A 24sqm Rustic Industrial Studio Unit
Wood and metal complete the coffee shop-inspired look of this cozy city haven
Looking back, can you still remember how you envisioned your dream home? We’re sure you’ve listed tree houses, castles, and fairy tale cottages as some of your pegs. Fast forward to 2017—with the rise of DIY solutions, pretty restaurants, and homey cafes—are you still wishing for something as magical? If the charming combination of wood, metal, and bricks tickles your fancy, this college student’s compact home in Pasig will definitely inspire you to revisit your dream home checklist.
Since the family is based in Iloilo, the client wanted to create a space where her daughter can feel at ease and comfortable even if she’s alone in the city. Taking inspiration from the inputs and DIY projects of the client, interior designers Pam Laserna and Joan Reyes of LAHUBRE Designs came up with an overall look that showcases textures, patterns, envy-worthy details, and furniture pieces that the client designed and made with the help of a go-to carpenter in her home province.
Working on a tight space was challenging, but Pam and Joan had the support of the client and her godson. This special teamwork made last-minute changes a breeze and achieving the rustic-industrial look easier. At the end of the renovation period, the design team and the client weren’t the only ones satisfied with the output. The young occupant was happy to move in—it’s not only a short walk from school, it also has everything she wants in a space.
Kitchen and Living Areas
One of the first things guest would notice upon entrance is the kitchen—with its mortar-smeared bricks, hanging shelves, and the table that serves as storage and dining nook. Given the ambiance and warm lighting, it's easy to feel like you're in your favorite coffee shop!
The tractor bar stools used in the kitchen/dining nook add an interesting touch to the space. Purchased online by the client, these seating pieces may seem too stiff for the area, but it can make you feel comfortable once you sit on it. The stools are the designers' favorite pieces in the unit.
Just like in other small spaces, the challenge was how to keep the kitchen open and functional given the tiny floor area. The client and the designers opted to have DIY hanging shelves and wire baskets to control clutter.
A fan of Machuca tiles, the owner decided to use the said materials (the designers purchased factory overruns to save on cost) as flooring in the cooking area. To complement the tiles, Pam and Joan chose to spruce up the wall with mortar-smeared bricks. The final combination went with the theme as well as gave the kitchen a lighter feel.
A refreshing addition, different plants serve as decor and help soften up the look of the unit.
Most of the items and dinnerware in the kitchen are kept in wire baskets to prevent clutter. Aside from holding utensils, a hanging wire basket also doubles as wall accent.
To complement the coffee shop vibe, bottles are used as accent pieces and as glasses when serving drinks. The young occupant considers these bottles as some of her favorite pieces in the unit.
How many times have you seen mirrors in a compact space? Adding a large panel behind the sofa bed helped expand the area and make it seem more spacious. To liven up the other wall, the designers crafted a faux window panel by adding strips of wood.
To dress up the plain sofa, a throw and pillow covers with different patterns complete the look. Meanwhile, quotes in mini frames personalize the space under the mirror.
To personalize the unit and to make it extra special, most of the pieces were made by the client. Aside from the shelves and dining nook, the TV console, overhead cabinet, and barn door were made in Iloilo with the help of her godson and a trusted carpenter.
Since the occupant wanted to have privacy, the designers built a drywall partition with a transom window. A transom (a structural beam or bar that separates the door from the window or fanlight above it) window is a window set above a door or a larger window. Going this route kept the unit from being cramped as light and air coming from the sleeping space can still stream into the common areas.
One smart hack featured in the unit is the definition of the different areas. To separate the kitchen and dining areas from the living area, Pam and Joan maximized the materials they used. The brick wall and Machuca tiles define the former, while the mirrors and area rug were chosen for the latter.
To add to the theme and overall feel, the client wanted to showcase upcycled wooden pallets as well. Since most of the furniture already highlight the use of wood, the designers chose to use the pallets on the ceiling. Paired with warm white cove lighting, it gives the home just the right dose of warmth.
Simple and functional—the bedroom is meant for rest and getting schoolwork done. In this part of the home, the wooden pallets were stained in gray, white, and natural finish to differentiate it from the ones used on the ceiling.
Personal knickknacks and framed photographs spruce up the floating shelves. Don't let the vintage suitcase deceive you as it's not just any other decor piece. It's a DIY project by the client and it serves as a vanity table and storage for makeup.
The occupant considers the bedroom as her favorite spot in the home. After all, who wouldn't love waking up to a scenic view of the city?
Pam and Joan chose a trundle bed to complete the sleeping area—in case of impromptu sleepovers. A couple of floating shelves were added at the foot of the bed to hold various school supplies and gadgets. The occupant also has a slim closet (not seen in photo) for clothes and other belongings.
Prior to the renovation, the T&B had brown floor tiles and white wall tiles. To go with the unit's overall look, the designers replaced it with gray ceramic tiles that mimic the look of concrete. Mirrored cabinets that cover the entire wall were also installed to visually expand the space. It can be used to store toiletries and cleaning supplies. Wood and plants were used as accent pieces to keep with the rustic vibe.
Hear it from the unit's interior designers and occupant in this exclusive clip:
Ready for your own makeover? Get in touch with Pam and Joan of LAHUBRE Designs via e-mail at lahubre.ph[at]gmail.com.
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