A Compact Modern Tropical Condo Unit

This home shows how you can achieve a hotel-like ambiance with local flavor

Original Article: Cecile Jusi-Baltasar Photography: Dairy Darilag Pictorial Direction: Dagny Madamba Interior Designer: Pam Tan

With the intention to lease the unit out, the owner of this 60sqm, one-bedroom unit wanted it to look hotel-like and gender-neutral. But the most important request was to showcase the best of Filipino details and materials. Interior designer Pam Tan was up for the challenge, and came up with a modern tropical Filipino design, serving as “staging” for its future tenants.

The results were stunning, but achieving such wasn’t a walk in the park. The interior designer and unit owner ran into some problems in the beginning. They were provided with inaccurate floor area measurements, so they had to send back the custom-made pieces to suppliers and have them altered. The accessories, on the other hand, were all store-bought, ranging from IKEA, Decoliving Manila, Landmark, SM Home, H&M Home, and Décor. There were also uneven columns on the walls, presumably there for structural purposes, which made it difficult to decorate on. Pam had to put up double walls for a seamless look and have more space for rewiring. All the hard work was worth it, as seen in the final look.

Read the original article ("Luxe Pinoy") in the August 2016 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to for more details.

Living Area

Tropical design rules the living area, with the addition of rattan pieces and a ceiling fan, which provides ample ventilation, especially during summer.

Living Area

Both the sofa and the console table were custom-made by a furniture maker in Pampanga.

Dining Area

Space was an issue, so buying a ready-made dining set was out of the equation. Pam had a dining set for four customized by A. Garcia Crafts in LRI Plaza, Makati City.

Click here to learn more about A. Garcia Crafts.

Storage Detail

Pam brings up the issue of uneven walls with these laminated floating shelves. “The laminated floating shelves trick the eye into seeing a flat wall,” says Pam. “But really, the shelves curve slightly because the wall curves slightly.”

Decor Detail

The client instructed Pam to follow the look of the condo’s lobby, which was mostly gold-plated. She used more browns and oranges than gold to achieve that tropical feel. An orange decoration such as this owl makes for an interesting conversation piece.

Find a similar decor piece at Heima, Unit 103, Three Brixton Building, 3 Brixton Street, Barangay Kapitolyo, Pasig City.

Decor Detail

Another way to look at the orange items in the house is to associate it with the Philippine sunsets.

Decor Detail

What’s a tropical-inspired unit without plants? These small potted ones from Dangwa do the trick.

Click here for more plant stores you can check out.

Storage Idea

Lending an elegant feel to the Filipino-style condo unit is this steel-plated magazine holder from H&M Home.

Decor Detail

The unit’s coffee table is decorated with Pam’s accessory finds from Landmark and SM Home.


The interior designer decided on two tiny bedside tables from A. Garcia Crafts for the bedroom to maximize the space.


Another way to save on space is to install droplights instead of floor or desk lamps. The droplights in the bedroom are from CW Home Depot in Ortigas.

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