Two Best Friends DIY-ed This 60-sqm Brooklyn-Inspired Rental Condo
Fermil and Jeiel have no background in design, no degree in fine arts and no certificate in carpentry. They’re just two friends who are avid readers of CondoLiving and are extremely passionate about traveling and design. So, when Fermil bought a unit in Mandaluyong City, a perfect midway house from his home in the south, he and Jeiel knew exactly what to do with it: D.I.Y. it from scratch.
They had no interior designer or contractor, it was just them, the inspirations they saw online, tips from our past issues, and carpenters they knew from relatives that completed the space. “We are a good team, si Jeiel ‘yong magre-reasearch online and ako ‘yong maghahanap ng suppliers,” laughs Fermil. Aside from the added cost, they did not hire an interior designer because they wanted to openly communicate and translate the space they wanted into reality. They admit they did not get it perfect in one go, it was a trial and error process but they enjoyed it nonetheless.
The DIY condo’s look is laid-back bachelor’s pad because Fermil never thought of getting married; that is until he met Trish, who is now his fiancée. The DIY condo has a Brooklyn feel which takes Fermil back to his favorite travel destination: New York.
Brick wall, rough and rugged flooring, exposed pipes—the makings of an industrial design—welcome anyone who enters the unit. Fermil and Jeiel used brick wallpaper for faster application and cheaper costs. The rough finished flooring in the living space add to the rugged and casual look of this bachelor’s pad. They also put a sofa bed in the living room to accommodate more guests. The pipes, on the other hand, hide unnecessary wires in the living area.
To the left of the television is Fermil’s hidden bar stash. The column near the dining area was too short so they extended it to hide Fermil’s bar stash. “Maganda din ‘yong effect ng may hidden bar,” laughs Fermil who has seen a lot of people amused by the hidden compartment.
Fermil already anticipated that a lot of his friends and family would want to sleep in the unit which is why he got a triple-purpose piece in the guest lounge. From being a single bed with storage below, it transforms into a queen-sized bed when laid out. Jeiel also shares, “We took down the guest room wall to create an open layout and to allow natural light to shine through the unit. But we installed the sliding yellow panels for the guests to have their privacy.” The guest room also houses Fermil’s collection of car plates from all the countries he’s been to. Some are from souvenir shops while others are real plates he got from friends.
Next to the guest lounge is the masters or the “Eheads room,” as they call it. “The Eheads room is my favorite room,” admits Fermil who is an avid Eraserheads fan, and has an extensive collection of Eraserheads pieces from magazines to signed shirts. Fermil also has paintings by local artists hanging on his unit’s wall.
The two travellers have a strong advocacy for Philippine tourism. This DIY condo is placed up on Airbnb for short-term rental to encourage tourists to explore and wander in “our” backyard.
“Before, we used to go to Megamall to shop for clothes but now we just go in and out of furniture shops!” laughed the two friends. When asked if they plan to pursue designing units, Fermil shares, “We have four units in Tagaytay, each with different theme.” They plan to design them on their own. “We have something to do when we retire!” jokes Jeiel.
This story first appeared on CondoLiving 2015 Vol. 10.5. Edits have been made for CondoLiving.OneMega.com.