A 60sqm Loft-Type Condo with a Modern Classic look

A retiring couple enjoys a compact bi-level unit that mixes classic and contemporary pieces with flair

Original Article: Katherine Lopez Photography: Miguel Nacianceno Pictorial Direction: Nat M. Clave Architect: Allen Oblena

Compact condo units can be just as homey as full-fledged houses. A testament to this fact, a bi-level condo unit in Quezon City is the home of a retiring couple whenever they come to Manila from Baguio. Given the bare unit to work with, architect and designer Allen Oblena turns this promising space into a homey haven with a classic contemporary look.

The couple favored a streamlined aesthetic and a neutral color palette. Allen kept to this theme but made the look more interesting with updated classic pieces. He also employed an open-plan layout, creating smooth transitions between areas and an airy ambiance.

Original article by Katherine Lopez. Pictorial direction by Nat M. Clave. Photographed by Miguel Nacianceno.

Read the original article ("Tiny Bliss") in the August 2013 issue of Real Living Magazine. To download a digital copy of Real Living Magazine, visit Summit Newsstand at


Flanked by a pair of modern side tables with classic lampshades, an over-sized two-seater sofa provides generous seats in the living area. Behind the sofa, a uniquely shaped mirror gives illusion of a larger space. The coffee table is designed in proportion to the other pieces and anchors the living area space.


The space under the stairs was not spared from the designer’s attention. He paired a damask-patterned low-back chair with a modern side table—a combination that perfectly captures the classic contemporary look.


The small kitchen is just the right size for the couple, since they usually go out for meals when they stay in Manila. The warm gray cabinet color lends a cozy neutral appeal and provides a subtle backdrop for the classic style of the dining ensemble. Four medallion chairs add an organic silhouette in contrast to the streamlined kitchen.


In the bedroom, the window behind the bed was sacrificed to improve the privacy of the bedroom space. The bed is dressed in a green and white-patterned sheet, giving off a classy modern appeal. Low cabinets create a streamlined look but offer functional storage as well. On the other side of the room, a classic armchair exudes timelessness.


On the second floor, a charming study fits the bill for the wife’s request of a cozy reading spot. The dark wooden desk and Thonet chair keep to the classic look, while the patterned lampshade and fresh flowers offer homey charm. This study area is partitioned from the adjacent bedroom with a folding door.


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