An interior designer by profession, Caralei Fajardo is used to creating beautifully functional spaces for her clients. This time around, she decides to do it for herself.
"One of the many things the pandemic has taught [me] is the importance of our environment and how our space greatly impacts us," she tells Real Living in an email. "Why do you think everyone suddenly transformed their rooms, did makeovers, and renovated their homes? It's more than just being bored and having nothing to do—it is unconsciously wanting to be in a space that fits you, reflects you, caters to you, and speaks volumes of who you are and how you function in the space."
She took on the challenge of revamping a guest room and turning it into a home office. The entire space is separated into two areas: a smaller 4.62 sqm nook, and the 11.22 sqm workspace itself.
A huge chunk of the job was repainting the walls. Caralei went all out with customization, painting a pattern of Picasso-inspired, line art faces on one surface (watch her do it here!). "[It] brought out the child in me," she shares. "I was inspired to paint faces because I feel like being in quarantine made us more aware of the many sides of ourselves that we did not even know existed."
On the arch behind her office desk, she painted a note to herself: "Remember, you love what you do." Caralei admits that there are days when she forgets, especially when things become overwhelming. "Sometimes, we all need a little push, a little nudge, or a little reminder to help us keep going."
Several of her own furniture also got a fresh coat of paint, such as her drawer. "I wanted to add as much color into the space as I could, so painting the drawer was one of the most satisfying projects I did for this makeover." For most part, she used the furniture that she already had, and only decided to purchase those that she knew she needed. "Since we are trying to limit contact with other people, self-assembly is the way to go."
The result is a space that's bright, cozy, and personal. "I focused more on drawing inspiration from things that made me feel a certain way and then attempting to recreate that emotion through design. Capturing warmth, beauty, and elegance made evident in bursting colors of blues, pinks, and yellows. The concept of being the sunrise, a symbolism of hope."
Caralei admits to not entirely having expectations or non-negotiables for the makeover, but gives these pieces of advice for those interested in doing the same with their own spaces. "Have fun with it and let the artist in you come alive. Play with as many colors and patterns as you can, take on projects you're not entirely sure of, and make an effort to discover more about yourself and your sense of style. Do what makes you happy, and be creative with what you have. Most importantly, do not be afraid to make mistakes. Keep in mind that mistakes are essential in creating a masterpiece."