An Irregularly Shaped Mid-Century Modern Condo Unit

Well-chosen cabinets and proper lighting conceal the challenges in this 62sqm unit

Original Article: Bubbles Salvador Photography: Toto Labrador Styling: Dagny Madamba

Architect Arlene S. Maslog and her husband bought their condo unit four years ago to serve as their halfway house since it's conveniently located halfway between her kids’ schools and her home in Quezon City. “It was at the height of my daughter’s involvement in gymnastics. She was part of her school’s varsity team, and would come home really late. Having this condo would cut her travel time and ours, too,” says Arlene. By the time they got the unit in June 2013, an unexpected turn of events had happened: her daughter had to move to a new school and stop gymnastics due to an injury. This didn’t faze Arlene since the house still serves the same purpose and also because she already had a peg for the interiors.

Coming from a trip to New York, Arlene wanted the space to look and feel like it’s in Manhattan. Challenges aren't new in any endeavor. They couldn’t jump in and decorate because the unit has "madaming kanto." They also had to deal with columns and exposed beams and pipes. Even if they were unprepared for the expenses, Arlene managed to make the best out of the situation and deliver good, solid, and confident design as seen in what she now calls a mid-century modern home.

Read the original article ("Home Away from Home") in the March 2014 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details.

Living Area

The look of the living area is a mix of different colors and textures that work well together. The black and white wicker chair and the purple suede couch with a red-orange gradient pillow, easily reflect the palette in the Mikko Sison painting, which Arlene won at an auction during a fundraiser with her high school batchmates.

Living Area Detail

The vintage card catalogue cabinet from Resurrection Furniture and Found Objects Gallery is Arlene’s favorite piece and one of the very few pieces she purchased for the condo. “I hate that the scissors are here, and the stapler is there. So those little things are all [in the cabinet]. Otherwise, you’d buy those small storage drawers na plastic, so ito maganda, pang-condo,” shares Arlene.

Dining Area

The round glass top dining table is a narra table from her home office, which she updated with a coat of white paint, while the mismatched chairs were bought from two separate stores in Tiendesitas. By the sliding doors leading to the balcony is a console table, which holds the condiments and other kitchen essentials. 

Dining Area Detail

These handsewn apples by Arlene’s best friend, Apol Lejano-Massebieau, add charm to the dining area. Apol is the founding editor of Real Living and is now a toy maker and designer of textile items.


Splurging on good cabinetry works was Arlene’s solution to keep her “nightmares” (exposed beams and piping) in the kitchen hidden.

Master Bedroom

The bed in the master bedroom is from their house in Quezon City and used to be her son's. Arlene updated it by upholstering the wooden headboard with leather. “Behind our bed, there are storage cabinets, kasi ang daming kanto niyan. I had to cover a post here and some structures. One of the cabinets is not even functioning, kunwaring cabinet lang,” says Arlene.

Master Bedroom Detail

A pull-out night table within the wall cabinets was Arlene’s solution to the lack of space for a night table in the master bedroom.

Decor Detail

Arlene’s good friend, Chinggay Labrador, made this piece during their collage class together under Toots Magsino.

Kids' Bedroom

The bunk bed in her children’s room is an “import” from their Quezon City home. Meanwhile, the colored sheets and the Space Invader decals add color to the white room.

Kids' Bedroom Detail

“They're a bit pricey but worth it, because they're eco-friendly,” says Arlene of these pillows made from crocheted plastic bags from La Pomme. 


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