A home should be a celebration of yourself and the things that matter the most to you. In order to follow this philosophy and create a space that would celebrate his passions, Dr. Bien Po turned his two-bedroom condo into a “mini-gallery.” Aside from being stylish and comfortable, he knew that the bachelor pad should reflect his love for travel, photography, graphic design, and even interior design.
Bien explains that his bachelor pad makeover was inspired by a Norway trip that made him realize how simple, practical, and beautiful Scandinavian design is. While finding furniture and furnishings was the most difficult part of the six-month decorating process, the challenge forced him to be creative. He made lamps out of Lego pieces and camera tripods and adorned walls with photographs that he has taken. He also designed a black and white poster of all of the destinations that he has been to.
Read the original article (“Into the Deep”) in the November 2011 issue of Real Living Magazine. To download a digital copy of Real Living Magazine, visit Summit Newsstand at https://summitnewsstand.com.ph/real-living.
In the living room, a black leatherette Papa Bear chair from local furniture store Space Encounters is paired with a white Chesterfield sofa. Bien shares that the Chesterfield sofa is a secondhand piece that he bought online from an interior designer. The area is completed with a brown sheepskin rug from Norway.
Although Bien is a doctor by profession, he spends his free time dabbling in photography and graphic design. One of the photos that he has taken of a Ferris Wheel at night is prominently displayed on a wall.
On one corner of the kitchen is a graphic black and white poster that Bien made to list down all of the places that he has been to. Beneath the poster is a piece that he bought at a garage sale: an old filing cabinet turned into a mini-bar.
One of the interesting pieces in the bar is a distinctive Philippe Starck juicer with a futuristic feel. The homeowner says that this is not just a decorative piece. He also uses this item to make drinks.
The homeowner created unique pieces to express himself and highlight his interests. For one of his floor lamps, he used an old camera tripod as a base.
Located underneath the stairs of the condo unit, the compact, L-shaped kitchen has a sleek and streamlined feel. The area is filled with stainless-steel appliances, fixtures, and finishes.
Since the kitchen can be found directly under the stairs, a wooden jointed figure atop the refrigerator is posed to look like it is holding up the staircase.
Wooden stairs lead to the second floor where the bedroom and bathroom are located. Bien opened up the space to make the area appear bigger by removing the walls and the handrails. The metal balustrades have metal hooks so that Bien can hang his bags and other belongings.
The entrance of the bedroom is marked with a gray area rug.
The bedroom is furnished with a low bed kept simple with white pillows and a black blanket. The side tables are affordable secondhand pieces bought at a friend's bodega. He simply replaced the surfaces of the tables and they were good as new. An original Philippe Starck can be found in a corner of the area.
The small area next to the built-in closet was transformed into a home office. Above the desk is a surface painted with blackboard paint that allows Bien to scribble schedules, to-do lists, and more. A magnetic strip keeps his pens, scissors, and even screwdriver in one place. The space is illuminated with a table lamp that has a base made from Lego pieces.
In the bathroom, Bien left the bathroom walls and floors unpainted for a bare, industrial look.
Using frosted glass to separate the bathroom from the bedroom creates the illusion of a larger space. It also lets sunlight seep through to illuminate the space. This way, Bien doesnâ€™t need to turn the lights on in the bathroom during the day.