A Tropical-Inspired Makeover for a One-Bedroom Condo

The right colors and furniture picks can transform a dull and uninspiring space into a relaxing haven

Photography: Arvin Ramos Interior Designer: Angelo Aguilar

A home’s color palette can make or break the look you’re going for. You can have a spacious condo unit, but it can still look cramped if you don’t plan the colors, layout, and furniture well. This 40sqm, one-bedroom condo is just right for the owner, but something seems to be missing. “The client sees his unit as just a place for sleeping. I told him that maybe the color palette is too simple,” shares interior designer Angelo Aguilar.

Since the owner has set a budget for the project and he wants to retain some of the existing furniture, Angelo focused on styling the space, refurbishing the pieces, and bringing in additional items that can make the unit more functional. By prioritizing storage, lighting, and the colors used, he was able to transform the once cluttered and lackluster condo into a welcoming home where the owner can sleep and invite friends over.


See the transformation below:

Before – Kitchen and Entryway

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Prior to the makeover, the condo looks like a standard unit with the usual provisions. It lacked that lived-in feel which Angelo addressed by having the walls repainted and using accent colors.

After – Entryway


To make this area functional, the interior designer had a series of IKEA’s THRONES shoe cabinet installed. He paired it with louver wood strips and framed prints as wall accents. “To brighten up the space, I chose blue-green wall paint as the color of the accent wall. I also had additional downlight installed to brighten up the area at night,” Angelo explains.

After – Kitchen and Dining Areas


Minor upgrades were done in the kitchen since the cabinets are still in good condition. To make cooking easier, lighting was given utmost importance. Aside from improving the surface-mounted light, additional lighting was installed under the cabinets as well. 

To give the cabinets a new look, modern handles were installed. “We also installed a glass mosaic backsplash to match the revamped look of the cooking area,” says Angelo. “We just reused the existing barstools then installed pendent lights above the bar counter to define the dining nook,” he adds.


Before – Living Area

During the unit inspection, Angelo noticed that the space lacked lighting and dark colors were used. To highlight the big window and let in natural light, Angelo replaced the blackout curtains with combi-blinds which allows the owner to control the amount of light streaming into the living area.


After – Living Area

Additional lighting was installed to make sure the living area remains well-lit at night. What better way to make this part of the unit cozier and more functional than with a sofa bed that can accommodate two to three people?


“I chose IKEA’s FRIHETEN sofa bed as it’s easy to set up when binge-watching movies or if ever the owner’s guests will have a sleepover. To complete the look, I brought in a potted Fiddle-leaf fig to liven up the corner,” the designer shares.


The owner also wanted enough storage to keep the unit organized. A customized modular cabinet defines the entertainment nook in the living area. Paired with a wall-mounted TV, it can be used to hold routers, DVDs, and other entertainment essentials.

Before – Bedroom

“For the bedroom, the owner wants to retain the existing bed so I just styled the beddings,” Angelo says. The right sheets and soft furnishings can make the bed more inviting and ideal for restful slumbers.


After – Bedroom

The bedroom instantly became the owner’s favorite. It’s perfect for relaxing and working. He requested for a long desk by the window so he can have a work area. 


To make it more functional, Angelo added drawers and floating shelves to keep clutter at bay. The mirror panel beside the work desk helps make the room look bigger than it really is. “I also chose Turquoise Green for the wall to achieve that energetic yet soothing ambiance,” explains the designer.


The full-height storage cabinet was also installed by the design team to give the owner enough storage for his belongings. Angelo opted for sliding cabinet doors to minimize the use of space.

Ready for your own makeover? Get in touch with interior designer Angelo Aguilar through email at [email protected] You can also follow him on Facebook:

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