Who says a workspace can't be fun?
This month, we're taking a virtual trip around the SHEeos' work-from-home set-ups and see where all the magic— and also the nitty gritty— happens. First stop is The SHEeo Society's Head of Social Modesty Mae's space.
Besides helping man the back end of all things SHEeo Society, Modesty, or "Chin" as she more commonly goes by, also co-owns New Town Vintage— a curated fashion resource for vintage bags and accessories that she started with her friend. From classic Dior finds straight from their families' closets to Japan-sourced vintage bags, and multi-purpose scarves too, they're on a mission to contribute in making fashion sustainable and timeless. With this kind of purpose-driven mindset for her business, it was only natural for that to trickle down to her latest project: a total home office makeover. Mostly for her to work more efficiently, but also to keep sane and inspired in this pandemic.
With quirky elements and a bunch of DIY projects, the place is undoubtedly an extension of Chin's aesthetic. When asked to describe her newly revamped room, she simply says, "I'd like to say that this space is like my personal style: kitschy but still neat and classy."
Just one glance at her room and you'll be convinced that it's possible for work and play to co-exist. Explore her place more as this SHEeo shares tidbits on her second casa that includes a sewing machine turned table, hollow blocks (yes, real ones), and other unexpected trinkets.
Can you share with us the inspiration behind the overall theme of the room?
I didn't have an overall theme for the interior design of this space but I did spend a lot of time looking for initial inspo. But to be honest, I ended up not following them. I had a pretty tight budget of P10,000 for this and I knew that sticking to a theme would require spending more. And I didn't wanna spend so much on something that's just temporary. So, I decided to just go with the flow and work with the things I already had. The only thing I was sure of was that I really wanted a space that wouldn't bore me.
What made you want to redo your work space?
I decided to work from home here in the province until January because of the pandemic. It was a very tough decision for me because my life is in the metro — I love staying in the big city and living alone. I've been living on my own since I was 15 so I'm very used to having a space all to myself. To make this temporary move more bearable and also, a little bit to protect my sanity, I decided to set up a space to work in where I can do the things I love to do on my own like sewing, painting, and making content.
What are some of your favorite elements?
Most of the stuff that you see in this space is either thrifted, reworked, or semi- stolen from our house. my two most fave elements are: my DIY center table made with hollow blocks and glass top, reworked sewing machine table. I repainted this old Singer sewing machine stand my mom had for a long time now and had a wood table installed. Ever since I was a kid, I took pride in making my clothes prettier by altering or elevating my ukay vintage finds! So I guess I just translated that into the interior version.
Speaking of vintage, when did your love for it start?
It started when I was still young, I'd rather wear my mom's old clothes or raid my lola's closet or buy from second hand stores but I didn't realize it until I was in college. I would spend so much buying from fast fashion shops but would never get the same satisfaction I get whenever I find a second hand piece that's so precious and unique. Vintage items are like treasures to me because they have so much history behind it.
What's a day like in your space?
I'm a morning person so I like to start things early so I can finish them early. At 5am, I do my morning run or swim, by 7am, I hit the gym. Then from 9 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon, I work. Then, errands after. I eat dinner not later than 8 at night and I meal prep for the next day. The rest of the night, I take care of my side hustles, watch Netflix shows and YouTube, and play with my dogs! They go to work with my parents so that's the only time I get to play with them. I try to sleep early so by 11pm, I'm already in bed.
Can you give some tips for those working from home?
Through the years, one important thing I learned about myself is that my workspace really affects my productivity and creativity. I could never ever work in a noisy and cluttered setting. I like a calm environment because it helps me think better and clearer. Also, it helps to have a routine and to-do list. This really helped me manage my time and be more productive. Made me feel more in control and organized which is actually good for my mental well being!
What's your advice for keeping your redecorating budget-friendly?
First, buy second hand things or just rework your old stuff. Second, before you buy anything from Instagram, double check first in other places like Shopee or Lazada. You might see a more inexpensive alternative. And third, buy from local brands. Not only will you be supporting a smaller business but you'll also know that whatever you're purchasing, they're made with more love and care.
Written by Chin Ann Obiedo; Photos by Kim Angela Santos