A 38sqm One-Bedroom Condo with a Sleek and Modern Look

Elegant pieces, neutral colors, and small space solutions helped transform this unit into a posh and functional home

Photography: Gio Oliva Interior Designer: Roland Lustado

When designing a first home, many homeowners opt for a modern look with an inviting feel that’s reminiscent of fancy hotel suites. It’s not surprising, as many of us would want a space that’s perfect for relaxing, spending time with friends, and enjoying the things we love. Owned by a couple based in Zamboanga, this unit will serve as a home away from home. Like many of us, they want a space that's welcoming and extra stylish.

To turn it into a chic and sophisticated haven in the city, designer Roland Lustado came up with a modern elegant style completed with a clever layout, luxe pieces, and accessories that highlight the theme. The designer worked closely with the lady of the house—from the beginning of the project to the turnover of the improved space—to make sure all requirements are met. After the renovation period, the once standard unit became a stylish space that will surely wow anyone who enters.


Upon entrance to the unit, guests would see the tiny kitchen with a black granite countertop. To make the most of the available space, Roland installed stainless wire baskets that can hold various utensils inside the cabinets. Meanwhile, magnetic organizers keep spices and other ingredients in place on the counter.

To complement the black granite countertop, the designer worked with ivory-colored glass mosaic tiles for the backsplash.

Find similar tiles at Wilcon I.T. Hub, Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City.

Living Area

To create an illusion of space, mirrors dominate the entire unit. A few steps from the kitchen are the living and dining areas where the owners can accommodate guests and friends.

Living Area

Since the kitchen is located by the door, a makeshift foyer was placed near the living area. It highlights a glass-topped table, an elegant glass table lamp, and an assortment of accessories. Sprucing up the wall is a framed piece featuring egg shells. 

Dining Area

To make the compact dining area look bigger than it really is, Roland added a customized mirror wall. Even if a tiny space was alloted for the dining nook, the designer was able to maximize it by opting for a custom-made banquet seat with a tufted backrest in beige to match the upholstered dining chairs. The dining table with tempered glass top can also be extended to accommodate guests. To keep clutter at bay, the banquet seat also has a hidden storage compartment underneath where the owners can store a few belongings.

A false beam with pin lights completes the dining area. It can help set the mood during meals and get-togethers. 

RL Tip: Working on the look of your own dining area? Take your cue from the setup above. Work with candles, flowers in vases, and potted plants for a refreshing centerpiece.

Living Area

The three-seater leather sofa in light mocha takes up most of the space in the living area. Decorative throw pillows in brown and furnishings with hints of gold keep it extra chic. Meanwhile, a glass-topeed center table holds a metal tray filled with decorative balls and other knickknacks. A brown ara rug defines the area and pulls the look together.

Behind the sofa is an accent wall that steals the show. It features a textured wood panel in glossy ash gray to add to the elegance of the home. Roland also added another beam with recessed pin lights to highlight the abstract artwork and to make the area more inviting.

Living Area

Prior to the renovation of the unit, the space across the sofa features a structural column. A wall cladding was incorporated into the look to make it seamless as well as to conceal the post. Storage was added through open and glass shelves. Warm white LED lights were also installed to highlight the various decorative pieces on the shelves.

What used to be a wood partition that separates the living and dining areas from the bedroom was transformed into a floor-to-ceiling mirror/sliding door. Aside from creating an illusion of bigger space, it also perfectly hides the sleeping space.


Given the small space, Roland had to work with a few customized pieces to complete the bedroom. The custom-made bed not only has a pull-out storage, it also has a brown padded headboard for an extra warm and inviting appeal. To mirror the furnishings used outside, dark brown linens were used to liven up the bed. Striped comforters and fluffy pillows with hints of yellow help ensure a restful sleep.

The mirrored cabinets provide enough storage while echoing the look of the living and dining areas.

Find similar furnishings at Arq Curtains, Level 3 Market! Market! Mall, 26th Street Corner C5, Taguig


To maximize every inch of space, the designer added a dresser table with grain wood off-white laminate finish. It has a mirror and glass shelves that enable the owners to showcase their perfume collection and other accessories.


The working table at the foot of the bed also features the same grain wood off-white laminate finish. This corner can work as a reading nook or work area.


How can one maximize a teeny tiny bathroom? Roland replaced the sink with a basin type lavatory and paired it with an off-white synthetic granite countertop. Mirrors and glass shelves help keep belongings organized while making the bathroom look bigger.

Not seen in the photo is the frameless tempered glass shower enclosure used in the area.


Instead of keeping the balcony looking plain and ordinary, Roland furnished it with an outdoor table and a pair of comfortable chairs. The owners can enjoy breakfast in this nook while taking in the view of the city and the nearby Mall of Asia. It can also work as a reading nook, a workstation, or a special spot where they can relax at night.

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] 

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