A 22-sqm starter home is re-energized with cool colors, a more efficient layout, and fun but functional pieces
interiors NIKKI AUDINE
photography KURT ALVAREZ (after) & DAIRY DARILAG (before)
styling TALA SINGSON
words BUBBLES SALVADOR
Last year, after tragedy struck the lives of newlyweds Jen and Marvin Macahia, they struggled to start anew. It was admittedly an uphill climb for the couple, as they had to go back to the condo unit they shared without their prematurely born baby, who had eventually passed on. Jen and Marvin were devastated.
“Itong unit namin ang naging witness sa difficult pregnancy ko,” says Jen of the 22-sqm unit she shares with her husband. she bought the place when she was still single and needed a halfway home to avoid the long commute to work.
even then, she was already interested
in small-space designs, having gotten a lot of ideas from Real Living as a longtime reader. But time, space, and budget constraints prevented her from turning these ideas into reality. so Jen simply furnished the home with a bed and matching furniture she bought off the floor at a home store.
as part of their healing process, Jen and Marvin, marketing and It professionals respectively, embarked on a business endeavor together. On their free time, the two create baby birth info art and market the graphics online. they operate their small business from home.
the problem is, as with any newly married couple, the couple did not anticipate how challenging it would be to fit all their personal things in their shared space. as months went by, suitcases and boxes just piled up, pushed to the sides in an effort to make space for everything else.
Interior designer Nikki audine was in charge of overseeing the makeover, which came at a very opportune time: Jen and Marvin are expecting a new baby in a few months. “Nawala yung inspiration na nanggagaling sa bahay [when we lost our first baby]. Dapat pag nasa bahay ka, inspired ka. Kaya nagbakasakali ako na sumulat sa Real Living ,” relates Jen. the biggest challenges Nikki initially saw were the space, the clutter, and the color. “the space is small. there was a lot of clutter that didn’t exactly have its proper place, and the color made the room look small,” Nikki enumerates.
Jen is partial to pastel colors, to which Nikki agreed, saying this would help brighten up the space and make it feel more spacious. storage problems were also addressed by adding pretty storage baskets, some of which were sourced from building and decorating store allHome. Nikki even jazzed up the plain wall above the bed with geometric shapes in cool colors.
as for the workspace they requested? Nikki customized a long worktable for them and placed it by the window. desk organizers keep their things neat and orderly. above it is an appealing gallery wall that has everything they need: framed wall art (from allHome), a clock,
a calendar, and memo board. faux plants in whimsical planters add life to the space. two chairs, also from allHome, complete the his-and-hers work area.
“Yung work area ang naging focal point, which is important for us. Ako ang gumagawa ng sketches and ideas, then when it comes to digitizing, si Marvin na,
tapos iche-check ko ulit. Partners talaga kami,” Jen adds. the old glass TV console table was replaced by a new piece in wood finish from allHome, similar to the existing closet beside it. “It gives it a unified look with the addition of ledges, and at the same time, additional storage space,” Nikki says.
With their revamped home, Jen is sure to get all the inspiration she needs for their design business—and more. she is also eager to invite friends and family—a luxury she didn’t have before the makeover.
for other small-space dwellers, Jen shares this important lesson she learned: “Kung ano lang ang kailangan, yun lang ang i-retain. then find a way para mapagkasya yun.”
BEFORE The cumbersome closet used to occupy a lot of space beside the bed and blocks off a portion of the window. With its removal after the makeover, the sleeping area is now more spacious. Nikki also threw in new bed linen that echoes the color of the walls, lending a cohesive look that’s pleasing to the eyes.
On the side table that replaced the closed are a few decorative and functional accessories like candles and a lamp. A vase of fresh eucalyptus adds a refreshing vibe, making this area totally conducive for rest. To see the rest of this makeover, visit www.realliving.com.ph.
What used to be a plain wall by the bed is now made playful and eyecatching, thanks to the multicolored geometric pattern that Nikki had painted. To de-clutter this area, the designer had the stand-alone dresser transferred; and in its place is an old side table that was repainted.
Nikki made sure to provide a customized working table spacious enough to accommodate Jen and Marvin. This she matched with a pair of metal chairs from AllHome. Accessories (also from AllHome) like faux plants in whimsical planters and framed wall art add spunk to this corner, which has a view of a railway system. AFTER