A 22-sqm starter home is re-en­er­gized with cool col­ors, a more ef­fi­cient lay­out, and fun but func­tional pieces

Real Living (Philippines) - - Real Homes -

in­te­ri­ors NIKKI AU­DINE

photography KURT AL­VAREZ (af­ter) & DAIRY DARILAG (be­fore)



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, visit­al­liv­

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


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