Building & Renovating

10 Nifty Tricks To Turn Your Condo Into A Tropical Haven

These must-dos are stylishly easy and perfect for compact homes

Photography: Dairy Darilag (Main Photo)

Even if you live in the middle of the metropolis, several floors above the ground, and looking out into a forest of high-rise buildings, you can still go home to a tropical haven where you can enjoy an endless summer. Here are 10 ways to do it:

Bring in a tree.

Bring home one or two large leafy plants in beautiful pots. These can instantly give a resort vibe to even the most cold-looking condo unit. Choose a tree from the palm family for an ultimate tropical feel.

Paint one wall green.

Get a color splash in one of your rooms! Paint one wall with a refreshing sage green or a cool mint green. This color can do wonders even in tiny rooms.

Fulfill your daily dose of fiber.

Replace a stuffy wool rug with a sisal, raffia, or seagrass rug. A rug made of woven fiber adds a lot of texture, warms up the space, and helps define different areas in your space.

Go au naturel.

Pick furniture pieces made of wood and other natural materials. Keep away from pieces that have stainless steel framing or glass finish. If budget permits, you can even clad a portion of the wall with natural stone!

Repel anything leather.

Avoid leather upholstered sofas or armchairs. Natural or synthetic leather is hot and sticky on the skin and visually feels heavy. Go for cotton or canvas upholstery instead. Cover your leather pieces with slipcovers for an easy fix.

Use woven bins for storage.
Ditch the ugly plastic containers. Besides making your home feel “temporary," they do not reflect your personality. Buy woven baskets and bins in identical sizes for a more uniformed look.
Soften with sheers.

Add an airy feel to your condo with breezy white sheer curtains. They let in a lot of natural light that opens up a cramped space.

Complete your home with sea-inspired accessories.

Bring the beach home with you via ceramic sea shells or sculptural twigs. Print out photographs of sand and seascapes you took during your last beach trip, and frame them. Fill an empty wall with these prints.

RL Tip: Help conserve the earth. Use only conscientiously acquired sea shells to decorate your space.

Use fabrics with zing.

Accent your condo with exotic bright hues like Indian pinks, oranges, and teal; or go with fresh nautical navy blue and white stripes for a more laid-back appeal.

Make your own dish garden

Since not all condos have balconies, you can create a mini indoor garden instead. Arrange low-maintenance indoor plants in small pots or dishes and place them by the window. You can also display them on a side table for an instant vignette.

READ: Make Your Own Dish Garden in 8 Steps

This feature takes inspiration from an original article that appeared in the April 2011 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to for more details.

PHOTOS: Paolo Feliciano (1 and 9) | Ocs Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions (2) | Miguel Nacianceno (3) | Dairy Darilag

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