(Stay) At Home with Marinez Yu

by Japs Medina July 11, 2020

(Stay) At Home with Marinez Yu

An interior design graduate from La Consolacion College in Bacolod City, Marinez kicked off her career as a visual merchandiser for Robinsons Department Store and Bayo Inc. She would eventually become the founder of accessories brand Yucastina - safe to say, a business that was founded out of her love for anything and everything DIY.

Marinez also enjoys traveling, preferring to visit museums and crafts stores over other typical tourist spots. When her feet are grounded on her motherland, she finds herself collecting art pieces by local artists as well as fabrics with quirky patterns.

Who are your design heroes?

I'm a big fan of the works of the Craftsmith Guild team, Kenneth Cobonpue, Vito Selma, and Marimekko. I also follow and get inspiration from a lot of Australian designers on Instagram and Pinterest.

Tell us about your design process in decorating your home.

First thing I do, I envision that the space should feel playful, inviting, and comfortable. For the look, I lean more towards industrial, recycled, upcycled, and DIY. Thus making the whole design inexpensive. I get my design inspirations from our travels, it may be from the hotel that we stayed in, a quaint coffee shop, a restaurant we dined in or just about anything that struck my fancy.

Second, I consider the size of the space. We live in a 150 sq.m. home, I have to consider the furniture pieces that I choose.

If you could sum up your design aesthetic in a song title, what would it be and why?

I usually listen to 90's alternative music when decorating/designing or putting together Yucastina's next collection. But there's one particular song on repeat on my playlist. It's Everlong by Foo fighters. This song just gives me the good vibes, gets me in the mood. It helps me think outside the box wherein I think of ways to make use of different materials that are not commonly used and make them functional. I also make use of the furniture pieces in a different way that can add aesthetic to my space.

What’s your favorite hosting hack?

It has to be DIY or inexpensive or make use of what you have around the house. I always keep in mind how I can create a welcoming and fun atmosphere without spending too much. You have to be prepared with a handful of entertaining essentials such as a self-serve area--an oversized tray with different cocktail ingredients that guests can use to make their own cocktails. We also like playing board games so we have a trolley tucked in a corner with different board games. You don't have to do over the top flowers instead add some greenery may it be a plant or cut leaves from your garden and place it in a vase or do candles instead as a no-fuss centerpiece.

Which room do you spend the most time in? The least time in?

My favorite spaces are our bedroom and my craft area. In the bedroom I spend most of my time reading, this is why I like investing in nice and good quality bed sheets. The craft area is where I design accessories for Yucastina. I spend the least time in the living area since I live with my two other sisters, an area that always gets crowded.

We know that you deal with a lot of DIY projects. Are there any hacks or tips on sustainability?

Buy furniture pieces that are practical and multipurpose. Like a low stool that can also double as a side table. Look for products that are made using recycled materials or buy pieces that can be recycled or repurposed. Find products made with recycled materials or buy pieces that can be recycled or repurposed. If ever you want to build your own DIY furniture piece, use reclaimed wood. When looking around for eco-friendly furniture do your research first before buying.

What’s on your quarantine playlist?

Putumayo world music, French cafè lounge music, Hillsong united, BTS, 90's Alternative Music, UDD, Bamboo, Urbandub, Cynthia Alexander, Pinikpikan

If you could wear only one color for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Black. My go-to outfit is always a black shirt dress

Is there anything about your home that you wish to change?

None. I love everything in our house and wouldn't want to change anything. It's still an ongoing project. Since this is an old house, we are working on improving the natural lighting and ventilation.

Give us your five favorite Instagrammers.






How do you hope your guests feel when they visit your home?

Our home is a reflection of our personalities as a couple and we love hosting guests in our home. When we invite people to spend time in our house, we want them to feel welcome and comfortable. Since we were on a tight budget when we suddenly decided to renovate my mom's house so we can move in, we had to get creative on the materials that would be used. Some of the chairs are from a garage sale that we just refurbished.

Plants or flowers?

Definitely plants! Although I love receiving flowers also.

What does home mean to you?

Home to me is my safe haven, my comfort zone, and my sanctuary. It's a reflection of the personality of the people living in it. It's a place where we can truly be ourselves, where one feels secure, free, and relaxed. It's where I don't have to be perfect; a place that you long to return after a hard day; a place to take pride in. A home is where you can feed off of positive energy. It is a place that evokes love, light, and happiness.

Photography by Kyle and Alen Velez.

Japs Medina
Japs Medina


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