A Stark and Laidback 88sqm Condo

Zen simplicity, brutalism, and patterns make up this decorator’s home

Original Article: Rachelle F. Medina Photography: Dairy Darilag Pictorial Direction: Dagny Madamba and Tala Singson

Decorator Gwyn Guanzon’s 88sqm condo unit veers away from styles that one would expect from him. His former homes—most of which were in styles that ran the gamut from tropical to modern-eclectic—are a far cry from the latest interior aesthetic he has adapted in his condo.

Gwyn shared that he wanted a Japanese feel to the space, so he went for minimalist pieces and stark surfaces. It was also during the planning phase of his home when he visited Japan plus other South Asian countries like India and Sri Lanka, and the inclusion of his travel mementos resulted in an “exotic Brutalist” style. Brutalism is a modernist architectural movement that was known for massive expanses of concrete.

Apart from these influences, exotic rugs also played a huge part in the design direction of his unit, with his collection coming from places such as Kabul, Kashmir, Jaipur, Tehran, and Karachi.

This disciplined combination of materials and influences paved the way for a design that’s truly reflective of the decorator’s personality. The result is a home undoubtedly filled with various influences that are as appealing and remarkable as his previous spaces.

Read the original article ("Magic Carpet Ride") in the April 2016 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to for more details.

Living Area

The living area features a beige sofa, which traces its origins from Gwyn’s former condo. Adding a quirky vibe to the area is the trio of plaster busts on the wall behind the sofa, a gift from his friend, the artist Riza Romero.

Living Area

The living area is home to several interesting pieces. On one corner is a cardboard Frank Gehry Wiggle chair, gifted to him by director Andoy Ranay. A bit of DIY went into the center table—it’s actually two plant boxes from HMR joined together. The rug in this area is a pieced-together collection of rugs from an Indian family.

Dining Area

Anchoring the dining area and adding life to the concrete surfaces are ceramic tiles with myriad Persian rug patterns from La Europa Ceramica. Also found in this space is a customized china cabinet from furniture company Asian Tropical Lifestyle. The idea to apply a distressed wood finish stemmed from an old door that Gwyn spotted in Sri Lanka.

Dining Area

Galvanized iron plumbing pipes make up the base of the dining table customized by Asian Tropical Lifestyle. Meanwhile, the rug influence makes its way on one wall of the dining area with the installed ceramic tiles in random ornate patterns.

Dining Area

Hanging above the dining table is a customized Edison light fixture by Raffy Gualberto.


A Joya illustration is displayed along the hallway leading to the master bedroom.

Master Bedroom

Gray paint complements the concrete walls of the master bedroom. The room also features different types of storage—from cabinets, drawers, down to shelves.

Master Bedroom

The bed’s headboard showcases panels in different colors, lending visual interest to the space.

Master Bedroom

Framed paintings of bullfighters from Provence adorn one side of the master bedroom’s wall.

Study Area

Gwyn’s study area is located in one corner of the living room. The galvanized pipe in this area, which runs from the ceiling through the floor, is an actual pipe for draining the building’s roof deck. This feature blends seamlessly with this spot’s design style.


Even the bathroom follows the design scheme set by the other areas in the home. White walls and fixtures complement the gray cabinetry, resulting in a sophisticated vibe.

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