Catya: scandinavian Media room by Marilen Styles

Filipino women in design: Marilen Faustino-Montenegro

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KASA:   by Marilen Styles

If you think you've seen Marilen Faustino-Montenegro before, you definitely have. The Filipino interior decorator was once a member of the Professional Model’s Association of the Philippines and has graced the pages of numerous magazines and starred in countless TV commercials before landing hosting gigs for shows such as Tahanang Pinoy in 2005, HouseLife in 2008, Extreme Makeover Home Edition Philippines in 2011, and segment host for Smart Spaces on GMA7's Mommy Hacks. But, interior design has always been her biggest passion, and, in between photo shoots, runway shows, and tapings, the BS Interior Design-graduate would spend her time supervising home and design projects.

Even Before I got into modeling, I was preparing for a career in interior design and was actually studying it when I got my first TV commercial (stint). While I was in college, I would do shoots for magazine and my career as a model flourished, but I still made sure I finished my degree, she tells homify.ph.

Elena: eclectic Living room by Marilen Styles

Believing that a clean and beautiful space makes your life better, Faustino-Montenegro shares that the process of curating furniture and decorations and combining every element to form a chic, contemporary space is what motivates her the most about her job as a interior stylist. I would describe my style as not minimal, but more tastefully restrained, she describes, adding, I have a good eye for detail and I love the challenge of making inexpensive items look classy.

Catya: scandinavian Media room by Marilen Styles

Working between the Philippines and Hong Kong, Faustino-Montenegro's most recent projects include working on a series of model show homes for a real estate company in Manila. I had to come up up with different design styles for the model homes and I absolutely loved the challenge of going beyond my usual aesthetics by having to make each unit look distinctly different from one another, recalls the mother-of-two. The results were Catya, which is an essay in modern minimalism, and the Scandinavian-inspired sojourn, Elena.

Catya: modern Media room by Marilen Styles

For the interior stylist, the internet has been a great source of inspiration for her work. She loves to read home and interior design blogs and spends a lot of time pinning beautiful photos in Pinterest when she's not busy with work and family life (the mother-of-two is married to actor and model  Hans Montenegro). She loves it so much that in fact, she has also launched her own blog Marilen Styles, where she regularly posts home inspiration and tips! She writes on her blog, Being a mom is the greatest job I’ve had so far and I love it, but I find my dose of 'me time' when I write.

Elena: eclectic Dining room by Marilen Styles

On a personal note, Fasutino-Montenegro confesses that she is a fan of bright, white spaces, while adding statement furniture pieces and interesting personalized decor that provide a hint of color. To be surem, she is a master of creating spaces that are not just chic, but a place that exude warmth and comfort, so if you are looking to achieve a stylish abode that nourishes whoever lives and visits it, Marilen is your woman.

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