A Two-Bedroom Condo with Sleek, Masculine Style

Travel, photography, graphic design, and other passions are showcased in this doctor’s bachelor pad

Original Article: Trixie Zabal-Mendoza Photography: At Maculangan

A home should be a celebration of yourself and the things that matter the most to you. In order to follow this philosophy and create a space that would celebrate his passions, Dr. Bien Po turned his two-bedroom condo into a “mini-gallery.” Aside from being stylish and comfortable, he knew that the bachelor pad should reflect his love for travel, photography, graphic design, and even interior design.

Bien explains that his bachelor pad makeover was inspired by a Norway trip that made him realize how simple, practical, and beautiful Scandinavian design is. While finding furniture and furnishings was the most difficult part of the six-month decorating process, the challenge forced him to be creative. He made lamps out of Lego pieces and camera tripods and adorned walls with photographs that he has taken. He also designed a black and white poster of all of the destinations that he has been to.

Read the original article (“Into the Deep”) in the November 2011 issue of Real Living Magazine. To download a digital copy of Real Living Magazine, visit Summit Newsstand at

Living Room In the living room, a black leatherette Papa Bear chair from local furniture store Space Encounters is paired with a white Chesterfield sofa. Bien shares that the Chesterfield sofa is a secondhand piece that he bought online from an interior designer. The area is completed with a brown sheepskin rug from Norway.
Photo Although Bien is a doctor by profession, he spends his free time dabbling in photography and graphic design. One of the photos that he has taken of a Ferris Wheel at night is prominently displayed on a wall.
Bar Detail On one corner of the kitchen is a graphic black and white poster that Bien made to list down all of the places that he has been to. Beneath the poster is a piece that he bought at a garage sale: an old filing cabinet turned into a mini-bar.
Bar Detail One of the interesting pieces in the bar is a distinctive Philippe Starck juicer with a futuristic feel. The homeowner says that this is not just a decorative piece. He also uses this item to make drinks.
DIY Lamp The homeowner created unique pieces to express himself and highlight his interests. For one of his floor lamps, he used an old camera tripod as a base.
Kitchen Located underneath the stairs of the condo unit, the compact, L-shaped kitchen has a sleek and streamlined feel. The area is filled with stainless-steel appliances, fixtures, and finishes.
Kitchen Detail Since the kitchen can be found directly under the stairs, a wooden jointed figure atop the refrigerator is posed to look like it is holding up the staircase.
Staircase Wooden stairs lead to the second floor where the bedroom and bathroom are located. Bien opened up the space to make the area appear bigger by removing the walls and the handrails. The metal balustrades have metal hooks so that Bien can hang his bags and other belongings.
Bedroom Detail The entrance of the bedroom is marked with a gray area rug.
Bedroom The bedroom is furnished with a low bed kept simple with white pillows and a black blanket. The side tables are affordable secondhand pieces bought at a friend's bodega. He simply replaced the surfaces of the tables and they were good as new. An original Philippe Starck can be found in a corner of the area.
Home Office The small area next to the built-in closet was transformed into a home office. Above the desk is a surface painted with blackboard paint that allows Bien to scribble schedules, to-do lists, and more. A magnetic strip keeps his pens, scissors, and even screwdriver in one place. The space is illuminated with a table lamp that has a base made from Lego pieces.
Bathroom In the bathroom, Bien left the bathroom walls and floors unpainted for a bare, industrial look.
Bathroom Detail Using frosted glass to separate the bathroom from the bedroom creates the illusion of a larger space. It also lets sunlight seep through to illuminate the space. This way, Bien doesn’t need to turn the lights on in the bathroom during the day.

Latest Stories

Here’s What You Can See Inside Arete, Ateneo’s New Art Hub

Ateneo de Manila University’s latest art and cultural complex features various galleries containing works of important Filipino artists

These Condos in Manila Have Doubled Their Prices

Leechiu Property Consultants compile data on how selected high-end condominiums have risen in value over time

Save Space in a Small Apartment With These Clever Ideas

These nifty designer tricks can help you turn a tiny house into a bright and spacious haven

This Art Festival In Pasig Is Free To The Public

The first ever Ortigas Art Festival features paintings, installations, and art classes all within a community mall

8 Things to Remember When Visiting Art Galleries

Make sure you turn off your camera's flash

This Online Store Sells Pretty Woven Planters and Handmade Items

The plus side? Buying a piece helps local weavers and craftsmen, too!

The Best Divisoria Shopping Tips for 2018

Here’s our ultimate, updated guide on how to navigate Divisoria, the best bargain shopping spot out there

5 Renovating Mistakes To Avoid

DIY can only go so far—sometimes, you need the help of a pro

Get Ready to Shop: MUJI Is Lowering Their Prices

It starts today so run to a store near you!

A 100sqm Coffee Shop-Inspired Home

To turn this home in Singapore into a cozy haven, designer Kuay Mei Yee of Distinct Identity perfectly mixed Scandinavian and industrial details

5 Household Uses For Silica Gel Packets

Those tiny things you see in boxes of shoes and new bags go a long way
Load More Stories

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