Ah, Christmas. The nights are colder, Jose Mari Chan and Mariah Carey's tunes are on loop, and it's the time to deck our homes with the most festive, colorful, and bright decor.
While it would be a dream to transform your home into a winter wonderland like Kim Kardashian or have three Christmas trees like Bea Alonzo, your budget might say otherwise. But hey, who says you need to spend big bucks to turn your humble abode into an aesthetic space for the holidays?
People love to go all out on decorations during this season—can't miss out on snapping a family picture in front of your beautiful tree, right? And for those who might be decorating on a budget this year, PhilSTAR L!fe got to sit down with Home Buddies founder Mayora Frances Cabatuando for some tips on decking out your house for the holidays without breaking the bank.
Invest in decor that would last for years
Love decorating for Christmas every year? Mayora Frances suggests investing in good-quality decorations that you'll be able to use annually.
"Some people would buy yung mumurahin na tree na naglalagas then the next year, mare-realize nila, 'Ay, ang pangit na ng Christmas tree ko,' tapos bibili sila ng bago," she told L!fe. "Mag-invest sa tatagal. Alam mo naman every year na magpapasko, e."
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To keep her home decluttered, the former advertising associate creative director follows the principle "when one thing comes in, another should come out."
"Sabi nga ni Marie Kondo, 'What sparks joy?' Kung hindi na nag-spark ng joy sa'yo, tapon mo nalang, sell, or pamigay sa iba na mas nangangailangan," she said.
Swap ornaments with your family and friends
One tip the PIE Channel host also shared with her mother is to exchange ornaments with your family or friends as an alternative to buying new ones. Let's say, your decor and ornaments are all blue while your sibling has red, just swap for the next year to keep the knickknacks and trinkets fresh.
"You don't really give it away or throw it, isang set naman siya, [so] exchange na lang kayo with your family, kapitbahay, or your friends para 'di sayang. It's also sustainable and 'di mo naman na-experience yung colors ng Christmas nila last year," Mayora Frances said. "Para rin siyang bago kahit it's already used."
Frances moved out of her family home in 2019 to her Nobi Home, and despite being located in the heart of Manila, the space gets mistaken as a spot outside of the Philippines because of how it's designed.
"The tiniest spaces can look beautiful and functional if you really plan it well and decorate or renovate it based on the person using it," she said.
Don't be afraid to personalize
On the Facebook community Home Buddies, which has over 3.1 million users, Mayora Frances loved seeing how people personalized their Christmas trees and decorations.
"Meron isang mahilig sa sapatos, so inikot-ikot niya yung mga sapatos niya, it’s a Christmas tree made out of shoes. Meron naman isang mommy na ginawang Christmas tree mga lata ng gatas niya. I saw one, andami nito, stuffed toys naman—stuffed toys ng anak ginawang Christmas tree," she shared.
In the group, "Kapitbahays" or members ask questions and share tips on DIY projects and designing their homes. During the yuletide season, people post the unique and resourceful ways they brought up their trees.
"There are also creative ways to make it feel like Christmas without having to subscribe to how Christmas should look like. Family pa rin naman yung essence ng Christmas," Frances added.
Apart from Home Buddies, Mayora Frances is working on another community called Hangout Buddies, which is her answer to revenge travel.
"We started it in April this year, it’s now at 126k members and we talk about vacation rentals, hidden Airbnbs, how to travel abroad in the midst of the pandemic, mga kadalasang tinatanong ng mga immigration officers," she shared.
She's also planning to expand Home Buddies outside of Facebook with its own website for all the Kapitbahays to get their DIY home tips.