A Playful Refinement for a Condo Unit

A homeowner achieves her dream lively space with occasional pops of color and well-chosen pieces

Original Article: Coni Tejada Photography: Ocs Alvarez Styling: Gwyn GS Guanzon Interior Designer: Tina Ilano and Niella Lim

Homeowner Lelet’s condominium unit near Araneta Center is a cozy, vibrantly colored treat to the senses, but it wasn’t like this years ago. Lelet tried decorating on her own but finally gave up and enlisted designers Tina Ilano and Niella Lim for help. Her simple request, “Gusto ko pag gumising ako, magigising ako.”

After two months, the result is what it is now: a witty and flirtatious space filled with fabulous finds and custom-made pieces, which is truly a representation of its owner. One of the more notable pieces is a Santo Niño fountain, a small water feature with a Santo Niño statue dressed in white and perched on one of the rocks. Lelet got this from her mom and dad’s collection of religious statues.

The flirtatious piece comes from a leatherette love seat for a sofa, laden with velvet and canvas throw pillows. Her red-orange curtains are made out of Taffy fabric. Her bed is covered with Egyptian cotton sheets, with a soft knitted throw hanging from the headboard. It may be an unusual place to live, especially when minimalism is the buzzword. But to Lelet, it’s simply a home.

Original article by Coni Tejada. Styling by Gwyn GS Guanzon. Photographed by Ocs Alvarez.

Read the original article (“Home at Last”) in the July 2006 issue of Real Living Magazine. To download a digital copy of Real Living Magazine, visit Summit Newsstand at

Living Area

The living area is not only a mix of different styles but a balance of expensive and budget pieces, too. The black leatherette loveseat costs around P1000.

Living Area Detail

Without the long table that once served the dining and work area, her work space is now clutter-free. Also seen is the pricey oriental cabinet which houses her television.

Small Space Tip

Tina and Niella converted an existing alcove by the window into a shelf. By installing several boards, they created more space for Lelet’s books, magazines, and knickknacks.

Design Detail

Indigo shop owners Jennifer de Dios and Christine Mejia got the hurricane chandelier for Lelet from one of the second-hand shops along Katipunan. After fixing the piece, it now adds a warm glow to the space.

Décor Detail

Most of the decorative pieces found in the home are not only pleasing but serve a purpose, too. This accent found in the living area not only catches the eye but holds a couple of small items on display.

Dining Area

Paired with white French rococo-inspired chairs, a round mahogany table occupies the center of the dining area. It was Lelet’s idea to mix classic-looking pieces with her more contemporary ones.


Not wanting a generic pre-fabricated kitchen, Lelet asked her friend architect Ria Garcia-Malig for help. They kept its white color. The custom-made kitchen cabinets suit her tastes a lot as it goes well with the house's overall color scheme.


With its blue walls and customized four-poster bed, the bedroom is stripped of anything else that can distract her from the only thing it was made for—relaxing. Lelet sees the room like a womb—the space is small but the bed is big. It makes you feel that you are ready to sleep.

Bedroom Detail

A small side table fits perfectly into the space. It's very functional as it holds important pieces such as a couple of knickknacks and a trusty alarm clock.

Bedroom Detail

The bed is covered with a 500-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets and loaded with goose down pillows.

Bedroom Detail

The pillows and sheets are the best quality that Lelet can afford. She believed that you don't have to buy the most expensive stuff, you just buy the best that you can afford.


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