This Korean-cut Condo Unit’s Master Bedroom Disappears When Rented Out

Catherine Ting or Catie to her family and friends, is an IT specialist based in Singapore. She loves to travel and spend time with her family in the Philippines, so despite being based abroad, she often visits the country. “Catie initially bought the unit as an investment. She plans to have her unit rented out via Airbnb and stay there whenever she’s in the country,” interior stylist Michelle Riñosa-Sy shares why her client decided to purchase a unit in Mandaluyong. Upon purchase of the 56.50sqm Korean-cut condo, Catie had it dressed up to appeal more on the online accommodation marketplace’s wide range of clientele. However, Catie’s first interior designer didn’t meet her expectations, and that is when Michelle took over.

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With Catie being in Singapore and Michelle in Metro Manila, the client and the stylist corresponded via Viber and email most of the time during the design and construction processes, after meeting personally once. For about three and a half months, Michelle was able to translate Catie’s vision of a clean and simple interiors for her unit, inspired by the Scandinavian sensibilities. Michelle then added touches of the Industrial design style to add more character.

One of the must-have features in the condo that Catie asked of Michelle is a dining table that is big enough to accommodate up to eight persons. While some furniture pieces in the unit are bought off the floor from both local and overseas furniture stores, most are custom-made. To accommodate Catie’s request for the dining area, Michelle had a storage dining bench placed along the low wall division in the midst of the kitchen and the dining area.

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Wood panels are then installed on the wall next to the dining space to create a distinction among spaces, evoking a warm feeling. Black geometric pendant lamps hang above the ceiling, creating a contrast to the white-washed area.

Behind the custom dining bench is the kitchen that has ample space for a mobile island. “There wasn’t any major alteration in the unit except for the extended kitchen countertop to accommodate the built-in cooktop. We changed the countertop as well to match the overall look,” tells Michelle.

The kitchen is predominantly neutral with white, gray, black, and a few blues, rose golds and stainless steel here and there, reminiscent of the Industrial design style. “Catie showed me a photo of a bathroom that she liked. The walls are in concrete finish, so I based the overall color scheme of the unit on that. As usual, I like keeping a very simple and neutral color palette and just adding pops of colors through accessories like the curtains, throw pillows, and cushion covers,” Michelle shares how they decided on the condo’s color scheme.

“It also matched the black metal world map wall art in the living area,” she adds.

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In the living area, one wall is adorned by the world map wall art from Amazon that incorporates photographs of Catie’s family during their trips abroad. The black and metal details are complemented by the gray sofa bed with black metal feet. Michelle then threw in more colors and prints and patterns through the faux plants, the custom pallet coffee table, throw pillows, and the striped area rug.

“The pallet coffee table and kitchen island are also custom-made and they add a unique contrast against the streamlined overall look of the unit,” the stylist shares.

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The bathroom is more on the Industrial side, with concrete and black metal features. On one wall is the vanity with custom cabinets. According to Michelle, only the kitchen and the bathroom received a major facelift. In the bathroom, the floor and wall tiles were changed as well as the vanity countertop.

On the other hand, the master bedroom is more on the Scandinavian style. Michelle opted to go with a white base in the bedroom and injected color through the wallpaper. Michelle shares, “Colors were added on the wall so the beddings can be kept plain. Whenever Catie comes home, I want her bedroom to look peaceful yet cheerful; thus, the yellow geometric patterned wallpaper. The wallpaper is vibrant enough to keep the bedroom from looking boring because of the lack of framed art and other décor, but not too bold as Catie doesn’t want a bold wallpaper.”

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Storage is another important feature in the unit so the interior stylist used a lot of smart ways to incorporate more storage, including the custom closet that integrates Catie’s bedside table, and the movable long table on the other end of the bed.

Michelle shares that with a limited space, furniture pieces should have more than one function, as much as possible. The movable long table in the bedroom can be used in multiple ways: as a TV table, work table when moved over to the bed, and even as a breakfast-in-bed table. It can also be moved outside in the balcony as extra bar table when Catie has guests over. She adds that two medium sized luggage can also fit under the kitchen island or in the pull up storage incorporated in the platform bed in the guest bedroom.

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Michelle furthers, “Catie only wants the guest bedroom to be used by renters so she needed something that would conceal the master bedroom door. It basically has to look like a one-bedroom unit to keep the master bedroom exclusively hers.”

The stylist had to find a way to conceal the door to the master bedroom, a non-negotiable by Catie, and the solution came as a movable cabinet. “I had to find a way to a ‘cover’ that would look like it is part of the media cabinet system when the unit is used by guests. When the client is using the unit, the cover has to be moved somewhere else, but it still has to look like it was really meant to be there. So, the size of the ‘cabinet cover’ has to be precise. I took inspiration from smartly designed micro units abroad that I’ve seen on Youtube where the furniture are like puzzle pieces,” she expounds.

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When we visited the unit, Catie has just moved in for a few weeks, and she’s working remotely to help take care of her mother. The cabinet covers are then moved to different places—one by the entrance to the bathroom and the other in between the living and dining areas—but still looked like they were indeed meant to be in those areas.

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