A Bright 52sqm Condo with Scandinavian and French Accents

It took interior designer Ben Nasayao only four weeks to work his magic on this pad

Original Article: Cecile Jusi-Baltasar Photography: Kurt Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions Styling: Tala Singson

Type of Home: 52sqm Condo

Style of Home: French-Scandinavian

Interior Designer: Ben Nasayao

What’s an interior designer to do when his clients say they love Scandinavian spaces and at the same time they want their home to be a Francophiles’ haven? In Ben Nasayao’s case, he merged both his clients’ interests and made a home based on those: a bright, hip, and spacious Scandinavian-inspired unit with French elements scattered all over. Not only that, he also found a way to incorporate a tropical-bohemian vibe with the working theme. His reason? “Think global, love local.”

As if it weren’t challenging enough, he only had a month to do the designing and the rest of the work had to be done remotely in his Bicol home. And because of the limited time frame, he wasn’t able to have some furniture customized for the tight space, so everything had to be store bought, while also making sure that he doesn’t go over the budget.

Instead of backing down from the challenge, Ben did the opposite and even had fun incorporating some pun and quirk (through his artwork) in this project.

Read the original article ("Euro Pop") in the November 2015 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to for more details.


This is what welcomes guests upon entering the home. The framed R-twork hanging on the wall gives credit to the father of the homeowner who owns the unit.

Living Area

The TV area is where the Scandinavian theme and the French elements meet. Opposite the framed photos of a wolf and a Scandinavian house hanging over the sectional couch are sketches, drawings, and a passage in French by Ben, which are taped to the wall.

Living Area

The nesting tables in the TV room hold the entertainment staples: some books, remote control units, and Choc-Nut.

Living and Dining Areas

The owners originally thought of setting up a wall on the TV room, which they intended to use as a guest room. However, they realized that having only one bathroom for two bedrooms would be inconvenient. Because of this, they decided to keep the glass walls and sliding door instead, which proved to be a good call as it allows natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows to stream into the dining area, too.

Dining Area

To veer away from a serious-looking and stiff dining area, Ben opted to use a bench as one of the seats to pair with the couple’s wooden table. By the wall is a buffet table that doubles as storage for dinnerware. Mounted on the wall above it is a four-piece map of 16th century Paris from Mav Furniture.

Dining Area

These decorative pieces sit atop the buffet table by the dining area. It matches the room’s color palette, too.

Dining Area

Even if the home’s theme is French-Scandinavian, Ben also injected some tropical-bohemian vibe (“because we are here in the Philippines, I wanted to make it local, too”), like these indoor plants on top of the couple’s dining table.

RL Tip: Create a similar centerpiece by filling a clear vase with fresh blooms or fill recycled mason jars with sweets and treats.


Since having pieces customized for the unit is already out of the equation, Ben made countless measurements and visited different stores. After the thorough store hopping, he found a queen-size bed from SM Home with an incredible headboard. 


Even with the tight space, Ben was still able to fit tables on each side of the couple’s queen-size bed.


“I love puns and all sorts of word play and I love how I could weasel my way into applying these tricks and inside jokes to my work. So I literally put an elephant in the room,” shares Ben. The shower curtain from H&M Home makes up for the otherwise minimalist design of the bathroom.

Reading Nook

A mix of European (pillows with French phrases) and Asian (abaca rug) elements make up the reading corner’s aesthetic.

Decor Detail

Positive messages aren’t rare in this compact unit. Like this saying on an H&M Home-bought clipboard, there’s also one inside the couple’s bedroom. 


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