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3 Practical Tips When Renovating Your Home, According To Interior Designer Nikki Laurel

Here's a scenario: Your house is in serious need of a makeover. Its style just doesn't suit you and your family's taste and lifestyle anymore. You could sell it, sure. There's always that option of moving into a new property. Then again, you've lived in this house for so many years. It holds a lot of special memories; that sentimental value cannot be ignored. Apart from these, what's even more crucial in your decision-making is the fact that the price range of properties today is significantly different from what it was years ago—too big of a difference that it's actually way cheaper and, in some ways, more practical to renovate your home than to buy a new one.

This was the case for talented singer-songwriter and multi-faceted woman Nicole Asensio, who was convinced it would be better to renovate the old townhouse she acquired than to let it go for a new address. And so, overflowing with ideas and filled with excitement about achieving her dream home, Nicole called up her cousin, interior designer Nikki Laurel, to help her out. 


READ: EXCLUSIVE: Nicole Asensio's Townhouse Went From Cabin Style To Modern Luxe—See The Transformation Here!


Interior designer Nikki Laurel


The house of Nicole is still a work in progress, but all the definitive elements have already been established in every interior space. The renovation started in October of last year. A year later, Nicole found herself gathering the people dearest to her for an intimate house blessing.  

"That’s pretty fast, assuming that we really broke down almost everything, even the windows and ceilings," says Nikki of the duration of their house renovation project. Pointing to the wall and glass sliding door that leads to the yet-to-be-finished pocket garden in Nicole's home, Nikki shares, "These ones weren’t there, lumang mga arko 'yan. It was curved, even the ceiling was curved like a dome."

The transformation of Nicole's house is truly dramatic, and the result of the collaboration between this cousin duo will inspire you to renovate your own house, too. 


Photo courtesy of Nicole Asensio


Photo by Grace Libero-Cruz


Photo courtesy of Nicole Asensio


Photo by Grace Libero-Cruz


Below are a few tips and reminders from Nikki Laurel if and when you're renovating your house:


You need to do all the "dirty" work.

"I think you really have to start deep inside, all the dirty work. Because you're going to waste money if you're going to just fix it na parang facelift lang then through the years, there are leaks and everything. So here, we really made sure to open all the ceilings, check all the plumbing kasi with old houses, the pipes can be corroded already, so it’s important that you work from the deepest or most bottom layer."




Do a "rain check."

"Check the water, the leaks. We even had the construction workers leave the ceiling open while it was raining so that we could see which parts were seeping, which need waterproofing. These are important: waterproofing and plumbing, kasi 'yun 'yung mga pinakamasakit sa ulo if you just fix it up and make it look nice, but when it rains and you're living there na, may mga barado o mga tagas. Mas magastos."




Go big or go home.

Since you're already in the process of renovation, why not do an overhaul instead? Don't just renovate certain areas, for you'll only end up with a home that will leave your guests confused as to what style you're going for exactly. Your home must be comfortable through and through; every space needs to be a place the dweller will be happy to go home to every day. To achieve their goal for this house, Nicole and Nikki went to great lengths in sourcing materials and furnishings to complete it. While they retained certain elements, like the exposed beam in the attic which now serves as the music room, they also had no qualms about taking out and replacing everything. They went for a lot of customized pieces of furniture, too, for the house to truly echo what Nicole as an individual is all about. 



Photographs by Paola Aseron