A 21sqm Contemporary Studio Unit

Sophisticated elements and travel-inspired details complete this compact yet functional home

Photography: Jerome Jocson

Perhaps many of you would agree when we say that the home is a magical place. It’s where we feel most safe and comfortable—a haven where we get to enjoy the things we love and a safe ground where we spend quality time with friends and family. For those who are required to travel for work, it’s also a sanctuary that welcomes us—a special place that feels just as cozy and inviting—even if you've been away for awhile.

For this 21sqm unit in Mandaluyong, designer Roland Lustado was asked to create a snug yet functional retreat for the owner who travels a lot. Given the limited space, he opted for a contemporary theme with elegant touches and a minimalist appeal. Choosing neutral colors, multipurpose pieces, and custom-made must-haves—he was able to achieve a welcoming unit that not only echoes traveling, but a true home sweet home that the owner can be proud of.

Ready for your own makeover? Get in touch with designer Roland Lustado through mobile at 0920-928-5768. You can also e-mail him at rolandlustado[at] 


Upon entrance to the unit, guests would see a cabinet for clothes and other essentials. Roland modified the cabinet by installing a glass mirror to widen the space. A few steps from the cabinet is a shelf from Our Home that serves as a command center. It's ideal for storing bags, shoes, and even a few woven baskets. To keep it from being dull, the designer added various decor on top as well as framed artworks to liven up the wall.

Living Area and Bedroom

Since the unit is small, one area flows freely to the next. The bedroom/living area highlights a customized built-in bed frame with pull-out storage. Wall-mounted shelves hold travel-inspired and classic decor pieces that keep within the theme.

To make the bed extra comfortable and relaxing, white sheets were chosen and paired with printed Paris-inspired pillows. Since the owner travels a lot, Roland also handpicked an elegant Eiffel Tower lamp to brighten up the side table.


The kitchen maybe small but it packs a punch in terms of storage and function. Inside the cabinets are stainless wire baskets that can be used to keep utensils and other cooking essentials organized. Roland also installed a few rods above the sink to accommodate more items. To complement the laminate finish of the cabinets, the designer opted for champagne-colored mosaic tiles for the backsplash.

Here's an interesting trivia—the lights under the kitchen cabinets work as emergency lights, too—making it ideal when there are brownouts and power outages.

Living/Bedroom Area

At the foot of the bed, one can see a mirror on the wall that help create an illusion of bigger space. The owner has the luxury to use the built-in table when working or reading. Additional shelves were also installed to showcase more decor while the cabinet holding the TV can be used to store extra pillows, sheets, and other knickknacks.

Living Area/Bedroom

To keep the space from being too plain, the designer created an accent wall with laminate finish. It adds to the modern appeal of the home and serves as the perfect backdrop for the curated decor and prints.

Decor Detail

Since the unit highlights a contemporary theme, Roland opted for industrial drop lights with Edison LED lights. These pieces aren't just captivating, they give off a warm glow that adds drama to the space. When turned on, the lights also cast interesting shadows on the walls.

Work Corner

To maximize the space and as requested by the owner, Roland was able to carve out a simple work area opposite the bed. It features a laminated table with overhead cabinets and another lighting fixture that also works as an emergency light when needed. We especially loved how the black chair from Wilcon breaks the monotony of the corner and gives it an extra edge.

Work Area

Additional wall-mounted shelves were added by the door leading to the balcony. It can be used to display a few framed photos and prints, accent pieces, and potted plants.


Given the limited space, Roland chose a framless tempered glass shower enclosure. The ordinary sink that was installed during turnover was also replaced with a basin type lavatory and a synthetic granite countertop. To make the bathroom extra functional and efficient, overhead cabinets where the owner can store towels and other essentials were added. Completing the look are the framed wall art and a glass shelf used to hold potted plants.


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