This Mid-Century Modern Bachelor Pad Fuses Hints of NYC and Minimalism
Resettling in Manila to study a second course at UP after spending some years in New York City, Paul got this unfurnished two-bedroom unit at Bonifacio Global City that reminded him of his apartment life at the Big Apple. Paul’s extensive travel experience in Europe also raised his appreciation for Modern Minimalism that focuses on the purity of forms rather than excess. These were distilled into the concept of a space in Manila where he can be himself (as in the “mancave” dominated by the solo bachelor’s needs for privacy and “me-time”), while re-living his cosmopolitan experiences. Childhood friend and interior designer Gelo del Mundo gladly delivered to Paul a Mid-Century Modern minimalist mancave mood.
The lower level of the unit, with its full-height windows facing a pocket park also created more opportunities for Gelo to contrast the splendid outside view with a chromatically austere but modern manly treatment of color on the inside.
Paul’s needs for entertaining friends and studying, predicated on a cosmopolitan recall of Manhattan that emphasizes Euro-Modern (as in Milan-meets-Stockholm) chic, guided Gelo’s monochromatic palette focusing on blacks, grays, tans, and whites.
The dining-living section emphasizes the formality of black lines in the form of the full-height mirror frame, sofa and chair upholstery, commode tables, and woven spherical chandelier, perfect for evening parties lubricated by the owner’s liquor collection that is kept in shelves behind the dining mirror. The horizontal orientation of the mirrors and furnishings in the living area create the illusion of a wider space. The outside view of the park contrasts with the flat screen entertainment nook where watching videos or gaming can be the man of the house’s regular activity.
Keeping the original wood veneer floor color as a neutral stage, Gelo transits from the earthen tone of a rear wall to the grays on the ceiling and opposing walls, while keeping the ceilings white to create a harmonious balance of tones. This gray-with-black accents shifts to gray and white in the corridor leading to the bedrooms; and culminates in predominantly white-with-black accents in the main bedroom.
The second bedroom with multiple park views was transformed into the study, dominated by tans and light olive grays that create a transition from the predominantly dark tones of the sala to the light tones of the bedroom. A combination of industrial lighting and Jetson legs for the corner reading chair quickly reestablishes the mid-century modern look for a man’s study and optional day bed area. A corner working desk in the study is for more serious bookwork for Paul. Gelo’s olive gray walls provide a neutral tone for thinking and contemplation, while the corner view to the park provides a welcome relief from modern stress.
For Gelo, silhouettes were very important in establishing the look and feel of this mid-century modern mancave. Slender, angular Jetson legs for the coffee table, stand lamp, and chair; and cubist pillows and sofas alongside the decór on the walls (such as the panoramic mirrors, and sculptural pieces on the sala shelves) create a feeling of lightness and elegance that emphasizes the Modernist taste of the very civilized ‘man of the house.’
Rather than dwelling on the brutish, unkempt nature of masculine space so often seen in American sitcoms, Gelo restyles the mancave into a mod pad where everything is in its proper place, while still giving the owner his own identity as a Minimalist Man about the city.
This story first appeared on CondoLiving Vol.9.6 2014. Edits have been made for CondoLiving.OneMega.Com.