM: “Before” Shots of the Shelves

Remember the bookshelves I’ve been using as a sideboard? Well, it’s not very pretty at the moment – BUT! It is extremely functional. I have some monogrammed linen napkins, printed paper napkins, and coasters in there, plus space for my Mimi plant that I’ve been using as a table centerpiece lately: 

I’ll be needing storage for my extra set of curtains for the dining room, and for the paper shopping bags we recycle (and often use as trash bags), my small grocery binder, and our takeout menu. Other than that, it’s all about prettifying the shelves and I’m frankly a bit clueless right now on how to do it!


LIVING ROOM: Moving Things Around

I think I may have finally found a solution to my blank wall, and for balancing out that side of our teeny living room by the front door:

I moved the bench! And now that it’s under the window I got to move the rocker forward to fill up what used to be just awkward empty space. (When I got the bench, I had to do away with my little native seat, which made me unhappy because I love that thing).

This was my living room prior to the bench. As I shared here, I really missed how sparse it looked. (Um, don’t mind the curtains!). But I thought the left side looked too empty and off, with everything sort of bunched up towards the far end across the door.

Then my bench arrived and as much as I LOVE it, I couldn’t figure out where to put it, so it ended up closing off the living area as shown in the photo. I couldn’t stand how it sort of fenced off the space – it looked terrible and basically shut down all the pathways. Sort of like the Bermuda triangle. And speaking of bunched up, now the entire right side looked incredibly crowded.

I kept rearranging the furniture, and took tons of photos. I knew for certain at this point I wanted to keep the loveseat on the diagonal (as explained here), but I was just about ready to give up the bench and move it somewhere else when I placed it under the window, moved down the rocker and angled it just so (to face the loveseat but not get in the way of the door)…aaaaaand I thought it looked all right.

There’s enough space between the rocker and the bench too. Plus I finally set aside my very old, hand-me-down Ikea floor lamp and that Mavs poster (because didn’t I promise myself to do away with “okay for now” pieces?). There’s the poster by my umbrella stand (which I love) in that photo, but as of press time, the poster has been banished upstairs.

I’m actually thinking of painting the door. Black maybe? And my issue with the curtains is that I need Mang Ariel to install new rods, so I’m holding off purchasing until I have enough for Mang Ariel to do when I book him. I’ve been on the look out for a doormat too but no luck so far. But at least now I am FINALLY happy with the furniture arrangement. (I know I know this is why people get interior designers. It’s the whole spacing thing that’s so darn hard).

Anyhoo so now I don’t have to put a bookshelf along that wall behind the door; maybe a couple of floating shelves or a print or a mirror. But definitely more plants by that window.  Yay! 

Bonus shot of my Boaz, looking on as his Mamu pushed furniture around. Hi babe!!!

LIVING ROOM: Boho Rug and Links to Size Guides

I had my heart set on an abaca area rug custom made by Weave Manila. I actually got a quote last year and the girl I talked to was the best – she emailed me a quote promptly the next day, with a neat, very detailed order summary. I loved her! But now I realized the rugs I inquired about may be too small – I read that when it comes to living room rugs, the bigger, the better (no matter how small the room!).

But then I saw that printed rug in Triboa Bay Living. The print is more grey in person, not black like it looks in my photo. I fell hard – my only concern is that it may look too bohemian for my nordic house. Would it look out of place with the rest of my house? Would my house look too confused? (Scandi slash mid-century slash boho? Too many slashes?)

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SHARED BOYS’ ROOM: The “Where We Are” Photos

I gave myself a break from working on the living and dining rooms, and I thought this would mean taking a breather from all things house related, period. WRONG. I found myself focusing on the boys’ shared bedroom now. In fact I ordered a custom bunk bed. Teehee.

I don’t have the photos when we moved in, so this is called the “Where We Are” photos instead of “Before” photos.  We’ve done some things to the room (painted the walls in this lovely dark grey-navy color, painted the baseboards and window frames white, removed the old blinds, got the downstairs crib, painted the crib and the old single bed white).  But since the room still looks like a hot mess (as you can see from these photos that I am bravely sharing, eeek!), I absolutely refuse to refer to this as “Progress” or “Midway” updates.


Eek right?  There’s a bunch of discarded furniture in that room from other parts of the house, like the wooden magazine rack wedged between the bed and the wall.  And that grubby thing beside Alo, below the window?  That’s the old mattress from the driver’s bunk outside.  Someone pulled it out to put in the lanai, and now it’s in here, arrgh.

In my original list I said I’d do away with a bunk bed and ceiling fan. But as time passed I realized we do need a bigger bed in that room. Our Yaya sleeps on the single bed. My in laws are here at least once, usually twice, a week to visit and help with the kids. My FIL and MIL would take turns taking naps or just plain resting on Yaya’s bed. That won’t do. Also, for his naps, Alo sleeps on his yaya’s bed, ratty sheets and all.

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DINING ROOM: Refurbishing the Vintage High Chair

Remember the vintage high chair my parents got for Alo last month? Here’s what we’ve done with it so far:


We removed the seatbelt and were left with these nasty sharp metal bits which we pulled out.


We scrubbed off all the labels and stickers, and cleaned every inch of it (including the cracks!) with organic baby wipes, so as not the ruin or stain the wood

Here she is – in all her naked glory – but clean as can be.  (You can see Bo’s high chair in the background.  We also assembled it that day.  We got both chairs last December).


It was then time to put back the reupholstered seat – it’s a pretty creamy beige color (thank you, Lolo!).  The screws were only a wee bit rusty; I figured I can replace them in the future, if they still bug me.

And here it is.  There are some chips there, and I’m trying to decide if I should use wood filler or just leave the chipped paint, the chair being old and all.  But I do just need to get some wood polish, and then we are all set.  (Alo has been using it ever since we put it back together though, and it has really been the perfect height and size for my boy).

Previous post on this chair:  A (High) Chair for Alo