Ultimate Makeover

This 36sqm One-Bedroom Unit Takes Inspiration from Korean Apartments

Interior designer Claudine Medina transformed the bare unit into a welcoming home complete with multipurpose pieces, neutral colors, and natural finishes

Photography: courtesy of IDr. Claudine Medina Interior Designer: IDr. Claudine Medina

Home offices have become an essential space in many houses. In this condo unit alone, interior designer Claudine Medina had to carve out two workstations for the husband and wife. “They intended this unit to be their home office, Manila home, and temporary residence when they have their main house renovated so it needs to have office and residential features,” Claudine explains.

Since Claudine stepped in when the unit was still bare, it was easy to transform the space and turn it into the home the clients needed. The owners loved the look and features of Scandinavian + Korean apartments so Claudine focused on creating an open space completed with furniture they can easily move or fold away when not in use.


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To manage the renovation’s budget, the owners also settled on combining high and low finishes. “They prioritized the high-end pieces of things that matter to them such as appliances and the bathroom tiles,” adds the designer.

Check out the unit’s transformation below:

Before Renovation: Foyer


Claudine says that the project was one of the easiest she has worked on because she renovated a similar unit before. “I’m familiar with the unit configuration, existing features, and building limitations,” she shares.

After Renovation: Foyer

When it comes to working on small spaces, empty nooks and awkward areas can work wonders. Since the owners wanted to have a utility cabinet for their cleaning essentials, Claudine turned the empty space near the door into a secret storage unit.

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The designer added a ready-made shoe cabinet from Lazada then installed hooks above it where they can hang keys and other essentials to define the entryway.

READ: A 1970s House Transformed Into a Modern-Minimalist Mixed-Use Space

Before Renovation: Unit Overview

To meet the clients’ request to have an open space, the bedroom drywall was torn down.

After Renovation: Unit Overview


The unit opens up to the kitchen on the left and a faux entryway on the right. Since the designer is comfortable with the Scandinavian style, it was easier for her to find suppliers and finishes that would match her clients’ taste and style.

After Renovation: Unit Overview

The drywall was replaced with sliding glass doors. Glass doors further open up the space and make it look more spacious. It also allows natural light to stream into the space.

Before Renovation: Kitchen

Similar to what’s seen in most condo units upon turnover, the original kitchen was compact and had limited storage units.

READ: From Makalat to Maaliwalas: How This Pinay Gave Their Family Home's Kitchen and Dining Areas a Makeover

After Renovation: Kitchen


Claudine expertly combined whites, matte black fixtures, and wood to create a charming cooking area. A bar was added to create more counter and storage space while also giving the owners another work area in case they want to take a break from working in their respective workstations.

Before Renovation: Kitchen

“My clients want a bigger kitchen so we transferred the bathroom access to the bedroom so we could use the wall to build more cabinets and extend the kitchen,” says Claudine.

After Renovation: Kitchen

It’s amazing how you won’t see any traces of the old door in the newly renovated space! The patterned backsplash adds an extra oomph to the area. Since the clients also want to have a dishwasher and a standard-sized sink with built-in water filtration, they had to be exact with the kitchen cabinet measurements to fit everything.

After Renovation: Dining Area

According to Claudine, since they added a bar in the kitchen, they had to make the dining area smaller to avoid crowding the hallway. “To create an illusion of space, we put a huge mirror above the dining table,” she says.


The dining nook is furnished with matching black chairs and a gate leg table from IKEA which can be folded away when not in use. The best part about the table? It has storage drawers so it functions as a makeshift console as well.

READ: This Complete Condo Renovation Was Finished with a P250K Budget

Before Renovation: Living Area

Prior to renovation, the living area looked cramped, with just one window letting in natural light.

After Renovation: Living Area

“My clients still want a proper living area so it still needs to have a sofa and a TV. We used lightweight furniture so they can easily move them around when they need to,” Claudine says.


Aside from the storage space below the TV, what defines the space is a TV accent wall where the wires and cables are hidden.

Before Renovation: Living Area

There used to be an ordinary door separating the bedroom from the rest of the unit.

After Renovation: Living Area

See the difference glass sliding doors make? The unit feels airy and inviting, with the chosen color palette and furniture adding to the overall vibe.

Before Renovation: Bedroom

The bedroom is quite spacious, with one window letting in light from the outside.

READ: A Complete Makeover for an Old Apartment in Marikina City

After Renovation: Bedroom


Wondering where the bed is? The owners chose to have a Murphy bed (folded up in the photo) that they can tuck away when they need the space. “To maintain privacy in the bedroom, we added blackout rolling blinds,” adds the designer. Dominated by white cabinets and touches, the bedroom looks bigger than it really is.

Before Renovation: Bedroom

This is one of the biggest changes done in the unit as a door had to be made to lead to the bathroom.

After Renovation: Bedroom

“For the new bathroom access, we used a sliding door instead of a swing door to improve the flow and ergonomics in the area,” shares Claudine. The sliding door looks much better and blends in with the storage units.

Before Renovation: Bathroom

The bathroom is small so Claudine had to make the necessary adjustments to meet her clients’ requirements.

After Renovation: Bathroom


“We maximized every inch and corner to tick off every request while adhering to proper ergonomics and standard clearances,” the designer explains. To define the laundry area in the T&B, Claudine added an overhead cabinet where laundry essentials can be kept.

READ: These Photos Show the Transformation of a Bare Condo Unit Into a Scandi Dream

A shower curtain conceals the shower area which is defined by sleek tiles. The designer made sure to separate this part of the T&B with a slight change in elevation.

To make the most of the space, a full-length mirror was installed on the other side of the sliding door.


Interested to work with IDr. Claudine Medina? Get in touch with her through email at through email at claudine[at]interiorsbyclaudine.com.

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Have you recently spruced up your room or renovated your home? We'd definitely love to see the result! Send clear photos (with your full name, city address, and accompanying kuwento) to [email protected] with the subject "DIY Makeover" and we may just feature your DIY project!

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