Playful Colors and Patterns in a 38sqm Unit

An eclectic combination of hues and prints livens up this advertising specialist's one-bedroom unit

Original Article: Chinggay Labrador Photography: Miguel Nacianceno Styling: Gwyn Guanzon Design Consultant: Gwyn Guanzon

After planning to move out of his family's home in Mandaluyong for five years, advertising executive Junn de las Alas finally found the right unit in a Thai-inspired community in the city. To make the most of the 38sqm property, he turned to former Real Living creative director and decorator Gwyn Guanzon for help. Gwyn suggested a style inspired by French Indochina, which merges European flavor with Vietnamese charm.

This small space has allowed both designer and client to venture out of their comfort zones. The self-confessed “style-less” Jun has transitioned from a design newbie to a homeowner in the know. “I used to question myself a lot—hindi ko alam if tama ba yung decisions ko,” he says. Now, his next style challenge is to add his own accessories and make his new home completely his.

Read the original article ("Indochine Dream") in the August 2010 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details.

Living Area

The beige L-shaped sofa is covered with mismatched pillows. The space is completed with cowhide-upholstered tables and a zebra-print carpet.

Living Area

Gwyn explains that they actually found a cowhide rug with a zebra print but it cost P30,000. The practical designer chose a more affordable option that worked just as well.

Dining Area

French style is evident in the dining area which has black-and-white floral wallpaper, Louis Ghost chairs, and upholstered seats with floral prints. A large dining table with exaggerated chrome legs and clean, filleted edges provide a modern touch. The mirrored dining area gives depth and easily doubles the size of the room, creating the illusion of more space. Pulling everything together is a black chandelier, which Junn wasn’t too comfortable with at the beginning. “I’m not a chandelier person—but it actually worked!” he says.


Gwyn designed cabinets that stretched up to the ceiling to maximize storage and hide structural elements, such as a beam running straight through one wall.


The counter space was also altered to include an extended surface, originally designed to be a bar. “The height was not correct, but we kept it and made the bar stools lower,” says Junn. “It’s now my favorite place to have breakfast—it’s a lot less lonely eating here than at a big dining table!”

Master Bedroom

For a sophisticated feel, the master bedroom is completed with a floor-to-ceiling tufted headboard, fancy bed linens, delicate Venetian mirrors, and a chandelier from Handyman.

Master Bedroom

A shuttered sliding panel controls the light and provides privacy for Junn's private office corner.

Master Bedroom

Floor-to-ceiling cabinets covered in a lightly textured black-and-white wallpaper give the room both function and style. A somber violet wall contrasts with the sea foam green and serves as a soothing backdrop to Junn’s TV.

Shoe Rack

Junn asked for a customized shoe cabinet that can hold up to 14 of his favorite pairs.

Powder Room

The entire powder room was refinished in classic black and white tiles and modern fixtures. “Ortigas Home Depot and Wilcon became my favorite stores!” laughs Junn, who relished his first-time experience buying shower fixtures and bathroom accessories. 


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