An Outdated Bedroom Gets a Needed Makeover

Shared by sisters, the space got a refreshing boost from interior designers Kimi Manuel and Athena Maramag

Photography: OLA Interior Photography Interior Designer: Kimi Manuel and Athena Maramag

The bedroom isn’t just a space for rest, it also reflects the owner’s personality. From displaying collectibles to personalizing it with your favorite colors – it mirrors the things we like best and the stage of life we’re in. Take for example this 13sqm bedroom shared by sisters – it used to have twin beds, a desk for studying, a cabinet for belongings, a damask wallpaper, and coral pink built-in furniture. Since they are now older, the room needed a revamp to make it brighter, more organized, and perfect for sleeping/studying.

“The construction of this makeover took three and a half months,” says interior designer Kimi Manuel. “Athena and I started from the clients’ keywords of ‘natural,’ ‘mid-century,’ and ‘Japanese’ and we were keen to make our own interpretation. The project was a great creative outlet for us amidst the stresses of the pandemic,” she adds.

Kimi and interior designer Athena Maramag identified the areas for improvement and used the questionnaire answered by the sisters as a guide in finalizing the design. It helped that the occupants have an eye for composition and what they want to have in the space. “They have a penchant for collecting Japanese vessels, postcards, and vintage keepsakes. Plus, they even suggested we reuse an old mirror of theirs. We appreciate inputs such as this because it is practical and encourages reuse of items,” explains Kimi.

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After the makeover, the bedroom now has a calming, timeless aesthetic with wooden touches, customized furniture, and walls in Greyscale Bay and Wheat.

Check out the transformation below:


Prior to the makeover, the bedroom looks a bit gloomy and cramped, with old wallpaper and worn-out furniture. “The desk and shelves were overflowing with books and board games,” shares Kimi.



The revamped bedroom is cozier and more inviting! Since the occupants preferred natural elements, the interior designers opted for a soothing color palette featuring sage green, beige, white, and light-colored wood.



Given their belongings, it’s a must to address the need for proper storage. The sisters used to have open shelves and a built-in closet for their things.


To transform the bedroom, Kimi and Athena opted to have custom built-in beds and a vanity desk. “The beds are at different heights to create a nook for each user and it’s equipped with unique reading lamps,” explains Kimi.


The custom-made furniture pieces were fabricated by a contractor off-site to limit the number of workers in the home.



The old wallpaper added to the cramped feel of the bedroom and with the blinds in use, the room looks smaller than it really is.


See how the right color palette can do wonders? The combination makes the space look and feel bigger. In addition, to address the need for storage, the interior designers incorporated hidden nooks.


“The elevated bed was an opportunity to create more storage underneath for luggage and frequently used items. It can be accessed through discreet cabinet doors under the vanity desk,” says Kimi.



According to Kimi, the vanity desk is one of the requirements of the sisters. It will be used for putting on makeup and studying.


Athena and Kimi created a space the sisters would love to use. It has a tilt-up mirror and drawers with gold handles where the sisters’ arts and crafts supplies are stored. Switching up door and cabinet handles is an easy way of giving cabinets a new look!



“The closet had little organization partly because of accumulation of clothes through the years,” explains Kimi. The height of the shelves was tall as well and it was not efficient due to the absence of drawers.



To address this, the designers had the cabinet repainted and fixed with new hinges. To make the room look bigger, the cabinets on the leftmost and rightmost were transformed into open shelves. “This is to reveal the depth of the cabinet. Below the open shelves are drawers that improved storage of smaller clothing and bags,” Kimi shares.


One of the issues that need to be addressed by the makeover is the sisters’ privacy. To solve this, Kimi and Athena added custom wood slats to conceal the first bed. For a more cohesive look, they also showcased the slats as wall accents behind the second bed.

“Apart from lending a tactile experience, these create visual interest on the walls and lead the eyes to the ceiling while balancing the volume of the custom furniture that occupied the entire floorspace,” shares Kimi.


On display on the open shelves are the sisters’ collection of keepsakes and works of art.

Ready for your own makeover? Get in touch with interior designers Kimi Manuel and Athena Maramag through email at ka.interiordesignmnl[at] You can also follow them on Instagram: @ka.interiordesignmnl. 

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Have you recently spruced up your room or renovated your home? We'd definitely love to see the result! Send clear photos (with your full name, city address, and accompanying kuwento) to [email protected] with the subject "DIY Makeover" and we may just feature your DIY project!

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