30 March 2012

House of Dreams

In Lucy Maud Montgomery's book, House of Dreams, the main character Anne describes to her fiancé Gilbert what she wants their first home to look like. I think everyone has this dream and there are those who are lucky enough to achieve it. We are still waiting for our ship to sail in, but in the meantime it's something nice to think about.

So to banish the gloom from my last post, I decided to think of the house I would like to someday own. This is basically my version of the perfect house:

If you'll notice there's only one floor. We're currently living in a house that has three (3) levels and not only is it a pain to maintain financially, stairs are not a senior citizen's best friend.

Another thing is that there aren't too many rooms. My ideal home is one that I can clean on my own without any help and doesn't waste space. By the way, the dotted lines you see behind the storage area represents the clothes line which is next to the outdoor sink.

Though the most important consideration for me would be the orientation of the house itself. I've read that an energy efficient home has the daytime or main living areas facing north, and the least used areas (namely the garage and storage) facing west thus bearing the brunt of the hot afternoon sun and serving as a heat buffer for the rest of the house. Hmmm... we might need to reverse this.

As you can imagine, this plan requires a bigger plot of land which is great as I want as much space between us and the neighbors (when you dream, dream big). This falls in line with yet another guideline that there should be a set back of least six meters to prevent overshading from neighbours to the north.

In case you're wondering where I got this lay-out, it's from Home Plans. A few years ago, when we were still trying to decide whether to build or just buy a house, I bought a book on house plans from Book Sale. From the more than 200 options, this was the only one that appealed to me, but please note that what you see above is the version I've fixed to suit our purposes. To view the orignal drawing, please click here.

Now here's hoping someone out there will build this house for themselves and invite us to visit. Because while I can imagine what this house might look like, the reality will probably be different and I'd like to know in advance if adjustments need to made (hahaha!).

23 March 2012

Sixteen Centimeters

The line you see above is exactly 16 cm - that's the distance between the bedroom door (at an open angle) and the our current queen-sized bed (if we decide to bring it with us).

Queen Bed Option

Almost a year ago, I made a post about how measuring our room made me gloomy. The master's bedroom in the model unit (which you can view here) is much larger than the actual space turned over to us - take note that the bed you see in the picture is bigger than ours and there's even space for two night tables!

Well, it has been said that when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. So last week, I decided to take a second look. I must admit I was feeling optimistic - maybe I made a mistake the first time, maybe the room would miraculous expanded on it's own... Alas, it was not to be. If we were to keep our current bed frame (161 cm x 201 cm), then one person would need to walk sideways just to get to their side.

Full/Double Bed Option

So now we're starting to think of buying a full/double bed instead, but that would mean giving up six (6) inches on the width. The length will be the same as apparently Ambassador Beds just vary on the width (both their full and queen-sized beds are 190 cm long).

This then begs the question: Should we go for sleep comfort or more walking space?

16 March 2012

Short Courses @ UP Diliman

Got this from one of the chat groups I belong to (thanks Claudette!):

The University of the Philippines College of Home Economics will be offering the following short courses for the summer season:

A Short Course on Space Planning
Description: A primer on basic concepts related to space planning for home and office interiors, featuring lectures and workshops. This six (6) hour course is open to housewives, students, and other individuals interested in knowing basic techniques in space planning for interiors.
*Php 3,000

Update: I recently received an email from their coordinator stating that, "The seminar on Space Planning will be conducted on May 15, Tuesday, 9 AM - 5 PM, at the College of Home Economics. Exact venue will be advised later. The seminar fee is P3,000.00, inclusive of materials."

Upcycling: From Trash to Cash
Description: A two (2) day workshop on transforming old clothes and household items to upcycled clothing and home décor. The course can be offered to housewives, students, and other individuals interested in upcycling.
*Php 4,000

* Minimum of 12 participants


Prof. Cecile T. Bayaga


Ms. Fe de Asis
Research, Extension and Professional Staff (REPS)

Office of Community and Extension Services (OCES)
College of Home Economics
University of the Philippines Diliman

Telephone Number: 981 8500 local 3407
Email: oces.che@up.edu.ph or fejdeasis@yahoo.com
Website: http://up.edu.ph/features.php?i=518

11 March 2012

Shop Hop: HMR & Focus Global

A little further down the road on Pioneer Street are the following stores:


This place has been mentioned in Real Living magazine and chat groups as the home of cheap furniture. So I was surprised to find that they sell everything from computers, medical equipment, to books and even winter clothes!

Despite the dust, there were a few interesting finds. Unfortunately, they all had been marked as "sold" already. It seems that one would need to frequent this area often or be part of their mailing list in order to get first dibs on the good stuff.

The building used to be a hospital and from the looks of it, they didn't do much to fix it up - think warehouse without air conditioning. So if you're going to visit, I suggest that you go on a cool and cloudy day.

Focus Global

Located here are the showrooms for both Ethan Allen and SieMatic. Basically, if your pockets are extra large in size, then this is the place for you.

Those who have read my earlier kitchen posts (which you can read here and here) know that SieMatic was my dream kitchen, but since we have yet to win the lottery I decided to skip looking at that end of room.

We checked out Ethan Allen instead and found that, aside from the usual furniture items, they also sell picture frames, mirrors and lamps. To give you an idea of the prices, some picture frames start at Php 24,000. Their two seater sofa costs upwards of Php 150,000 depending on the fabric selected for the upholstery.

If you make this your first stop and then go to other furniture stores after, this place will make everything else seem cheap in comparison.

I was hoping that they would also have Kitchen Aid and Oster items in the showroom but it turns out that those are sold only at authorized retail stores.

04 March 2012

Fence & Gate: Rabacon Construction

We're sticking with Rabacon even though there's a Php 16,500 increase from the rate they gave last year (which you can view here). They still submitted the lowest quotation compared to the other four contractors:

Total for Original Option: Php 310,578.94

BUT we'll be making a few changes:

1. Instead of the original 1.82 meters, the CHB perimeter fence will be 2 meters which is the maximum allowable height (basically we'll be adding another layer of hollow blocks).

2. There will be two layers of hollow blocks before the steel fence instead of just one (more wall, less grilles for the front part of the fence).

CHB Perimeter Fence - Php 202,059.62
Steel Fence - Php 49,203.00
Garage Floor Finish - Php 63,975.00
Total for Updated Option: Php 315,237.62

Now if we still have funds left over, we're also planning to install the carport roof and a narrow roof to cover the back door and sink:

• Steel Trusses w/ Marine Plywood for Garage & Laundry Area Roof - Php 43,738.23
- 3/16" x 1" angular bars - painted finish included
- Marine plywood included in preparation for roof shingles
- Roof shingles included
- Hardiflex ceiling cover - painted finish included
- Electrical provision for ceiling mounted garage light included

Total for Updated Option w/ Roof: Php 358,975.85

- Rabacon Construction

Telephone Numbers: 562 6697, 0927 926 7808
Email: mjg_rabacon@yahoo.com

Here's what we have in mind for the fence and gate, only the steel portion of the fence will be a little higher:

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