A Delightful Mix and Match in a Studio Unit

Smart shopping and keeping style within a budget lead to a harmonious and cozy home

Original Article: Tisha Alvarez Photography: Miguel Nacianceno Styling: Issa Villar

Homeowner Jeanette describes her studio-type unit as full of pocket-friendly pieces and a “bric-a-brac from everywhere.” Being the self-proclaimed master of cheap decorating, she may have designed her place with a budget in mind, but she certainly didn't scrimp on style. One might notice that her place looks bigger than its actual floor area of 53sqm. Her simple trick is segregating each area with furniture instead of walls, giving it an open layout.

The walls are painted neutral beige with dark wood finish. Other pieces are in camel beige and chocolate, with furnishings in orange and lime green. The kitchen doubles as a dining area, complete with lime green barstools. Various finds from her travels abroad can be found on the living area, such as a distinctive 50s-style chair. Jeannette got it from her dad and had it reupholstered and re-chromed.

Jeannette made sure that her home embodied her personality. “This is eclectic, a mish-mash of everything, but it's really me—bright colors, the orange and green, and the stuff from my travels.”

Original article by Tisha Alvarez. Styling by Issa Villar. Photographed by Miguel Nacianceno.

Read the original article (“Cheap and Chic”) in the June 2006 issue of Real Living Magazine. To download a digital copy of Real Living Magazine, visit Summit Newsstand at

Living Area The sofa and ottoman stools in the living area are from SM, but reupholstered. Behind the curtain is a storage area for her 70 pairs of shoes.
Living Area Detail The tables in the living area hold Jeannette's decorating books and figurines from abroad. Storage is of utmost importance in a small space and it's a good choice to go with pieces that not only allow you to display items on top but have extra space underneath.
Living Area Detail The home's entertainment system is tucked away in this slim table. Knickknacks are also on display.
Living Area Detail Jeannette’s dad was ready to throw the chair out because it was already rusty and the upholstery was full of holes. She had it re-chromed, then reupholstered with orange fabric from Shell Canvas.
Décor Detail One of Jeannette's travel finds, these art deco-style posters are from Vietnam.
Quirky Touch An eye-catching addition to the space, these giraffe figurines are from Bali.
Kitchen Detail The interior color of the kitchen cabinets was based on the color of the barstools.
Bedroom Jeannette bought the bed on sale, since she intends to leave it in the unit when she transfers. To the right of the bed is the smoking area, a ledge above the air-conditioner right beside the window.
Bedroom Detail Sebastian, one of Jeannette’s cats, looks comfy at his scratching post attached to the foot of the bed.
Work / Study Area The desk was a set from one of her shoots. The pillow on the chair is covered in the same fabric as the orange chair in the living area. The art on the wall is by Jeannette's friend, Tara Illenberger, an award-winning editor.
Details Sanseveria plants are used to soften the space.

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