DIY Design for a Three-Bedroom Condo in Mandaluyong

Influenced by years of traveling and reading Real Living, this homeowner makes his bachelor pad his own

Photography: Marc Jao

When it comes to building, renovating or decorating a home, we always recommend for homeowners to hire design professionals. We believe that working with the right expert can make it easier for you to create the space that you've always dreamed of.

However, even if we think that it is often better to do your research and find the best person for your project, we can't help but be impressed by people who take on the challenge on their own. One of the "DIY" homes that has recently caught our attention is this three-bedroom condo owned by banker (and Real Living reader!) Tristan Sintos. 

Although Tristan worked closely with a contractor (to replace the wall finishes and the kitchen, bathroom, and floor tiles), he was entirely responsible for the style of the home. Inspired by design ideas from Real Living magazine and his out-of-the-country trips, Tristan picked the colors, materials, furniture, accessories, and other details himself.


Tristan explains that he first bought a unit in the same residential community in 2011. However, he found the 60sqm, two-bedroom condo too small for him and his five-year-old daughter. Since he knew that he needed more space, he bought another unit in November 2013.

When the unit was turned over to him in August 2014, he asked his contractor to change the two walls on both ends of the area. As seen in the foyer, the plain and boring walls were turned into white brick walls. 

The wooden bench is from Perch Interior Furnishings in Makati while two stools with green legs were custom-made by Space Encounters in Ortigas.


Although the kitchen may be small and simple, it still looks interesting because of the unique white subway tiles. Just like Tristan, you can instantly update your old cabinets by replacing the door handles. 

Dining Area Detail

Does your own home also have an ugly fuse box cover? You can hide it (and other unsightly details) with a wall print, just like this one from Heima. The three pastel-colored containers are also from the same store.

The white console table is one of Tristan's favorite findshe bought it for only P1,200 at HMR on Pioneer Street in Mandaluyong.

Dining Area

Tristan advises other homeowners to  take their time when it comes to buying furniture and accessories. He patiently went to different stores, compared price points, and waited for sales.

One of the items that he bought on sale was this wooden dining table from Gus.

Dining Area

The view from the other side of the dining area shows that the space is alsoconnected to the living area and the den. Tristan replaced the unit's original dark flooring material with light-colored tiles that look like bleached wood.

Living Area

The living area is furnished with a sectional L-shaped sofa that can be turned into a bed. Tristan reveals that the coffee table can also be turned into a dining table. He says that the legs can be adjusted to raise the height of the table.


According to the floor plan of the unit, this space was supposed to be an enclosed service area or extra room for the household help. Since he thought that a solid wall would make the unit even smaller, Tristan decided to use wood-and-glass sliding doors instead.

Guest Bathroom

Tristan did not enclose the entire shower area in glass because he thought that it might be safer to use a shower curtain. In case of an emergency, this will make it easier for someone to get in and out of the space.

Guest Room

Looking for a more affordable way to reinvent your old floors? Tristan suggests a coat of sealant. In this guest room, he updated the unit's standard flooring material with sealant for a glossy finish.

Daughter's Room

Since most kiddie rooms are filled with fun colors and playful patterns, this space is a remarkable exception. The plain white walls and shelves provide a soothing backdrop for a Carlo Ongchangco painting and the daughter's toys and belongings.

Daughter's Room

On the other end of the room is a wall adorned with a cute giraffe head and a lovely trio of paintings.

Master Bedroom

Tristan tells the Real Living team that he spends most of his time in the master bedroom. And with a bedroom as well-appointed as this one, who can blame him? The most noticeable feature in the space is the entertainment wall that highlights his flat-screen TV, a framed movie poster, and other knickknacks.

Entertainment Wall

A closer look at the entertainment wall reveals that it has also become a spot for displaying some of the black-and-white pictures taken by the homeowner. Tristan adds that he built the black lamp (placed in front of the photos) at Make It Up, a furniture store in Mandaluyong.

Work Area

Tristan says that he spotted the industrial-style pendant lamps from Azcor in Real Living. He used these lighting fixtures to complete his own personal work area. Another piece that hangs over his table is his prized possession: an original Michael Jordan "Wings" poster. 

Lounge Chair

The master bedroom is also furnished with a gray lounge chair. This seat is ideal for resting, relaxing or reading.

Master Bathroom

Since the black countertop did not match the color scheme of the home, Tristan also had it replaced with a light-hued one. The shade helps create a clean and fresh feel in the bathroom.


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