Coffee Tones Add Warmth to this Renter-Friendly Studio Unit

See how a 30sqm space can be gender-neutral, homey, and beachy all at the same time

Photography: Dairy Darilag Pictorial Direction: Tala Singson Design Consultant: Grace Moslares

Five years ago, homeowner Trixie made a huge decision. As an investor in Ayala bonds, she took the option to get a discount on an Ayala property instead of getting her dividends. This is how she ended up with this studio unit in Makati, where she also works. “After a year, I realized it was a good development, so I tried to find two studio units that were side by side so that I could merge them into a one-bedroom unit with two bathrooms [in the future],” Trixie shares. But for now, Trixie will be renting out the units that she purchased.

This 30sqm unit, by far, is her favorite. After attempting to decorate it herself with the help of her mom and sisters (one of whom is an artist with an architect husband), she gave up. “I realized that it was taking too much of my time already, and I had to get professional help if I wanted to speed things up. So, a friend of mine introduced me to Grace Moslares of Magara Designs through Facebook Messenger and voila! These units came to life!”

Let’s take a virtual tour of this studio unit filled with warm coffee tones.

Living, Dining, and Kitchen Areas

“When I was conceptualizing the theme of each unit, my first option was really something in different shades of brown,” Trixie says. “This really speaks of my personality.”

Sleeping Area

Trixie purchased all the major furniture pieces for the unit, such as this bed. “I didn’t want to invest too much, so I went to Landmark,” she says. She also went to Mandaue Foam to get sturdy, but not very expensive pieces. The picture frames above the bed were left bare, so that future tenants could personalize the frames themselves. 

Visit Mandaue Foam Furniture Store at 489 Shaw Blvd, Mandaluyong City.

Design Detail

The unit also exudes a beachy, nautical vibe, and Grace says the relaxing colors are ideal for those who love the beach and the outdoors. “That’s why we injected blues, sand, and taupe,” Grace adds.

Open Layout

Given the limited space in the unit, Trixie thought of combining the dining and living areas into one. The matching coffee-colored seats do double-duty, along with the wooden table. “Grace and her crew really did a good job on the finishing touches of the units—from curtains to rugs, accent chairs to accent walls,” Trixie describes.

Find similar pieces at The Landmark, Makati Avenue, Ayala Center, Makati City.

The thing with condo units to be rented out is that they need to be gender-friendly, hence the neutral hues with pops of blue. Grace says they shouldn’t be too feminine nor too masculine. “If there are accessories na girly, madali lang palitan. Kailangan conducive sa lahat ng tao,” adds Grace.

Decor Detail

Trixie instantly fell in love with this white pendant light from IKEA, which graces the combined living and dining areas.

Decor Detail

Succulents in dainty pots give the space an organic feel, complementing the earth-toned walls, curtains, and furniture.

Decor Detail

Adding to the nautical theme are these round coastal mirrors on the wall, hanging from faux hemp ropes.

Design Detail

Jayson Bongat of Magara Designs painted an eye-catching detail to conceal the fuse box mounted on the wall (often considered an eyesore).

READ: 5 Creative Ways to Hide Household Eyesores

Decor Detail

Trixie bought this IKEA pendant lamp during a trip to Italy last year. It proved to be a good choice as the cloud-like ruffles add a statement to the bedroom area. Grace describes, “[When you buy this], flat sheet siya, then you’ll crumble it. Isa siyang stress reliever.” Trixie loved it so much that she bought a bigger version, which she is saving for her future home.

Ready for your own makeover? Get in touch with design consultant Grace Moslares and Magara Designs through mobile at (0927) 715-1393 or e-mail magarainteriors[at]

Do you have an RL-inspired home? Send us photos on Facebook and we might feature you, too!

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