Scandinavian And Japanese Sensibilities Marry In This 30sqm Studio
When it comes to minimal spatial aesthetics, two interior design styles immediately come to mind: Japanese and Scandinavian. Although the two styles originated from different countries, incorporating the two in one space is a breeze, given their similar conservative design approach. And for someone who grew up in Japan and has admired Scandinavian design, it’s only fitting to live in a space where clean lines and simple silhouettes come together. That someone, an expat bachelor who purchased this 30sqm unit after several years of renting various condominiums, transferring from one unit to another, wanted that kind of minimalist space. To make his vision come to reality, he hired architect Ian Palad of Project 1212, Inc.
“The owner has always been an avid fan of Scandinavian interiors. This was perfect because we’ve been using the Scandinavian style as requested by most of our previous clients,” shares Ian. In fact, the owner used to stay in a condo that Ian’s team designed for another client. The owner liked the previous condo’s design, so he contacted Ian to do his newly purchased unit that’s conveniently located near his office. “With him being used to the Japanese aesthetic, he prefers the design to be clean and simple,” Ian furthers.
Done in a refreshing combination of white, gray, and light wood, the minimalist studio condo is made more contemporary with hues of blue. “We agreed to use blue as his accent color because it reminded him of the sea, which is his utmost love and passion,” explains Ian. The owner, according to the architect, works at a local bank in Metro Manila and uses his spare time traveling and exploring outside the metro. Given the owner’s lifestyle, he requested for lots of storage space, specifically for his shoes, luggage, and diving equipment. He also wanted a Murphy bed, the hero of space-saving furniture pieces, which Ian had custom-made and integrated into the storage unit.
Almost everything in the condo is customized, which is perfect given its modest area—the storage spaces, the Murphy bed by Buildrite, the workspace-dining area, and even the rug by Fili in the lounge area. The other items are sourced from Wallcrown, Uratex, All Home, Design Story, Landmark, SM, and Furniture Source. Meanwhile, the custom artwork that adorns the lounge is from Uchimura Gallery.
“We removed the existing closet and replaced it with a custom built-in media cabinet with fixed overhead storage,” Ian adds, pertaining to the entertainment cabinet opposite the Murphy bed. Cove lighting is also added to the ceiling of the main area.
“We did not put a lot of furniture since the space is very limited. Instead of a living area, we gave him a lounge chair with a small ottoman where he can rest his feet up while reading a book, watch TV, or appreciate the custom artwork reminiscent of the beach,” Ian states.
Adjacent to the custom storage integrated with the Murphy bed is the workspace-dining area. The nook has a built-in table where the owner works and eats. A custom corkboard with floating shelves provide extra storage space. The wallpaper behind the workspace-dining area stretches all the way behind the Murphy bed for visual continuity.
Next to the nook is a modest bathroom decorated with frames of leaf prints and a mirror with built-in lighting from Luxen.
As for the entryway-kitchen, Ian’s team created an additional storage space by the doorway that blends well with the existing kitchen cabinets. The top half is left open to showcase the owner’s kitchen tools and accessories, while the bottom half is for shoe storage.
“He eats out most of the time so he does not use his kitchen that much. He uses that space mostly for cooking instant noodles and boiling hot water,” Ian candidly shares. “He also does his laundry outside so he does not own any washer-dryer,” he adds.
With such a limited space, Ian shares that all caseworks were built-ins, and the finishes were made of high-pressure laminates which required ample work space. Hence, it took a while for the team to finish the minimalist studio condo—two months. Despite the delay, the owner was very pleased with the outcome. Ian also shares that the unit even looked better in real life than on paper.