So many girls in their late twenties are living in their parents' houses (us included), not because they don't have a job, but because they're afraid to be truly independent. Acting like a grown-up is terrifying, what with all the financial responsibilities and household chores (let's not even get started with that). But did you ever stop and think about the freedom that comes with it as well? No curfew, that furry neon rug you like, eating takeout in your room—basically, your house, your rules. This is why Martine Cajucom is our life peg! Aside from being a girl boss and a best dressed It girl, Martine also has a rockin’ crib she can call her own.
The Preview girl welcomed us into her Pinterest-inspired bunk, and made us realize our latent desires to pick up a paint brush and start furniture shopping #likeanadult. Style Bible got all the juicy info from the Creative Director of Sunnies to help you get that IG-worthy room —or house—you've been dreaming of.
Martine definitely has an eye - see how she made it work, on a budget!
New discovery: Aside from her celebrity cousins, Martine's brother is '90s teen star, Robin da Roza... and the world keeps getting smaller.
1. Find a gal pal who is also itching to move out and whom you think you can live with.
Martine lives with her cousin Jessica Wilson in an exclusive subdivision in Makati, which coincidentally has street names very much reflective of Martine's Cali roots. “I was looking for my own place but I also don’t like living alone because I’m clingy so we figured, if me and Jess lived together we could get like an amazing place." The two share a three-storey walk-up - they took one floor each! Aside from the fact that you get to split the expenses, finding a roommate also gives you a chance of renting an actual house instead of a small condo —the benefits are endless!
The framed photo is from a flea market in LA
2. Paint the walls yourself. It can be fun, you know.
“Definitely the cheapest way to spruce up any room is a fresh paint job in the perfect color of your choice. But be forewarned that when you go to the paint shop there are so many options to choose from it can get overwhelming, so come prepared with a solid idea.”
Martine's Paint tip: I mix my own. Sometimes whenever you buy paint from the paint shop it never comes out the way that it looked in the store because the lighting is different.
The green armless chair is from a flea market and the painting is from a house shop, both from LA.
3. Take a piece of your old home with you. It will fill up that feeling that something is missing.
“My old apartment in LA looked so similar to this. In fact when my friends come and visit they’re like OMG we feel like we’re back in your old apartment. “
This little cutie chomped and munched her way through the entire shoot.
4. Small pets are best for small places.
Meet Gigi, Sunnies Studios' bunny who sleeps in Martine's room. She also had her fashion editorial debut in the July issue of Preview.
"This is a very accurate image of how my dresser looks everyday."
FYI: We spotted a photo of her from the Preview Ball photo booth and asked why she didn't have a lot of framed pictures in her room. She shared, "My room in LA has a wall filled with photos, but no one really prints photos anymore, now everything is online."
Meet Bronson the pit bull, a dog her sister rescued in LA. He likes sleeping on Martine's bed and lives for belly rubs.
5. Prioritize the bed.
Martine's Bed Tip: You spend so much of your life in there. You need to invest in amazing bed sheets and amazing mattress. My favorite is a comforter and like a two-inch memory foam topper with a white soft bed sheet.
Martine lost the pair of her yellow Prada platform sandals and instead of throwing it away, she used it as décor. Too cute!
6. Think out of the box.
Martine's Decorating Tip: Books don't always have to be in shelves. Books, plants, and other little touches add more personality.
What can we say, the girl loves her Sunnies.
7. Personalize your space.
Martine's three room essentials:
a. Painted walls
b. Prints! When I look at it I get so happy.
c. Generally any object that brings you zen and happiness. I mean, my shoes don’t need to be displayed there but I like looking at them. That’s what decorating is about, ask yourself what do you want to look at.
My family is so big and everybody just gives me furniture and I just repaint it or repurpose it in someway. This table is from my cousin.
"My favorite rooms are those that have like a personal touch. Like when you enter the room, you know it’s theirs because it’s reflective of the things they like. Like the books, their art, the things on display."
Martine's DIY Tip: Have a clear vision of what you want for your room. Make a Pinterest board of the looks that you like. Anything is really achievable if you have the eye and if you’re resourceful.
"I hoard side tables like no one’s business. I don’t need them but I have a lot of them."
8. Be resourceful. Learn how to source and canvas before purchasing anything.
She got the carpet from her recent trip to India, and the round tables are from SM which she got for P1000 only!!
Martine's recommended shops:
a. Ace Hardware for paint
b. The SM Store is a gold mine of cute things
c. The Japanese Surplus store in Balintawak. "I was sourcing furniture for the Sunnies warehouse and I was like OMG why is there a Herman Miller in the middle of this warehouse? It’s really overwhelming but you will find insane things in there for like nothing. Really stylish stuff! Like the Sunnies HQ is furnished by that Japanese store."
d. Along White Plains for plants
Martine takes business calls on her stationary bike.
She has dumbbells, a yoga mat, the complete set, but she only uses them for show... and for phone calls. Lol
The textured carpet is from a flea market.
9. Always keep your eye open for accessories. Not the ones you hang on your ear and neck, but the ones that can brighten up your room.
Martine's shopping tip: A lot of the things I do source when I’m on vacation. Shop for furniture (not just clothes) when you travel.
A peek at her walk-in closet.
10. Learn to clean up. A huge chunk of moving out is accepting the fact that you will need to take care of your place on your own. With or without a helper, maintenance will be one of your biggest challenges.
Martine's Tip on maintaining a clean room:
"Downsizing, downsizing, downsizing. Just get rid of stuff. It’s painful but it’s for your own good. I do a purge every season, like every three months. Minimizing and only having things that you really love and need. When you’re in your early twenties you hoard so much stuff, but when you’re in your late twenties you just learn to have less things and it makes life so much easier."
Now are you ready to start living like a grown up? First stop: Pinterest!
Photos by Gabby Cantero
Hair by Donald Lapez of Cynos Inside Hair Care