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. 

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