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SMDC Unit Designed for Leasing Purpose

When working on small units, I always try to make it look larger than it really is. As always, light color and a huge wall mirror never fail me. This particular SMDC Jazz unit is bigger than the typical ones I’ve worked on before because it is an end unit. If you noticed, the space is wider as there is an extra wall after the kitchen countertop and the main door. But the layout is generally just the same and adding more storage in the living room isn’t possible because of the huge column in the middle.

Anyway, here’s what I came up with. Something neutral which the future tenants can customize by changing the pillow covers or changing the artworks.

By the way, sorry for the fish eye photos. I just got my GoPro back then and was too eager to try it out that I forgot to take proper photos from my DSLR. Hehe!


jazz-rental11The sofa has drawers and can be converted into a sofa bed. It also has a storage ottoman but it is too short to use it to make the sofa into an L-shaped one. (Don’t trust my photo. I just moved it forward to make it look L-shaped, but there really is a big space behind it!)  I got them from Furniture Source just in case you’re wondering. 🙂jazz-rental6The white bricks is just wallpaper but I love, love its 3D effect! 😀DCIM100GOPROGOPR0192.The roomy kitchen!And the bedroom! There is a white upholstered leather headboard but I accidentally deleted that one photo of it! :'( 


jazz-rental320160607_191336That’s a custom storage ottoman with caster so the tenants can easily move it to the living area in case they need a foot stool or an extra table.

20160607_210527And once again, the living room view. 😀

20160607_190454-1And of course, the bathroom…jazz-rental5Should you wish to have your unit decorated too for leasing purpose, kindly fill up this INQUIRY FORM.

Travel-Inspired Unit for a Young Family of 3

When the client approached me via email, I knew this was going to be a fun yet challenging project. First off, they are based in Dubai so we had to communicate through Skype/Viber/Hangouts. Dealing with clients online isn’t new to me since I worked as a freelance graphic artist for years with most of my clients based abroad. But interviewing a client via video chat, instead of comfortably seating face to face in a coffee shop, made me feel a bit self-conscious (I can see my face in the screen while I talk, haha.) I also needed to have their unit ready by the time they come to Manila for a 10-day vacation. Since they wouldn’t have time to buy the things they need, I had to buy everything from kitchen utensils to having the beddings laundered. It was like preparing a hotel room! How fun is that! 😀

Anyway, a little background, the clients are husband and wife with a cute boy who was about to turn one that time. Both of them are flight attendants and have shared a lot of travel memories together, so I thought a travel inspired theme would be perfect for them. The wife loves fun and light colors and specifically asked for a barn door. Here’s the initial moodboard that I came up with.

moodboard-jan13Travel inspired themes don’t have to include a world map or a collection of globes in the design which I often see when I search the net for inspiration. It’s too blunt for me. I want something graphic yet discreet so I based the color scheme on the typical world map/globe: pink, light blue and ochre.

The couple’s requirements were: 1.) happy colors 2.) storage for their luggages since they will stay in the unit whenever they visit Manila 3.) change the tile flooring to something warmer (granite tiles are too cold for the feet) 4.) barn door for the lady of the house 4.) subway tiles 5.) glass kitchen cabinet and 6.) Eat, Pray, Love wall art.

beforeThe unit is fully furnished and had built in partition, making it hard to play around with layout since there was already a cabinet installed. I had to remove the partition and start from an open plan layout.

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Since the owners will not be living here, just staying for 10 days or so twice or thrice a year, I opted for a bar type dining table to create more space for family gatherings and for their little one to play around. They can change the photos in their mini gallery every time they come back home and write freely on the chalkboard (1)

This sofa can be unfolded to create a bed or a larger floor seat. Hehe!IMG_3729 (3)

We replaced the PVC bathroom door with custom barn door as per client’s request. IMG_3705I had the “bedroom” part of the floor elevated to create very deep drawers for their luggages. These drawers are about 90cm deep, a small person can even hide in there. Haha! The stair is also a storage for random items.IMG_3693 (3)The back of the partition is their closet and a built-in platform style bed. bedroom-storage IMG_3744 (3)

The old black kitchen countertop was replaced by white granites tiles.bathroom (3)

I also had the wall mounted lavatory removed to build a new countertop. Now, the bathroom has extra storage under the sink, a huge mirror and a place for toiletries. eat-pray-love

The custom-made, hand-lettered Eat, Pray and Love wall art! sofa

I actually had a hard time finding the right artwork for this wall. I initially wanted an oversized black and white art print but it needs to be something that has meaning to them since I really want this unit to be very personalized. They will only get to stay here for a  few days and so I want them to feel like they have come home to their very own special abode. I asked the client to give me 15 places that are memorable for them and turned it into a print. 🙂

The canvas art is also another DIY. Did you notice that there are lots of triangular elements in the unit (the pendant lights, wall art, painted bedroom wall, corner, etc)? Because both are flight attendants, the triangles came from the airplane wings and tail. See, discreet travel inspired theme… Haha!storage2 (1)

sofa-bed (4) bedroom


If you want to inquire about my interior styling service, kindly fill up this INQUIRY FORM.

