Strategic Storage Spaces and Dark Wood Define a Makati Condo

A condo owner and interior decorator’s collaboration leads to a creative finish of Asian accents amid maximum utilization of space

Original Article: Coni Tejada Photography: Miguel Nacianceno Styling: Gwyn GS Guanzon Interior Designer: Gerard Mendoza

Most condo owners are faced with this common challenge: how to best utilize every square meter of space. In homeowner Paul’s case, however, his new Makati condo presented another challenge: putting his personal stamp in his new abode. After meeting two interior decorators, the accountant finally got referred to Gerard Mendoza.

Unlike most homeowners, Paul already knew what he wanted — his space to look masculine yet far from boring and simple, and to have plenty of storage room. Paul’s decisiveness was a boon to Gerard, who presented a 3D plan in their next meeting. “Natuwa ako kasi 'yung 3D pictures niya was exactly the same n'ung natapos siya," he says. Gerard addressed Paul's storage request by converting an entire bedroom wall into a huge closet and executing some clever storage ideas, such as the drawers under the bed for hiding socks.

The ensuing design is one that is distinctly Asian yet boasts of traces of modernity. The motif is mostly dark wood, but is brightened up by hues of deep blue, red, and green. The overall feel is equal parts practical and luxurious.

Original article by Coni Tejada. Styling by Gwyn GS Guanzon. Photographed by Miguel Nacianceno.

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

Entryway The foyer is sparsely decorated yet exudes an elegant aura, with a round, silver-framed mirror mounted on the wall behind an antique console table from Arts of Asia. Two table lamps from The Pietro Collection lend a soft glow, already hinting that what lies beyond is a haven for relaxation.
Living Area A paneled wall in a wenge is the perfect backdrop for urban pieces that mingle cohesively with one another. On it hang three abstract paintings by Ivan Acuña. The beige couch made by furniture maker MC Navalta, accented by turquoise and olive throw pillows, beckons one to sit down and take a breather. Beside the sofa is an ostrich egg floor lamp from Firma. A custom-made steel circular table adds curves to the angular room.
Living Area Detail A vintage-looking Oriental console secures the entertainment system. The use of the cabinet maximizes the space of the area.
Dining Area The dark wood dining table comfortably seats six. The head chairs are antique Chinese chairs from Arts of Asia.
Dining Area Detail Instead of an overhead light or a chandelier, two wall lamps from Keystone Lamps hang on both ends of sliding glass doors that demarcates the area from the kitchen and living room. A metal sculpture by Michael Cami accentuates the wall near the area.
Dining Area Detail One way to add personality to seemingly impersonal spaces (such as walls) is to hang eye-catching fixtures. In this case, Paul’s dining area is anchored by artwork: paintings in warm golds and reds.
Dining Area Detail Large artworks are also a great way to camouflage the necessary yet not-so nice-looking home fixtures, such as a fuse box. The artwork is complemented by the lantern-like lighting fixture which gives off a warm glow.
Kitchen Area Detail Don’t know what to do with your extra wine bottles? Paul has cleverly placed them on top of his kitchen cabinets so as not to waste space. He uncorks them whenever he entertains at home.
Bedroom Right in the middle of the room is a custom-built bed, with an olive green silk upholstered headboard; it's made plush by the sumptuous bed linen from Soumak. Instead of overhead lighting, table lamps radiate the warm coziness that Paul craves after a hectic day at work.
Bedroom Detail Separated by space-saving glass sliding doors from the dining area and with floor-to-ceiling windows, Paul’s bedroom offers a great view of the Manila Heritage Library Park and the Makati Stock Exchange Building. You can maximize the bedroom by turning it into a storage space, too. In this space, the bike is kept in place while adding a touch of character to the room.
A Touch of Character Quirky details are found in the home as well like these classic-looking table accents.
Bathroom The look is simple yet elegant: white walls blend with dark wood, and a mirrored tabletop gives the illusion of a bigger space—a winner for most cramped condos. The potted plant prevents the area from looking too sterile.
Balcony Paul’s condo, fortunately, comes with a balcony, in which he created his very own mini garden. The foliage provides a striking and pleasant contrast to the view of skyscrapers and buildings that can easily be seen from any corner of the flat.

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