Array
Decorating

How Two Millennial Sisters Merged Different Styles in One Home

These creative sisters show us how they tastefully combined their two different personalities. No sibling rivalry here!

Shares
Original Article: Sunshine Selga Funa Photography: Kurt Alvarez Styling: Tala Singson

It’s hard enough to share a space with your brother or sister, but what if he or she has a very distinct personality, and in turn, a decorating style that is different from yours? Designer Mara Manalo and her sister Joana, a college student, open their doors to show us how they were able to merge their two different, personal styles into a cohesive space.

For one, both sisters know when to compromise. “When we were growing up, I always imitated kung ano yung gusto niya,” Joana (above, right) says with a laugh. And while Mara (above, left) seems hesitant to acknowledge the extent of her influence on her younger sister’s taste, she does admit to helping her out with her room. Naturally so, as this ate is a licensed interior and production designer (read more about her extensive body of work—and how her bedroom has evolved—here).

The two, though, have slightly varying preferences: Joana is partial to solid colors and sporty décor, as seen in her room that has one wall swathed in dark charcoal gray. Meanwhile, Mara is in love with white walls made interesting with bold and quirky accents. “I like na medyo raw. Ayoko ng super polished. I’m more of the girly side, tapos si Joana sporty ’tsaka boyish,” says Mara of their respective styles.

As Mara and Joana continue to develop their own styles, their rooms will always be an evolving canvas for them to work on. Here are some of their tips, per sibling and look:

MARA: WHITE & QUIRKY

Buy big furniture items together.


Choosing large pieces together like a dining set of sofa ensures a cohesive look. This white sectional sofa pairs perfectly with these summery pillows that Mara sourced from a department store. “I like sourcing from affordable shops,” she says. Incidentally, the sofa is similar to the couch Joana has. Mara added cactus stickers and washi type patterns in one corner of the wall for an off-kilter look. You can find pillows like these at H&M Home.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Look for pieces that are similar to your sisters’ decor.


If the identical storage cubby in Joana’s room houses her shoes, this one in Mara’s sleeping area houses the young designer’s collection of books and cameras, and a few plush toys that add more quirk. Meanwhile, wall decals keep the plain white wall from looking clinical. Find similar decals at True Value.

Go for neutral walls.


The all-white walls in Mara’s bedroom are a blank slate that she can play with as an interior designer. The clean palette also keeps everything cohesive, given Mara’s playful decorating style. Here, with an embroidery hoop, a plain shirt, and drawing skills, Mara was able to ingeniously come up with this one-of-a-kind wall décor.

Mirror, but personalize.


In one corner of Mara’s bedroom is this work area, which sits right beside her pet cat Frankie’s nook. On this wall, Mara used crafter’s tape to spell out the word “create.” Mara uses the same midcentury chair as Joana’s, only in black.

JOANA: DARK & SPORTY

Complement or contrast each other’s spaces.


The charcoal gray walls and dark gray rug are a testament to Joana’s penchant for solid colors, lending a more moody tone to the college student’s private space, and a stark contrast to Mara’s all-white sleeping space. A desk lamp on the bedside table gives Joana an option to study in her room, but she finds the space too conducive for sleeping that she’d go downstairs to their living room to pour over her textbooks.

Add a standout accent.


Even though the layout of both girls’ bedrooms—plus the furniture pieces—look somewhat similar, it’s the details that giveaway the sisters’ varying personalities, such as the bright accent colors in Joana’s room as seen in the red midcentury accent chair (Mara has the same chair in black). The closet behind this mirror is actually Joana’s study desk, which she rarely uses.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Decorate with items that show your respective hobbies.


These skateboards attest to the sister’s completely different personalities—Joana, being the sporty one, is proud to put these on display in her room. On the other hand, nothing of the sort is found in Mara’s. You can get a similar mirror from Our Home.

Stash and store.


If there’s one piece in the Manalo’s sisters’ bedrooms that best describe their personality, it’s this cubby. Both girls have the same piece, albeit in different colors housing completely different items. Here, it holds Joana’s collection of shoes, most of which are sneakers.  

The original article "Sister Style" appeared in the June 2015 issue of Real Living Magazine. 

More on Realliving.com.ph

Shares

Latest Stories

Future Condo Owners Can Demand Wi-Fi Installation With a QR Code

Ortigas & Co. executive explains how property developers are innovating while remaining cautious

These 7 Things Should Be Taken Out Of Your Bedroom

Get rid of these things and make your bedroom a place where you can unwind from the stress of everyday life

All the Plants We Love in Toni Gonzaga’s Home

She has palms and pots of Philodendron in the different parts of the house

Different Gate and Fence Designs For Modern Minimalist Homes

Because there are different ways to do modern minimalist home exteriors

5 Mistakes You're Making When Storing Food in the Refrigerator

Maximize the space and keep your food fresh by organizing it properly

9 Things To Do In Poblacion, Makati

There's drinking and eating, of course. But there's a lot to experience, arts and culture-wise, in this dynamic Makati hotspot.

These Things Inside Your Home May Be Making You Ill

Without proper and regular cleaning, you could be making your house a breeding ground of bacteria

The Most Common Types Of Mold In The Home

Learn about the kind of mold that can grow inside a house and the health risks these can cause

8 Pantry Organizers You Can Count On

Keep your supplies in place with these trusty essentials

Expect Heavy Traffic as Rockwell Bridge Nears 30-Month Closure

The new bridge to replace it will cost Php1.2B and won't be completed until 2020

A Classic Townhouse In Quezon City With An Elegant, Neutral Palette

An interplay of classic American style and sophisticated design complete this dream home

This Pinay Exhibited Her Up-cycled Furniture At Paris Design Week

Willie Garcia, an interior designer and eco-warrior, showed her up-cycled creations at this international design fair
Load More Stories

Get inspiring design ideas and handy hints.
Subscribe to our newsletter now!