A Modern Scandinavian Look for a 96sqm Condo Unit
Interior designer Pam Tan seamlessly combined light colors and neutral finishes to create a homey and fuss-free family home in Quezon City
For condo dwellers, living in a small space goes beyond turning a tiny unit into a welcoming haven with furniture and accessories. It involves having the right layout to keep the home functional, finding spots for storage, and allotting enough space for visitors. In improving this three-bedroom unit in Quezon City, interior designer Pam Tan had to deal with similar concerns. “My clients requested for a space where they can work, play, and entertain as many guests as possible given the limited space of their unit and lots of storage space without looking too obvious and boxy,” says Pam.
To achieve these goals, the designer turned to Scandinavian interiors for inspiration. “Scandinavian homes are always bright and have an almost all-white interior to compensate for the long, dark winters,” she adds. Since the owners have three kids and it’s quite difficult to maintain an all-white home in the city, Pam suggested to dress up the walls with light wooden-textured laminates, painted bricks, light-colored wallpaper, and gray skim coat finish. These elements not only made the space extra snug and comfortable, it also kept the look minimal and modern.
At the end of the renovation period, Pam and the owners were delighted with the result. They were able to keep within the budget without sacrificing aesthetics by simply prioritizing and spending wisely.
In condo homes, lighting is of utmost importance to keep the vibe light and airy. To keep the home bright, cozy, and inviting, Pam paired charming lighting pieces with neutral finishes and Scandinavian-style furniture. While the kitchen welcomes guests into the unit, the dining area can be easily seen on the right.
"I was hesitant when the clients requested to make the dining area this big given the small space, but when everything was put together, I was happy to sit on the dining bench or living room sofa to be entertained and watch TV," says Pam.
To complement the sturdy white table with slim legs and a gray accent chair, Pam incorporated an L-shaped bench as seating. This option enables the owners to entertain more guests and host get-togethers. "Both my clients are very family-oriented and love inviting their friends over, so being able to accommodate and host as many people as they can is kind of a necessity," Pam says.
Hidden storage nooks under the bench can be used to store a variety of knickknacks, while the ledge behind the backrest can hold framed prints, decor, and photographs.
RL Tip: Instead of an elaborate centerpiece, keep within the Scandinavian theme by opting for faux potted plants or succulents.
Find similar lamps at @homecartelph on Instagram.
Since the living and dining areas are interconnected, the owners and their guests can watch TV while enjoying meals. To keep within the theme and color scheme of the unit, neutrals dominate the living area—with the gray sofa and light-colored pillows. The TV is installed on a wall spruced up with wooden-textured laminates. Paired with recessed lighting, the laminates add a distinct warmth to the living area. According to Pam, these laminates are go-to materials for modern, minimalist interiors.
The chosen furniture pieces highlight clean lines and add to the overall aesthetic of the space. Sticking to two to three kinds of finishes helped make the unit look bigger, too. "If you're going for the minimalist appeal, dress up your walls as a whole, not just by hanging frames or wall art. It looks more seamless that way," says Pam. For the living and dining areas, Pam paired painted bricks and wooden-textured laminates.
The sheer white curtains add to the light and airy feel of the common areas. Meanwhile, the patterned area rug defines the living area and keeps the look from being too plain.
Pam also worked with mirrors to make the space look bigger than it really is. The flooring was likewise changed to maintain the theme. "I always prefer using tiles for the common areas because there's more foot traffic here. I used light-colored wooden-textured tiles for this project because we're going for the Nordic style interior," says the designer.
Beside the kitchen is a storage center where various belongings can be kept. Notice the absence of handles? The cabinets have a push-to-open mechanism for a clean and seamless look. The AC unit is cleverly concealed by wooden slats so as not to disrupt the home's overall appeal.
From the unit's main door, guests can instantly see the kitchen dominated by white, wooden touches, and laminate finishes. It also features wooden beams on the ceiling, extra spotlights to make tasks easier, and a trio of pendant lights that give it a warm glow. Pam also added a bar counter that can function as an extra prep space or breakfast nook. The addition of bar stools makes it ideal as extra seating during parties, too.
Find similar lamps at @homecartelph on Instagram.
The third bedroom in the unit was transformed into a study/work area where the kids can do homework or enjoy playtime. It's also perfect for the owners when they need to get some work done. "The glass windows and sliding door were designed so the parents can check on their kids every once in a while without the little ones noticing," shares Pam.
The low black couch is perfect for movie nights and series marathons. Pam made sure to add pillows and a throw for extra comfort.
The same laminates seen in the living and dining areas were used in this room. The designer installed wall-mounted shelves supported by pipes (a subtle industrial touch!) to give the owners enough storage space for books, decor, and other essentials.
The built-in desk is spacious enough to accommodate two people at the same time. Gray accent chairs with wooden legs complete the setup. Meanwhile, adding to the industrial appeal of the room are the shelves, bare wall with gray skim-coat finish, and the painted brick wall by the window.
A welcome change from the common areas, the kids' room highlights the use of gray, brown, and red. Occupied by two little boys, it shows a mini basketball ring as decor, action figures, and an area rug that resembles a race track.
A customized bunk bed is the room's focal point—with its cleverly hidden drawers. The steps leading to the top bunk has secret storage nooks, too! These spots can be used to keep the boys' clothes, shoes, and toys in place.
Pam incorporated a small shelf for books and toys. The wall defined by stripes also features handleless cabinets underneath and overhead storage in red. Red accents give the room a jolt of color and keep it from being too dull.
It's safe to say that the master bedroom will remind you of an idyllic weekend escape. Similar to the look and feel of the common areas, the space showcases painted brick walls, light-colored wallpaper, and wooden touches.
Sheer white curtains let in plenty of natural light—keeping the vibe airy and relaxing. Pam added a ledge above the bed where the owners can display their collections, framed prints, and other accessories. The fluffy accent chair and warm light coming from the wall-mounted lamp make up a charming reading corner beside the bed. The chair can also be used when getting ready for work as it's strategically placed near the vanity.
At the foot of the bed, Pam made sure to add enough space for decor, accessories, photographs, and other belongings. She also defined the wall with a light-colored wallpaper. The shelves and drawers highlight the use of wooden-textured laminates for a cohesive look.
Even the closet and vanity area make use of the same laminates. Having enough storage can keep clutter at bay and help the owners maintain the unit's look.
Pam had mirrors installed on the closet's doors as an extra feature—the occupants can get ready every morning without a need for a freestanding mirror. These extras also help visually expand the space.
Ready for your own makeover? Get in touch with interior designer Pam Tan through e-mail at idrpamtan[at]gmail.com. See more of her projects on Instagram: @ptcistudio.
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