Achieving that boho look for your lair
Interior designer Jean Allerin Alcantara was quarantined at her childhood home in Bantay, Ilocos Sur, back in January. She took advantage of the stay-at-home option that the provincial government gave to its returning residents. Had she gone home earlier, she would have been sent to a government facility.
But thanks to that window period, Jean had the time to turn their old living room into “The Designer’s Lair Studio,” a chic Bohemian-themed space that you may soon find on short-term rental platforms.
This, however, wasn’t Jean’s first project in her home at Cabaroan village. A gray door on what was their family’s porch leads to the new unit while the other door beside it opens to an earlier project called “The Designer’s Lair Loft,” a modern take on the aesthetic of Vigan right beside Bantay.
The loft was meant to be a vacation home for Jean’s budding family who was based in Taguig. Upon seeing how nice the place was after two months of work in early 2019, she and her structural designer hubby listed it on Airbnb and Booking.com, where it was a “real hit to tourists.” The loyalty of returning guests inspired Jean. Adding the tropical-boho room, she now has two rental units attached to their downsized family house. She hopes to add more.
“I chose this style because I really don’t have the money to transform another space in the house,” Jean said about going boho. “Me and my husband struggled with money [due to the pandemic]. Most of my supposed clients backed out when the lockdown started so I ended up with only one project for the whole year. We are still grateful that he still has a job, which somewhat made us get through financially.”
Boho can be both affordable and nonrestrictive, allowing one to play with textures, colors and patterns from anywhere, she explained. To achieve that quality for the studio, she got creative and resourceful.
Jean used thrift items, scoured the web for good deals, and took items from her own online shop, Curatelocal.ph. She also did much of the work: drilling the walls, painting the murals, laying off the flooring, refurbishing the furniture, among others. In the end, the project set her back for only less than P30,000.
“You [create] a warm and inviting space that puts you at ease and makes you feel happy,” she said, describing her vision for the studio. She delivered it.
What captures her idea most is her favorite item in the unit: a white roundtable cut from her family’s old six-seater dining table. The memories imprinted on it will surely make the space a lot cozier for its future guests.
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