A Designer Uses Color of the Year in a Condo

See how Pantone’s Greenery is infused into this 131-sqm tropical-modern rental unit

Original Article: Bubbles Salvador Photography: Dairy Darilag Styling: Dagny Madamba & Paula de Guzman

Designing a rental is by no means easier than designing for a particular homeowner. If you ask interior designer Kristine Neri-Magturo of Urban Abode, she says that while a rental space allows for a little more freedom in making basic design choices, it comes with challenges as well.

The challenge, she says, lies in coming up with a style and overall look that would appeal to a wider clientele. “We have to consider a broader spectrum, even if we have already narrowed down our market already. The space must be gender-neutral, and the materials we choose should be durable and can withstand more beating. Also, we work on a tighter budget.” 

Such is the story behind this 131-sqm, two-bedroom condo space located in an upscale development in Mandaluyong City. The owners invested in this unit meant for lease to expats or someone who is more established in life.

Kristine then opted to create an interior with subtle nods to toned-down tropical design. These subtle nods include wallpaper with a classic palm frond pattern in a light beige tint. Understated yet elegant, the wallpaper covers one side of the wall in the living and dining areas, purposely left unobstructed by any wall accessory. Another homage to tropical style is the use of a vibrant green—much reminiscent of Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year, Greenery. The green hue is used on accent walls and small decorative items like cushions.

The result is a tropical-modern look that’s toned down in order to appeal to a wider spectrum of design preferences. Kristine explains, “It’s not too limiting when it comes to its appeal. We couldn’t go all the way with the tropical theme, so everything is subdued. But even if it’s formal, the introduction of wood and natural plants in the interior made it more warm and relaxing.”


The iconic starburst mirror serves as the focal point in the entry foyer. You can get similar candlestick lamps from Keystone Lamps.

Dining Area

This Triboa Bay Living chandelier above the dining table is all about classic lines and contemporary tropical aesthetics. Triboa Bay Living is known for their modern-tropical accessories, made mostly out of wood.

Dining Area

An exuberant tropical painting (with touches of the color Greenery) complements the palm frond wallpaper on one side of the dining room. The tabletop accessories are from Kristine Neri’s store Urban Abode.

The condo unit has a modern-tropical look that’s toned down to appeal to a wider spectrum of design preferences. The designer added accents by way of texture, decor, and color. Kristine explains: “We’ve established our go-to sources for a more varied selection of accessories. I would go to several stores in order to avoid making the space look like a showroom. It also makes the space more interesting if there is a good mix of well-curated accent pieces and accessories.”

This platform sofa was customized to match the bed in the master bedroom. With a huge wall that was left without any artwork or accessories, Kristine decided to make it into an accent wall with matching tropical-palm-patterned wallpaper. Get similar wallpaper from Studio Eleven, and similar throw pillows from Crate & Barrel.

Study Area

The very tight study area in the guest bedroom was fitted with a custom-made slim desk from Urban Abode.

Master Bedroom

With the bed taking up most of the space, there isn’t much room left for any other decorative piece, save for a huge painting from Bali that serves as a headboard. For a similar paint that looks like Greenery, try “Cabin Moss” from Boysen Paints.

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

More on

Top 5 Makeovers by Kristine Neri-Magturo

RL Makeovers: A Complete Home Renovation in Quezon City

Pastel Colors for a 40sqm Condo in Manila


Latest Stories

8 Ways To Use The Color Ultra Violet At Home

Pantone's Color of the Year for 2018 is surprisingly versatile—you can use it as an accent, or as an overall hue

5 Ways To Decorate Your Home Without Spending Anything

Working with a tight budget? These ideas won't cost you a single peso.

5 Tips For Taking Care of A Family Home

Maintaining a mid-century property can be easy with this handy guide

A Cozy Industrial Style Condo Unit You’d Love To Come Home To

This 96sqm home features a balance between homey and edgy, with handpicked details and travel finds making it extra special and personal

A Feng Shui Guide for Every Room in Your House

As we approach the Year of the Dog, it’s time to clear your space and balance out your energies at home

Easy Small Space Tricks From An Interior Designer

Solve your tiny floor area woes with these ideas

Manila's Historic Houses Are Grand and Beautiful

Let's take a trip down memory lane and have a look at the stately mansions from Manila's bygone era of grandeur

10 More Places To Visit in Antipolo This Weekend

Because there's always something new to experience in art, culture, and food at this Northeastern city!

6 Colors You Never Thought You Could Use in Small Spaces

It’s time to give your go-to white and neutrals a break

See The World's Largest Picture Frame in Dubai

Designed by award-winning architect Fernando Donis, it's a marvel like no other

10 Things Millennials Want In Home Design

Condo units? Check. Industrial-hip style? Definitely. But the other items on their home wish list will surprise you!

Your Modern Filipino Home Doesn’t Have To Be Boring

Add pizzazz to this well-loved style with these handy ideas inspired by a Tagaytay condo unit
Load More Stories

Get inspiring design ideas and handy hints.
Subscribe to our newsletter now!