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Bohemian Chic Style in a Young Traveler's Studio Unit

Travel mementos find their niche in this eclectically vibrant condo

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Original Article: Maika Q. Bernardo Photography: Dairy Darilag Styling: Dagny Madamba and Tala Singson

The best way to keep travel memories alive is to bring home souvenirs that remind you of the city that you visited. It could be a magnet, a keychain or a locally designed printed fabric. The challenge is whether to keep it boxed up or to display it somewhere.

Kat San Juan, a wedding videographer and avid traveler, rose to the challenge and designed her studio unit into a chic and cozy space that showcases the various pieces of travel mementos that she has collected. Her condo unit may be small, yet its floor plan was maximized by the efficient use of space and intelligent layout, complemented by the natural light streaming in through the large windows with a view of the Mandaluyong skyline and Pasig River.

Her inspirations were culled from interior design websites such as Apartment Therapy (www.apartmenttherapy.com) and Design Sponge (www.designsponge.com), and of course, Real Living magazine. Her basic philosophies in decorating her home are to stay true to herself and to always keep in mind the items that she already has in her collection when buying other pieces to bring into her home. A smart spender, she chose to buy furniture pieces that costs not more than Php 5,000, and patiently looked for reasonably priced home items from Dapitan, Our Home, Heima, Dimensione, Japan Home Centre, Dangwa, and even Shopwise.

The result is a highly functional space that truly reflects her dynamic personality and colorful and creative interests.

Original article by Maika Q. Bernardo. Styling by Dagny Madamba and Tala Singson. Photographed by Dairy Darilag.

Read the original article ("Some Kind of Wander-ful") in the November 2013 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/real-living/id553158056?mt=8) now! Log on to summitnewsstand.com.ph/real-living for more details. 

Design Detail

This pretty boho chic traveler’s tableau perfectly captures the homeowner’s personal style. The dress form from Dapitan cost only Php 1,000, while these little accents complete the scene: well-worn chukka boots reflect her love of travel, a leather bag with a print of South America, the mounted deer head, and vintage print world map.

Living Area

Kat San Juan’s all-white studio apartment is the perfect canvas for her travel mementos and creative projects. Despite her unit’s size, a normal-sized sofa is used to provide ample seating. She adorned this with some of her travel finds such as a throw from South Africa, pillows from My Home and IKEA.

Kitchen

One way to maximize small spaces is to plan it well. Here, the homeowner focused on sprucing up her kitchen to encourage her to cook more. Though simple and functional, the mini cactus garden, a dress form, and the cardboard deer head from Urban Outfitters (www.urbanoutfitters.com) make the area more interesting. DIY project idea: The deer head is mounted on a frame bought in Dapitan and covered with gift wrapper (printed with various Italian locales) found in a San Francisco bookstore.

Bedroom

The bed frame from Shopwise is made comfortable with an IKEA quilt-like blanket and pillows from Our Home pillows. The blank white wall holds a world-map decal from Urban Outfitters (www.urbanoutfitters.com), while on one side is a white desk with a built in ladder which she got for less than Php 5,000 is paired with a pink folding chair that costs less than Php 1,000; both are from Our Home. A warbonnet (an American-Indian feathered headdress) hanging by the desk shows her penchant for unusual travel souvenirs.

Décor Detail

Another teal milk can from IKEA finds its spot on the white desk and stands as bookend. Flowers from Dangwa add a touch of whimsy on the otherwise bare white desk.

Décor Detail

This wicker chest from Dapitan is double duties as storage for law books and magazines, as well as a side table. An ethnic-graphic scarf is used as a table cloth, and a ball of twine from Japan Home Centre is a makeshift paper weight atop the homeowner’s own diary-planner, The Daykeeper.

Décor Detail

A dream catcher from Bali and a piece of driftwood from one of the homeowner’s trips hangs from a twine becomes a personalized wall décor.

Décor Detail

The picture frame, sans the glass, is now an easel for a hand-painted card by Tippy Go, who is one-half of the couple behind The Googly Gooeys web comics. Completing the kitchen-counter tableau are some prairie flowers, an animal-print candle (for dispelling cooking smells), and paper straws from Rustan's Supermarket placed in a reused salad-dressing bottle.

Hints of Green

Bring the outdoors in with mini cacti garden. Fresh and artificial flowers and cacti cost only Php50 a bunch in Dangwa, while the little pots are prettified with colorful washi tapes. A blue mason jar is nifty as a flower vase.

Décor Detail

Nifty wooden fruit crates from a market turn into storage-cum-side table with a some sanding. A teal milk can from IKEA, a driftwood, a crocheted H&M bag, and potted cacti create a table top décor that fits the studio’s folksy hippie vibe.

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