Ultimate Makeover

A Modern-Minimalist Makeover for a Bare 26sqm Condo Unit

Imperial Architects + Design renovated the one-bedroom unit into a sophisticated and inviting vacation home for a family of four

Photography: courtesy of the designer (Before) and Hilary Buenaflor Photography (After) Architect: Imperial Architects + Design Interior Designer: Imperial Architects + Design

Designing small spaces is equally challenging and exciting, allowing design professionals to become creative and resourceful in making the most of the available space. In renovating this 26sqm, one-bedroom condo in Quezon City, the Imperial Architects + Design team had to take into consideration not just the size of the unit, but the specific requirements of the owners as well.

"The client was very particular about their requirements, which was very helpful in achieving a cohesive and most appropriate design for them," shares Arch. Zaldy Imperial, principal architect. Since the owners, a family of four, work and study in China, the design team wants to achieve a vacation home that’s cozy and enjoyable that will make their stay worthwhile.

In addition to making the unit look bigger and more functional, Arch. Zaldy shared that they also had to consider the allergy issues of the owners. He goes on to say that they had to choose materials that were low-maintenance, easy to clean, and mold and dust-resistant.

Despite the challenges brought about by the lockdowns, the Imperial Architects + Design team was able to deliver a modern-minimalist abode, a charming space the owners would love to come home to.

READ: All The Finishing Materials You Need For a Modern Minimalist Home

26sqm Condo Renovation from Bare to Modern-Minimalist Space:

Before – From the Entrance



Warm lighting adds to the cozy vibe of the renovated unit. The design team used white on the walls to create a clean, airy, and fresh feel. "Aside from the warm tones from the lights and wood patterns, there’s a layer of softness from the different textures and shapes, plus a balance of matte and glossy finishes," explains Arch. Zaldy.

Trivia: That’s the closet near the TV! Since there’s no provision for a closet, the design team removed the existing divider and replaced it with a functional one that serves as a partition and a closet in one. "We used wood-patterned laminate with color-coated glass sliding cabinet doors," the architect adds.

READ: An All-White Makeover by a Mom-and-Daughter Tandem

Before – Kitchen

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The designers had to re-layout and redesign the kitchen as when the unit was turned over, the kitchen was cramped and had a black countertop. There were no overhead cabinets or drawers either.


To give the owners a functional kitchen, the Imperial team revamped the space by adding overhead cabinets with task lights underneath, additional drawers for utensils, and bottom cabinets. Meanwhile, the built-in oven, range hood, and refrigerator follow a linear layout.

Before – Dining Area


Prior to the renovation, the unit didn’t have a designated dining area.


"We extended a peninsula counter that will serve as their dining table, which doubles as a prep counter, too," says Arch. Zaldy. The design team used a white Carrara quartz countertop and a full-height backsplash to achieve a bright and seamless look.

From this angle, the custom-made dining chairs with low backrests can also be seen. They chose these chairs to make it easier for the owners to tuck them under the table when not in use. Bronze-colored mirrors were also added beside the main door and dining area to make the space look wider than it really is.

On the left, below the TV, is an overhead display shelf and a narrow hanging lift-down TV console where remote controls and small knickknacks can be stored.

READ: With a Budget of Less Than P65K, This Family Was Able to Give Their Condo a Makeover

Before – Living Area



Instead of a sofa, a La-Z Boy Power Reclining Loveseat takes up space in the living area. It’s comfy, inviting, and ideal for relaxing. The material of the loveseat is easy to clean as well, taking into consideration the health concerns of the owners.



To keep the wall from being too plain, a lovely wall décor from Art Home Manila spruces up the area above the loveseat.

All of the built-in cabinets in the unit are made of MDF and marine plywood in a laminate finish. These materials are durable and add a warm touch to the space. Instead of adding a freestanding shelf, this built-in corner shelf saves space while allowing the owners to put books and other collectibles on display.

READ: This Php8K Bedroom Makeover Was Done Using Shopee Finds

Before – Bedroom



"Considering the size of the unit, we incorporated an overhang sliding glass door which they can just slide open and close for privacy. We opted for a colored glass that somehow diffuses light going through both areas without fully enclosing the room," the architect explains.



The bedroom can sleep four adults comfortably. Aside from the queen-sized bed, there’s also a day bed with a trundle that can be used for lounging and sleeping.

"The client specifically mentioned they don’t want double-decks in the bedroom, so we customized a queen-size bed frame with enough storage space underneath for their luggage," Arch. Zaldy adds.


READ: A Dramatic, Hotel-Like Makeover for a Tiny And Old Bathroom

Before – Bathroom


The bathroom is compact, but the design team was able to turn it into a luxe T&B with enough space for a laundry nook.



"We installed a retractable clothesline for hanging laundry if needed," says the architect. The T&B is bright and well-lit, and using mostly white elements helps make it look bigger.




"We maximized the lavatory counter with the bottom space for the washer, dryer, and hamper. Meanwhile, we made the most of the vertical space by adding overhead cabinets and a vanity mirror with a cabinet where toiletries, cleaning essentials, and laundry products can be kept," Arch. Zaldy explains.

Ready for your own makeover? Get in touch with Imperial Architects + Design on Facebook. You can also email them at info.imperialarchitect.design[at]gmail.com.

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