Minimalist But Not Plain, This 24sqm Unit Shows How You Can Achieve the Clean Yet Cozy Look

Photography: courtesy of Ar. Grendelle Basa Architect: Ar. Grendelle Basa

Fresh from getting his license in 2021, architect Grendelle Basa took on the challenge of transforming a 24sqm condo unit into a short-term rental space. With more people scheduling staycations these days, the owner thought of putting the unit up on short-term rental listing services, with the vision of making it ideal for a quick R &R.

“The client described the look he wanted for his unit and it all pointed to the Japandi style – clean, functional, minimalist, and with a monochromatic palette paired with warm wood tones,” the architect explains.

READ: Sage Green Livens Up This 24sqm Studio Unit

Since Grendelle is starting a multidisciplinary practice that focuses on brand identity and architecture, he also came up with the unit’s visual identity, designing even print materials that will surely wow the guests.

Take a peek inside the unit below:

Unit Overview

According to Grendelle, the unit was turned over with a sliding door partition that separates the sleeping area from the rest of the space. “It was the owner who wanted the partition moved elsewhere and the removal of the partition made the unit flexible, extending the space for specific purposes when needed by the owner or guest,” the architect explains.


A slim partition separates the sleeping space from the living area. A particle board wainscot with an LED strip wall washer adds visual depth to the small space while also serving as an accent.

They had the walls repainted with a cool off-white matte paint that works well with the lighting. Meanwhile, the bold, circular mirror helps create an illusion of a bigger space.

READ: A Homey Japandi Look for a 27sqm Condo Unit in Parañaque

Living Area

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Instead of the usual sofa, the architect chose to furnish the living area with a neutral-colored loveseat which fits perfectly in the allotted space. The addition of a rug further defines the seating nook.

Dining Area

This side of the unit features a wall painted with Asvesti Limewash paint to create a subtle accent. “The dining table, closet, and pull-out desk are aligned in a single axis,” says Grendelle.


The client wanted a breakfast bar type of dining table in the unit. “I played with its geometry and color so that it would be cohesive once aligned and attached with the closet and study area,” he explains.

READ: What is Japandi Style and How Can You Achieve It?


Storage is key in any cooking area. Overhead cabinets provide needed storage for food and other supplies that guests will bring in. There’s enough space for preparing quick meals as well. To tie the look of the kitchen with the rest of the unit, white subway tiles serve as a backsplash.

Study Area

Paired with a comfy chair is a corner desk with a pull-out feature.

“The depth had to be cut at .30m because of the sliding door so I added a drawer slide to double its depth and make it useful,” the architect shares.

READ: Couple Renovates 1920s House Into a Picture-Perfect Home

Hanging Open Shelves


Perhaps one of the unit’s striking features is this storage solution which Grendelle says takes inspiration from the “honest structural aesthetic of Japanese woodworks.” Most of the monochromatic pots and vases that match the overall aesthetic came from local stores.

Sleeping Area

For the bunk bed, Grendelle opted for a Japanese-type bed frame with a board flush and flat with extensions. “The mattress is laid on top and you can put your things in the additional space. Since the double-decker is bulky as it is, the upper part had to be painted white so that it almost fades in the space,” the architect explains.

The bed also has open shelves where slippers and bags can be conveniently kept within reach.

READ: This 27sqm Condo Unit Will Make You Fall in Love with the Japandi Style


To make it cohesive with the rest of the unit, the client wanted to use gray tiles in the T&B. Grendelle made sure the changes were essential but also economical.


Aside from making sure there’s enough storage, there’s also a fixed glass partition in the space not only to define the area but also to protect the other side of the bathroom from water splashes.

READ: 6 Alternative Materials That Look Like Real Wood

Design Detail

To complete the hotel vibe of the unit, the owner also requested a keycard main switch which Grendelle also designed.

Interested to work with Ar. Grendelle Basa? You can get in touch with him on Instagram: @badpracticeph.

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