A Two-Bedroom Condo with Asian Antiques and Maximalist Style

This small space highlights a larger-than-life Asian style with impressive décor pieces

Original Article: Coni Tejada Photography: Miguel Nacianceno Styling: Gwyn GS Guanzon

When an individual decides on an Asian Maximalist style, he considers no limits. It doesn’t even matter if he only has 80sqm to work with. This holds true in the case of dermatological surgeon Rommel who owns an 80sqm two-bedroom unit. He initially considered going for a minimalist style but soon found out that he was a maximalist. The result is a jewel of a home that’s bursting at the seams. The small space highlights a complex and layered statement that borrows from temple designs as well as street corner opium dens.

Rommel prefers to have antiques in his home as he earlier preferred. Compared with other furniture pieces, he found antiques to be more budget-friendly and their value also increases with time. Most of the furniture pieces in his home were bought from flea markets, antique shops, or thrift shops around the Metro like the ones along Kamuning, Mandaluyong, or the Sta. Ana area in Manila.

Original article by Coni Tejada. Styling by Gwyn GS Guanzon. Photographed by Miguel Nacianceno.

 Read the original article (“The Bold and the Beautiful”) in the August 2007 issue of Real Living Magazine. To download a digital copy of Real Living Magazine, visit Summit Newsstand at

Living Area

In lieu of a couch, a daybed filled with pillows can be seen in the living area. Like what can be found in turn-of-the-century opium dens, this saves the home from the idea of a formal living room. Instead, it becomes a room where you can lay around in. It's elegant yet informal?if you don't mind the utter relaxation.

Living Area Detail

For a center table, experiment further by using an old Chinese bed instead of a table. Despite the bed's size, one can easily change its look by just piling tons of books on it or, like at present, topping it with large Italian glass lamps which the resident bought from a thrift store along Kamuning Avenue in Quezon City.

Living Area Detail

When training one's eyes for maximalism in the Asian vein, it's necessary to consider statues whether of Buddha or that of the goddesses. Such samples set the tone of the environment that you want to achieve. An added bonus is that such statues are not as costly as contemporary sculpture.

Living Area Detail

Foldable screens with ornate carvings allow light to pass through while keeping the eye entertained with their amazing design.

Living Area Detail

The concept of maximalism allows decorative touches to fill an entire space. Be sure to style your vignettes so that objects in the foreground seem to overlap those in the background. This may be accomplished by a mirror turned on its back and laid flat on a table. Seen from above, objects seem to float, dance and twirl in the eye of the beholder.

Living Area Detail

The Asian style is heavy on reverence. Be sure to mount altar settings on the usual tops of cabinets to add a touch of the spiritual and the sublime.

Living Area Detail

Another concept of the maximalist style is to layer things above each other. A corner of the condo can be the repository of such statements. For example, magazines, books, picture frames and other keepsakes may be exhibited in all their maximalist glory. Don't be afraid to mix other things into the pile to create a cornucopia of well-loved objects.

Living Area Detail

Layering can be done by placing objects in front of a mirror that bounces back a reflection of other objects. Both actual grouping and reflections can work in doubling their intended purpose. Think of it as Gestalt theory, where the totality is more than the sum of its parts.

Living Area Detail

At the end of a hall, be sure to place a decorative vignette with painting, sculpture, console table and chair: no matter if the grouping is crowded. Maximalism allows conglomerations of this kind to exist. You'll be surprised not only with the resulting beauty but by the practicality of enjoying another study area.

Dining Area

A dining table may also double as a writing desk. As a rule, the most expensive or largest painting in the home should be placed over the dining setting. This expansiveness is important to maintain as the home should have major areas for human activity. And the major areas should be offset from the minor ones by the placement of such markers like a huge abstract painting by the late National Artist J. Elizalde Navarro.


The kitchen exhibits a surprising design feature --- a massive Indian door.

Kitchen Detail

An Indian Door for the kitchen? The resident explains his unique choice: he's been longing for an Indian door, but he considered that he had no space. He then thought about the kitchen!


A couple of catchy pieces can be seen in the hallway leading to one of the rooms. These are further highlighted by the presence of plans in huge white vases.

Wood and Vintage Details

Inside one of the rooms, a gold Buddha piece can be seen in one corner. To complement the piece, wooden details are added as well like the console and cabinet.


Maximize your bedroom by having mirrors flank a queen-size kamagong bed. Near the windows, place a folding screen that keeps the light and the heat at bay and lets the resident sleep a little bit longer on weekends.

Bedroom Detail

Cabinets are lined up along a wall. They serve the dual purpose of keeping things in place as well as providing a majestic backdrop for the bed.

Work Area

An artwork, wooden pieces, and a warm glow from the table lamp make this work corner suitable for a quick catch up with work on weekends.


Two vanity sinks are added to the bathroom as well as two enormous mirrors.

Smoking Area

Convert a laundry area into a garden of sorts that also serves as a smoking area for guests. To achieve this, cover the floor with rocks and hang a dried-up branch from the ceiling. It will make the space look more outdoors-y. A daybed from Sta. Ana provides seating.

Quirky Touch

Use random, unorthodox objects as artwork. A remnant of a billboard or a distressed wall panel can be repurposed as a form of Pop Art. This vintage General Electric sign was actually a freebie find that adds a whiff of whimsy to the smoking area.


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