By Angela Casco
While many Filipinos have turned to baking, gardening, or exercising to keep themselves occupied amid the quarantine, Nelo Coloma opted to work on a project he had been wanting to do for a while—renovating his room.
The goal? Transform his room into a space similar to a hotel room.
“Every time I enter hotel rooms, I’m always amazed. I’ve always dreamed of having a room like that,” he tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “Because I also work as a teacher and as an event photographer, I told myself that after a long day, I deserve to rest in a comfy room.”
Achieving that dream room had taken Nelo around P50,000, a few helping hands here and there, as well as all the time he had while in quarantine. For the most part, though, the renovation had been his own doing. “It’s just a DIY project.”
Nelo, in a now-viral Facebook post, shared how he went about with the project through before, during, and after photos.
Following a laborious paint job (completed through the help of relatives) and sourcing pieces that add the elegant feel of a hotel room, the once-ordinary room had become unrecognizable after the makeover.
SHARE KO LANG! 😅
“The Before | During |& After of my FORTRESS”
Before, every time I entered a hotel room na-aamazed…
What used to be bare cement walls had been painted with a grayish blue color. What seemed like a raw, wooden ceiling had been painted white, along with one side of the wall. What Nelo revealed to be his mom’s choice of red and white floral curtain had been replaced with a sheer curtain in cream color.
A flat-screen TV now hangs on one side of the room, which stood out not only because of its size, but also due to the light accents Nelo had placed at its back.
To achieve the effect, he used a five-meter-long LED strip in red, green, and blue colors.
“It has double-sided tape already,” he explains. “Just plug it into the TV’s USB port and it will light up.”
To further elevate the look of the space, Nelo had also added a sky-blue carpet, as well as a black-and-white, minimalist wall clock.
For wall accents on the opposite end of the room, meanwhile, the freelance photographer opted to hang photos.
“As these are a little too expensive at the mall, I bought three frames in different sizes and searched for photos online, which I later printed,” he says. “More or less, I only spent P500 for all three wall accents.”
This practicality is an approach Nelo had tried to stick to throughout the two-week project. Apart from being affordable, much of the items were available online or at stores that were open during lockdown.
He also kept his air-conditioner, mattress, bed frame, air cooler, and speaker from before and incorporated them into the newly-renovated room.
“When I was arranging all the things and the space started looking like the hotel room I’d been wanting, that had been the most exciting part for me,” he says.
Nelo’s post has been shared over 67,000 times, a response he says he never expected when he decided to share his room’s transformation.
“It was so overwhelming,” he says. “It was so unexpected but I’m glad that many were inspired by my project.”
For those who would like to DIY the renovation of their rooms, Nelo has one key advice—always have a plan.
“It’s not important how long the renovation takes. What’s truly important is preparedness, especially for the expenses. Begin with the end in mind,” he says. “When you plan, surely one day, you’ll finish the renovation and feel a great sense of achievement knowing you worked hard on it.”