This Bachelor Pad Was Renovated In Just 30 Days
Space-saving solutions and touches of black complete the 28sqm unit
If you asked Bryant Cuison six years ago what his 28sqm condo unit's theme or design was, he wouldn't be able to come up with anything other than “generic” or “typical.” It's because his space then was exactly like it: white walls and ceiling, small cabinets—pretty much like every studio-type condo unit available in the market. Aside from his bed that was strategically placed near the door so he can easily flop on it after a hard day's work, his space was rather empty.
Eventually, Bryant grew tired of his unit's aesthetic during his fifth year, so he decided to renovate it. His project timeline? Thirty days. It might come off as unattainable for some, but since Bryant knows the ins and outs of the construction industry—he runs William Brothers, Inc. with his brother—it wasn't hard for him to pull off. Good thing his friends and some of his best workers were on-board with the project. Interior designer Rod Lascano was in charge of the electrical and overall layout, while architect Mary Bocalid took care of the interior design.
The result was hard to ignore. Most of the white walls were replaced with shades of gray and black, and in place of his bed, a proper living area with an L-shaped custom-made gray couch now welcomes his guests. Across it is his home office, done in a combination of custom-made black cabinets and cement walls. The space extends to the dining area, where the clever use of space is most evident. Further down the unit is the bathroom—simple but on-theme, nonetheless. His sleeping quarters, though, is another story. It has a wall-to-wall window, a custom-made bed, and fitted cove lights, perfect for a relaxing slumber after a long day.
The L-shaped gray couch in Bryant's living area is custom-made to fit the space. The bicycle hanging above it doesn't only strengthen the aesthetic of his bachelor's pad, it's pretty functional, too—he uses it to run errands.
Find a similar sofa at SM Home.
Most homeowners choose to conceal exposed pipes and paint them a certain color to blend with the ceiling, but Bryant intentionally bought black pipes without any plans of keeping them out of sight. "Since there's a lot of black in my unit, I thought black pipes would still work," he says.
Bryant had two options for his pad's entire look: mostly white and black with touches of gray. He says about the former, "Modern pa rin yung dating niya, but it wouldn't be romantic and sexy. Black and gray are sexier," he says. Would you believe that there's a pantry hidden in the kitchen? It's behind the cabinet doors found between the entertainment area and the counter.
Going for the minimalist look meant Bryant had no choice but to pare down his belongings, and the kitchen accessories were no exception. His double-burner electric stove and single-serve coffee presser were the only few things he decided to keep.
Bryant's friend and architect, Mary Bocalid, shared that they wanted to create "spatial boundaries without compromising the overall feel of the space. The room should transform into whatever function Bryant needs at any specific time—entertainment space, home office, private sanctuary. We also focused on storage solutions." The dining area alone is a testament to this. On days he has visitors over, Bryant can easily pull a portion of the countertop to make a dining table that seats four people and bring out the metal stools from the cabinets stored under the TV.
Bryant's dining table can be collapsed and stowed as a countertop underneath the TV. Beside it is a detachable section of his desk that he takes out whenever he needs additional space in the kitchen. Talk about savvy space solutions!
The bed's platform was initially intended for additional storage, but since his budget didn't allow, Bryant decided to leave it as it is. "Besides, more storage space would just encourage me to buy more kalat," he says.
A tall black closet keeps the master bedroom hidden from the rest of the unit. His sleeping quarters is fitted with cove lights and has a custom-made bed positioned against the unit's wall-to-wall window.
Unlike most homeowners who become wary at the sight of cement cracks, Bryant thinks it's part of the design process especially in the theme he chose for his home. "I like it that cement will crack," he says of the cement walls in his home office. "What I like about the industrial look is that it's not supposed to be perfect," he adds.
Bryant’s modern wall clock is installed right above his desk. All he needed to mount it was double-sided tape.
One of the benefits of being in the construction business is knowing where to go for inexpensive and sturdy materials. In Bryant's case, he went to Binondo to score the showerhead and faucets for his toilet and bath. He also got a glass supplier to customize the bathroom mirror into a medicine cabinet.
Bryant sought the help of his regular supplier to upgrade his shower partition from a simple shower curtain to a sliding glass shower door. "Buying bathroom fixtures directly from the supplier is one way to save on your renovation cost," he advises.
This article (White to Black) originally appeared in the June 2017 issue of Real Living Magazine.
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