Shades of Autumn and Oriental Accents in a Cozy Condo Unit

This Makati flat features fall’s vivid hues amidst an Asian setting

Original Article: Tisha Alvarez Photography: Jun Pinzon Styling: Issa Villar Interior Designer: Bing Reyes

Unlike most Pinoy immigrants, homeowner Minda isn’t too fond of the winter season in the U.S. And so, to escape from those “harsh winter months,” this Chicago-based retired business owner decided to create a cozy sanctuary at the heart of bustling Makati, with the help of interior designer Bing Reyes. Her choice of location was influenced by its breezy accessibility to urban conveniences—everything is within walking distance—and the presence of two adjacent parks, “which is not a very common sight in a big city,” says Minda.

Since autumn is Minda’s favorite season, Bing worked around that theme, using a palette consisting of fall colors—“like green leaves turning a little dark, burnt oranges,” says Bing. The burnt orange couch already came with the unit—a stroke of serendipity, since it works well with the motif. The parquet floors were also left alone, while Bing added artworks by Van Tuico and Gani Lacson to brighten up the unit. For fixtures and furniture, the resulting mix is mostly Asian contemporary done in wood. Splashes of apple green and hints of deep purple round out the condo’s overall design.

Original article by Tisha Alvarez. Styling by Issa Villar. Photographed by Jun Pinzon.

 Read the original article (“Shades of Fall”) in the June 2007 issue of Real Living Magazine. To download a digital copy of Real Living Magazine, visit Summit Newsstand at

Foyer The colors of fall welcome you as you step inside the foyer. Vases, picture frames, and other decorative items are tastefully highlighted by warm, soft lighting.
Foyer Detail Who says walls have to have one monochromatic shade? In the foyer, one half of the wall is a stark white; the rest is in a bold red-orange hue, balanced out by abstract art set against white. Asian-inspired accessories round out the area.
Living Area The pre-existing sofas in burnt orange are offset by the white walls, hints of green, and dark wood coffee table. Bing explains her preference for this particular design element: “I don't want it too modern na puro chrome and steel.” Indeed, wooden fixtures project a more laidback vibe.
Living Area Detail Urbanites put a premium on space, and no wonder—with the metropolis getting more and more crowded every day, space has become a luxury for most condo unit owners. Mirrors and glass are perfect for visually enlarging any space—which is what Bing exactly utilized for the living area, with a large framed mirror covering practically one entire wall and huge, tall glass window treatments taking up another.
Living Area Detail An Oriental-inspired lampshade is a perfect accent added to the living area side table. Since ample storage is a must in small spaces, the table has additional spaces for baskets that can hold other items such as magazines.
Dining Area The dining table was custom-made to fit within the space, with the top hand-painted by Gani Lacson. Apple green shades define the walls, and various knickknacks are artfully displayed on mounted shelves. A hinged wooden panel cleverly camouflages an enormous air-conditioning unit, one of the problem features of the condo. The result is a confluence of coziness and artistry.
Kitchen/Bar Create the illusion of space to a tight spot by having a mural of a scene or view painted as an accent wall. The mural was done by Gani Lacson.
Bedroom Its motif is a slight departure from the autumn palette, but still works as the colors don’t deviate too much; in fact, they complement the fall shades. Bold strokes of reds and purples add a sophisticated contrast to the large wooden headboard and white walls.
Bedroom Detail The lamps are encased in red shades. Sheer Roman shades in light purple let natural sunlight give the room a subtly sexy glow. Meanwhile, a dramatic light fixture that hangs from the center of the ceiling adds a touch of the exotic.
Bedroom Detail Another way to save on space is to use curtains instead of actual doors. In Minda’s bedroom, dark mauve drapes act as so-called gateways to the walk-in closet and laundry area (left) and the bathroom (right). Minus bulky doors, the effect is definitely airier and roomier.

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