Industrial + Glam + Barcelona For A Young Couple (Turn-over Photos)

I haven’t been able to post anything for the past three months due to three simultaneous interior design projects plus a whole lot of graphic design works. It’s not that I’m complaining but I’d really like to have some extra time for blogging and DIY projects. Maybe someday…

Anyway, I realized that I haven’t posted pictures of the units I have done prior to owners moving in. So now I am sharing the first of the three projects in its turnover state. 😀

Just a quick background on the couple’s requirements:

  1. Since they were just married early last year, they needed a lot of storage for all the kitchen appliances they received as wedding gifts.
  2. A bar counter where they can regularly eat. The dining area will only be used when there are guests.
  3. Lots of storage in the bedroom especially for the clothes that need to be hanged.
  4. Brick wall
  5. A blue sofa and touches of blue all over the place.

floor-planSince this is also a unit in Kamala Building, Royal Palm Residences in Acacia Estates, I did something similar to the other Kamala unit that I designed for my friend but with a lot more storage room. I simple love sneaking in extra storages everywhere. Haha! I’ll explain the storages when you see the actual pictures. 🙂

The client really wanted this specific blue fabric for their sofa so she patiently browsed through Larry’s swatches and settled for Merino Niagara, a water-repellant fabric (P675/yard). We had the sofa custom-made since the sofa needed to be 70″ in length to perfectly fit the space. The accent colors were inspired by Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain, which was part of their honeymoon tour.

As usual, I don’t like being too strict in design. As much as possible, when I finished an interior, the client can still inject their own personal touches without having to rely too much on my design decision. The end result is like having a home which they DIY/designed themselves. So for this unit, I had  the walls painted white and added touches of black, a color that would pull all those reds, blues and greens together.


Here is the moodboard that I did. 😀 The client originally wanted that patchwork Eames chair to go with the blue sofa. The one from SM didn’t feel comfortable enough so I suggested the cube pouf instead. We still have to wait for a new stock or better yet just have one customized since it would be a lot cheaper.

tileWith the blue sofa and patchwork chair, I knew these clients would go for something bold. So instead of having subway tiles for the backsplash, I suggested this bold black and white 20×20 tile which I rearranged to come up with the pattern in the kitchen moodboard. Our carpenter/mason probably hate me for messing up his mind and sight. Haha!

moodboard1The idea is for the unit to be minimalistic in terms of number of furniture and accessories but not minimal in design that it ends up looking bare. It has to be very low maintenance too because both have full-time jobs and would love to spend their weekends just relaxing instead of doing major cleaning work. Also, they are now expecting their bundle of joy so the unit really needs a lot of space for dumping random baby clutter (i.e. stroller, toys, etc.) The solution: every item should be chosen carefully so that they are both decorative and functional.

living-dining1Still missing the TV, photos in the frames and the patchwork pouf. 🙂
diningI originally wanted a sputnik chandelier (see moodboard) for the dining area but I can’t find anything that is less than P30,000. This one from Mandaue Foam is pretty and unique enough to be a decor itself.

The initial proposal for the dining chairs was the white and black Eames chair. But then I found these chairs from Mandaue Foam and we saved almost P7,000! Yay!dining-livingThat framed turf on the right is another DIY that serves two purpose: 1) To cover the electrical panel box and 2) A place for the couple to hang their souvenir plates and photos from their travel. I can’t wait for them to fill it up.dining-kitchenThe view from the corner of the living room. I am so in love with my new wide angle lens! Hahaha! Although I know I have yet to improve my photo qualities. Where’s the tripod?!

Instead of having a built-in seat with a rectangular dining table, I opted for a floor to ceiling mirrored storage. I don’t have a photo of the inside but there are no shelves there yet so they can store large items in there. Having a round table with skinny base made the unit seem more roomy.

barcounterInstead of having a long bar counter that seats two side by side, I used half of the space to build a floor-to-ceiling pantry for their kitchen has cubby holes on the side for the coffee maker and other breakfast paraphernalia. The pantry is basically divided into half. The front half has adjustable shelves while the back is the storage for their water dispenser with a hole carved in front of the cabinet door so they can still get water without having to open the door. I personally hate seeing water dispensers because it screams office pantry for me.

kitchenMy favorite is the kitchen! Love, love, love how the backsplash turned out and the mismatched cabinet doors. By the way, we replaced the doors of the overhead cabinet and just repainted the ones at the bottom. I also love their fridge because it goes so well with the theme! Love these clients! 😀 I wish that little vertical garden on the left has actual herbs. Hehe!

bedroom1Like the other Kamala unit, the master bedroom has an annoyingly huge beam over where the headboard is. (See before photos here) To make it “disappear”, I had cabinets built on both sides of the bed with cubby holes as their “side table.” Again, extra storage space + less maintance and clutter. The bed is quite high, about 30″ including the mattress. That allowed us to have two levels of drawers on each side.bedroom2The other side is the back-lit wall for the TV. Oh, I also love the custom-made curtains. 😀

bathroomFor the bathroom, we removed the existing lavatory with hideous granite countertop and replaced it with a basin-type one. We added storage underneath too for the cleaning materials. The mirror is actually a 3-door cabinet for their toiletries. There is also LED lights running along the top and bottom of the cabinet for added ambience. I’ll take a photo next time. 🙂

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