Alero Design Studio Creates A Uniquely Filipino 150-sqm Family Condo
Some families are blessed to have a family compound where everyone can be together yet have their own privacy in their own homes. However, growing with the times, some families are now having family condos. For this family clan in the construction business, they made the most out of their family lot and had a building constructed to house their offices and condo units. The building was designed by Architect Jaemi Cruz of Alero Design Studio.
At the top most floors are the family’s condo units, each family member has one, each will also be designed by the design studio. While some might think that this is a dream project, it’s not. “It’s hard because they want all their spaces to look different! If someone has this chair or finish, you can’t use it again in any other unit,” shares interior decorator Jesy Cruz of Alero Design Studio. “Because each client is so different and you want each of them to look great, it feels like you’re in a competition with yourself,” he adds on the experience of designing the units. The design duo have their hands full with five more units waiting to be dressed.
Luckily, one has already been finished, artworks in place and bedsheets fitted. This 150-square meter unit is the halfway home for Lida and her two boys. Lida’s brief to the design duo was simple, she wanted something more flexible in terms of design. Her old home was done in a Mediterranean style, and while it was lovely for sometime, the style grew dated and limiting. “She eventually had a hard time buying pieces for the house because it didn’t match the Mediterranean look and she didn’t want to experience that problem here,” shares the decorator.
This new space was meant to be timeless yet flexible enough to accommodate anything new the family wants in their home.
Being an architect herself, Lida was keen on how she wanted her space to be like. She showed the design team on spaces and liked and spaces she didn’t, she even based some of the pegs on the previous projects of the design studio.
“It was the usual hotel-like brief, but we wanted to give it more personality,” shares Jesy.
Lina showed the design team her collection of artworks and furniture pieces that could be re-used in the space. From there, the team has three months to put everything together. There were no major problems with constructing the space because the family owned the whole building, and the design studio knew the building inside-out because Jaemi designed it. The main challenge was more focused on mixing and matching items from the family’s past into this current space and anticipating the future purchases.
The unit has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, two balconies, a maid’s quarters and a large entertaining space. The kitchen, dining, and living room are housed in an open floor plan upon entry, each area harmoniously existing and complimenting each other. While there are no walls, the areas are defined by either a rug, a lamp, or the kitchen island.
“We had some pieces and artwork from their old house added here. They have a massive collection of books and art,” points out the decorator.
The space features a mix of furniture from big international brands and furni-sculpture pieces from local artists, giving the whole area a distinct character. The bedrooms are also given their own personality although, one is more bold than the others.
“Everyone thought this was a separate condo,” points out Jaemi on the industrial loft. Indeed, compared to the eclectic entertaining room, a step inside the room of Lida’s son is like stepping into a completely different condo. The high-ceiling space is an industrial mancave for Lida’s son who is currently taking up architecture. “He wanted a loft and a library,” points out Jesy.
“Surprisingly, he’s super budget-conscious. He wanted to retain a lot of pieces and avoid buying new ones,” points out Jesy who shares that the budget was pretty flexible for this unit.
Making the most out of the high ceiling, the design team added a loft library for the client. They point out that their client for this room had a lot of toy collectibles and books, so the additional storage for the loft was a must. The loft is the son’s personal sanctuary where he can fix his plates and relax after a day of exams. The loft shares a bathroom and balcony with the other bedroom.
At the other end of the unit is Lida’s bedroom that comes with a walk-in closet and bathroom. The personality of this space is very classic and luxurious, very much that of the owner’s. “She loves gold,” adds Jesy, explaining the shiny and metallic touches in the unit. The metals are blanked by the wooden finishes Alero is keen on using in most of their projects. The area is anchored by a bold art piece by Christian Tamondong featuring Audrey Hepburn in her iconic Holly Golightly character.
Three months of evolving the space from a blank canvas, it is a masterpiece in its own right. The mix of colors, textures, and shapes create a visual feast in the unit that is unique, modern, and homey. The space also has a very modern Filipino vibe that is far from being too traditional. This is a common thread that ties Alero Design Studio’s work from the rest, it’s Filipino without diving into the cliché.
This story first appeared on CondoLiving Magazine’s June 2018 issue. Edits were made for CondoLiving.OneMega.com