The Living Room
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At Home with Newlyweds Morny & Mai De Guzman

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Fresh from tying the knot and awaiting a move into a bigger condo next year, the De Guzmans are building the foundation for the rest of their home (and work) lives together.

Photos by Ina Jacobe

The hotel room-feel of Morny and Mai De Guzman’s studio apartment is fitting considering they tied the knot last month. Barely into their honeymoon, the leisurely minimalism that rules their temporary condo offers a smooth transition from holy matrimony to homemaking, especially since the three-bedroom condo they leased out will be evacuated in 2016.

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OF HEADQUARTERS & HONEYMOONING

An environment both comfortable and streamlined should prolong the honeymoon stage until their big move. In their current space, jersey sheets cover a soft mattress. The smell of lavender offers calm thanks to the scent diffuser they recently acquired. And besides the suite-grade flat screen facing their bed, a pair of hotel slippers parked under a sleek black desk should drive the hotel point home.

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“We wanted it to look like a unisex living space and as comfortable as can be,” says Mai of their home’s vacation-like atmosphere, a proper reward to her and Morny after a little over seven years of working together. The couple is the duo behind Brain Farts, a video production house whose projects have spanned events documentation to wedding videography. In 2011, Mai’s editing work on indie film Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa won an award at Cinemalaya.

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Now under one roof, the couple has created a corner home office, their first shared workspace. After years of editing videos from coffee shops and coordinating via mobile, Brain Farts can finally intensify operations since ideas, as with files, are immediately shared. “I’m looking forward na ma-setup na namin ang home office namin,” says Morny, who will leave his part-timer teaching Filipino literature at Ateneo to give the business he shares with Mai an extra push. “I’m really excited about how we’re going to combine our efforts through this space.”

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COMBINE & COMPROMISE

Along with discovering seamlessness in their work, the two have begun establishing what works for the both of them. “He learned that he can’t get under the sheets without taking a bath,” Mai says.

“I saw how OC she really is,” Morny says, grinning. “She lived alone for a while in New York and ako naman, I lived alone for years. So kung anong gagamitin ko, anong standards ko ng cleanliness, now we have to combine.”

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“We wanted the one with pods,” says Morny of this CBTL coffee maker, one of the first purchases the couple made with their wedding money along with a microwave.

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“We haven’t really set it in stone but he usually fixes the bed because he has a special way of fixing it,” says Mai. “I try to cook breakfast and make coffee because I get up earlier. Then, I wash the dishes. He sweeps my hair.”

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Given the proximity of their work, the two have agreed on a golden rule: “There’s an invisible line—once you cross it, you can’t talk about work anymore. Especially when we’re on our bed,” says Mai.

DRAWING THE LINE, SKETCHING THE FUTURE

“This is where the magic happens,” Morny says of their sleeping area, laughing. “That’s where the money happens,” he adds, pointing to their desks.

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Sometimes, the magic enters the virtual what with the couple finding another passion they can share: video games. “We’re so happy we have a game we can play together,” says Morny of Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, a way to playfully challenge one another and let off steam after work.

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Leftover liquor from the wedding

And beyond adventures simulated through their PS4, the apartment has given them a proper simulation of condo life—a pre-starter home to their starter home. “The unit we’ll later move into is also in the building, so we wanted to get a feel of the place already. To get used to the traffic, how to get to work and home from work,” Morny says, citing a consideration in renting their current condo besides its equidistance from their parents’ homes.

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Travel documents laid out for the five-day trip they’re to take in Hong Kong

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For a just-married couple, it doesn’t hurt to have another milestone not too far up ahead; the reason why they’ve thought beyond their temporary living situation and invested in furniture for their future. “When we bought this stuff, we already had our next home in mind,” says Mai of the modern pieces populating their space. “We wanted to make this as comfortable as it can be. Not to make it feel like a transition home but to make it feel like it’s a home.”

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