Interior designer Mickey Alingarog jokes that her family home was like the Frankenstein monster at the start. She and her husband Matthew, who is in the construction business, had access to excess materials from their various projects, which they in turn used for their home.
“Everything we used here are scraps lang from construction sites,” explains Mickey. “Kasi whenever we have a project, siyempre may sobrang materials. We would bring that home and build whatever.”
Shelves and bed frames were made out of odds and ends from construction and design jobs, and many of the materials found their way into their 3-year-old daughter, Yumi’s room.“In Yumi’s room, parang we started off with just a bed on the floor. And then may palpak yung isa naming carpenter. He over-ordered materials for cabinets, so that’s what he used to build a play house,” says Mickey. “Instead of stocking it in the bodega, we had it made into a play room.”
It may be made of scrap materials, but Yumi’s room can get any kid (or grown-up, for that matter) excited. Here are some of the adorable details:
NEUTRAL TERRITORY One wall is painted a chevron pattern in gray and white. The rest of the room is in gray, with touches of white and wood. The neutral color palette serves as a soothing background against Yumi’s many colorful toys on display.
EASY ACCESS Low, open shelves make it easy for Yumi to reach—and pack away—her toys. The drawers are likewise appropriate to her height.
Renovating tip: Installing drawers and cabinets in a kid’s room? Consider self-closing hinges that close slowly, so little fingers don’t get caught.
FUN DETAILS No budget or space for show-stopping features like an in-room slide? Take a cue from the cute details in Yumi’s room: A dollhouse can serve as an interesting focal point, like the red one on top of the set of drawers. Or try bringing in inexpensive details, like a paper lantern in the shape of a hot air balloon.
Renovating tip: Give your kids’ room a lived-in, put-together look by paying attention to the walls. Store-bought prints, a mural, wall decals, or even your kids’ framed artwork can give a room lots of personality.
SHAPES AND TEXTURES A room feels instantly cozier with rugs and window treatments. In the middle of Yumi’s room is a round rug with animals; on the wall are whimsical shelves shaped like clouds.
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LOFTY AMBITIONS You know how all kids seem to love double-decker beds? You can imagine how they feel about lofts! The first level of Yumi’s loft includes a mattress on the floor as well as her own makeshift store. Slanted shelves hold toy food items, like bread on trays, and fruits and vegetables in wire baskets. A shopping basket is at the ready for playtime.The second level features a play kitchen where Yumi can “cook.” There’s also a thick mattress, great for naptime and sleepovers!
Renovating tip: If you have the vertical space for it, a loft is a great way to add floor space to a room. The first level can serve as a play or study area, while the second level can serve as sleeping quarters, for example.
FINISHING TOUCHES Little details make a big difference: Bunting spelling out the occupant’s name is strung under a flower box. Striped curtains adorn both the first and second levels of the loft. A pulley system lets Yumi transport items from the first level to the second level with ease. And the best part? A slide!
Renovating tip: Safety first! A play mat lies at the bottom of the slide in Yumi’s room to prevent painful landings.
Mom Mickey says that Yumi’s room is her favorite spot in the house. “Kasi when I was a kid, parang we had a playroom also. All your good memories are there, di ba, so I wanted to create the same [for Yumi]. We had a tree house outside [when I was growing up], eh dito naman wala kaming space for outdoor play area and it’s hot, di ba? So we wanted her to have that indoor playhouse.”
She continues, “Parang here, when I’m tired from work, tapos gabi na, dito kami nagre-relax. We even eat here sometimes. If I want to de-stress, I go to Yumi’s room, and then she comes with me and we play. Very imaginative siya eh, na she likes to cook. Even when we’re just sitting around, ‘Mommy, cooking-cooking!’ So naaaliw ako. That’s why that’s my favorite room talaga.”
Styling by Beam Mariano. Photos were taken when Yumi was 2 years old.