An Old Shared Bedroom Turned Into A Functional Personal Space

Interior designer Joy Adriano created a bright and welcoming room where the owner can relax, study, and spend time with friends

Original Article: Amillah Rodil Photography: Miguel Nacianceno Styling: Gwyn GS Guanzon

If you’ve been staying in the same room for five years or more, we’re sure you’re familiar with the nagging feeling of wanting to change how it looks. After all, the things you liked in high school may not be the same things you prefer now. Beyond favorite colors and accessories, our habits and needs change, too.

In the case of this once shared bedroom, the occupant was left with a cluttered space with outdated colors, tiny study tables, and beds that have seen better days. Since she’s a med student who needs a cheerful room where she can focus and get enough rest, interior designer Joy Adriano transformed the space with refreshing colors and smart storage solutions. Taking into consideration the occupant's desire for a room that’s easy to maintain and organize, here are some changes done by the designer: 

1. Fix the layout and storage center in the room

Prior to the makeover, two beds, a bunch of belongings, a sofa, various knickknacks, and a huge cabinet seem to crowd the bedroom. Since the occupant wished for a room that's easy to clean and maintain, Joy presented three layout options. The lady who owns it opted for a spacious layout with an open area in the middle. This option can make cleaning easier—with the furniture pieces located against the walls.

Meanwhile, the cabinet by the door was too plain and dull. To spruce it up and match with the feel of the space, Raffia mats from HM Trading were stapled to the doors. This hack doesn't just give texture and depth to the cabinet, it also adds warmth to the space.

2. Maximize every inch of space

Notice the cozy lounge area near the door? Given that the owner loves inviting friends over, Joy retained the purple divan, then paired it with a banig and a couple of floor cushions. This corner can serve as a chill spot or even as a reading nook. The addition of the mirror behind the divan can help the owner get ready before heading out, too.

Are you also fond of collecting books, magazines, and DVDs? A shelf is the best solution if you want to showcase these! As a med student, the owner needs tons of space for her books alone. The designer opted to add movable box shelves in different sizes to accommodate the owner's belongings. Another plus? These shelves can be rearranged, moved to another side of the room with ease, and can be used as a side table as well.

3. Pick a theme and be creative with it

There's no denying the soothing effect of the beach. The owner loves going to the beach and she wanted to showcase a dark shade turquoise in the room. Joy suggested a lighter shade of teal instead, then upgraded it with stripes that represent the shades of water. It's best appreciated as you enter and look at the left side of the room.

The designer also layered colors in the space—mixing teal with hints of purple, green, and blue. A few beach-inspired accessories like hats and shells complete the look.

You might be wondering where the bed is! Look above and see the convertible bed that Joy thought of. Since the owner doesn't want to be distracted while studying, the designer made a bed that looks like a daybed. Joy switched the footboard of one of the beds with the headboard of the other—so both ends of the bed are of the same height. To make it extra comfy, throw pillows were placed on top.

4. Let in natural light

For an airy and spacious feel, natural light streams into the space. Aside from the sheer curtains, Joy also added Roman shades to give the owner privacy as well as to block light when needed.

Look at the owner's study nook/vanity area on the left. It's the best spot where she can study and get things done. One of the major pieces added to the room is the desk flanked by two tall shelves.

The shelves have enough space for more books and belongings, while the matching chair goes well with the walls. Providing extra lighting area hidden fluorescent lights installed under a narrow shelf.

5. Don't forget to personalize

While books and other school must-haves dominate the bedroom, Joy was still able to allot a space for photographs, decor, and other personal essentials. A hanging console supported by L-shaped brackets was installed between the windows—the perfect spot for the owner's favorite things.

Ready for your own makeover? Get in touch with interior designer Joy Adriano at jtuason[at]

Read the original article ("Hip Haven") in the November 2005 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to for more details.

*Ed's note: Final cost does not include designer's fee.

How Much It Costs:

Handyman, MC Home Depot, HM Trading
Carpentry, plywood, nails, adhesives, hardware, door handles, Raffia mat - P 10,182
Paint materials - P 19,714
Handyman, Regalong Pambahay, Market Market, SM Homeworld
Electrical materials, floor lamp, droplights, table lamps - P 9,514
Handyman, Landmark Department Store
Roman shades, drapes, curtain rods - P 6,479
SM Homeworld, Landmark Department Store, Rustan's, Market Market
Home accessories - P 3,984
Grand Total:

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