IMAGE Nice Print Photography via @neriscottage/Instagram
Soon-to-be mom Neri Naig, wife of frontman Chito Miranda, just had her baby shower a few weeks ago in a charming cottage in Tagaytay. As it turned out, she and her husband own the house, and it has become their home improvement project while they wait for baby.
The couple envisions the quaint cottage as a small bed and breakfast that can accommodate guests and even small affairs. It has come a long way from where it started, and the renovation and decoration is documented on its own Instagram account @neriscottage. Watching the cottage bloom into life through Neri’s photos, here are some of the practical home styling tips we’ve learned from her and their cottage:
1. Know how to make the most out of a small space.
Though the cottage is small, Neri made use of tried-and-tested tricks to make the space still feel light and airy. First, she painted the interiors a clean white to give it a cohesive look. So as not to make things look too bland, the doors were painted bright teal as accents. Then she installed big windows to let in as much sunshine as possible.
Neri didn’t like the cramped feel of the cottage’s two-bedroom second floor so she opted to tear down the divide and turn the upstairs into a loft instead. Combined with the big windows that were flooding in light, the now visible ceiling makes the home feel much bigger. 2. Be wise about furniture.
Neri didn't want furniture cluttering up the space and stuck to essentials for this country-style cottage. “Simpleng ayos lang para di magmukhang masikip at magulo sa mata,” said Neri. Proudly hogging a post all to itself though is her dining set. Neri wanted Windsor chairs for her dining room and went to the malls to find them. But she found them pricey. “Pinakamura na yung P8,000 pataas ang isang chair,” she wrote. Luckily, she found a set in the same style but at a more affordable price in a local furniture store in Cavite. Neri had these chairs repainted white, a trick she did with an old china cabinet as well. The takeaway: just because it’s bought in the mall doesn’t make it the best option!
From the start, Neri already knew what she wanted the cottage to look like. For the gardens outside, she plans on placing a dining set, swings, and string lights. Cushions and mattresses will be placed in the little hut outside, too. For the porch, she plans to decoate it with a vintage bike with flowers and plants placed in the basket. The porch does have have its first piece already, a wooden rocking chair that Neri bought for Chito! 4. Make it a team effort.
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Based on Neri's posts, the cottage has become her other baby, but it has been a team effort with her husband. “Salamat sa asawa ko kasi siya ang nag aasikaso lahat since di ako pwede mapagod. Sobrang hands on si Chito sa pagpapa-renovate ng cottage, kahit pagod galing work at byahe, siya talaga ang umasikaso lahat,” she writes in a post. 5. Work within a budget.
Even if both the couple work in the entertainment industry, Neri is still practical about money. She scours local furniture shops for cheaper prices, and she tries to save where she can. Take for example the plants she bought for the garden. “Maliliit palang binili ko para mura pa,” she says. She isn’t shy to haggle as well as she says she’s done for the bed she purchased.
See the rest of Neri's posts and photos on Instagram at @neriscottage.