Cool Bohemian Style for a 54sqm Condo in Quezon City

Interior designer Barbie Tan transforms a rented unit into a relaxing sanctuary

Original Article: Bubbles Salvador Photography: Paolo Feliciano Styling: Dagny Madamba and Tala Singson

While looking for the perfect place to live in Manila, Steph Tan found this 54sqm condo in Quezon City. However, she could only afford half the rent. Thankfully, the unit owner agreed to give her a discount after she offered to cover minor repairs and repainting costs.

With the help of interior designer Barbie Tan, Steph was able to make the rented space cozy, comfortable, and personalized. The one-bedroom unit is now filled with antique furniture, DIY projects, and rustic decor.

Read the original article ("Awesome Space") in the March 2015 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to for more details.

Living Area

The living area is furnished with a dark blue L-shaped sofa and vintage chairs that Steph has surprisingly never repainted or reupholstered.

Living Area

Steph painted the white sockets of pendant lights for a sleek look. The new black sockets of the pendant lights suit the living area better.

Beneath the wooden coffee table is a teal-colored area rug from Decoliving.

Living Area

A closer look at the L-shaped sofa shows the different colors, details, and patterns of the throw pillows.

Wall Clipboards

Living in a rented space? You can draw inspiration from this clipboard wall! Clipboards are easy to install and remove and can immediately liven up a plain surface! You can use these to display photos, artworks, and notes

Dining Area

Steph says that the dining area is her second favorite spot in this 54sqm condo. The space is furnished with a dining table and bench from a furniture maker in Bulacan. These pieces are extra special because they are made using old wood.

1993 Dahon Bike

The dining area is spruced up with a 1993 Dahon Bike from Steph's grandparents.

Wall-mounted Shelves

The wall-mounted shelves help express Steph's love for reading, traveling, flying, and diving. 

Old Chair

Another old furniture piece that we spotted in this Quezon City home is this chair from Steph's mom. The chair is used as an extra seat for guests and a unique way to display books.


An acoustic guitar, a potted plant, and a set of books can be found close to one of the unit's doors.

Master Bedroom

The most interesting piece in the master bedroom is the colorful banig from Samar. She attached this woven mat to the dark blue wall using masking tape. This stand out detail reminds her of her hometown in Zamboanga.

Master Bedroom

At the foot of the bed is a wooden dresser from a furniture maker in Bulacan. The piece is topped with a jewelry organizer and other trinkets.


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