A Retired Couple Moves From A 400-sqm House Into A 196-sqm Condo
Ed and Cecile’s family used to live in a 400-sqm house in Valle Verde, but since their children are already grown ups—their daughter is already married, while their son is based in Bacolod and only comes home twice a month—they felt that the house was too big for just the two of them, especially now that they have retired from their corporate jobs after more than 30 years of service.
Ideally, retiring from decades of corporate work would mean a large house in the middle of an expansive lot and enjoying the life in the suburbs or at least a secure and spacious village. However, it’s not the case to this retired pair of Baby Boomers who chose to sell their house and lot and 50% of their accumulated belongings to live the condo life that most Millennials lead. Now they call home a 190-sqm renovated contemporary condo designed by Doods Dungca of D3iD Design and Build.
The couple didn’t really go far from their neighborhood; they still live around the same area, only in a condominium building with a smaller floor area than their old house. Smaller than a house it may be, but their condo is way more spacious than the newer condo units in the market. “We really looked for an old condo with a larger cut because we know that the newer condos are really tiny. We didn’t want to settle for a new one with a smaller area, so we chose to purchase this condo that I really liked the layout,” explains Cecile.
They didn’t stray far from their old house’s aesthetics as well. Doods, who also did the couple’s family home, shares that the couple wanted something maaliwalas, elegant-looking, easy to maintain, and most importantly with a lot of storage. “Coming from a big house, I already know what was lacking. So when we got this unit, I told Doods our non-negotiables: I need a lot of storage, especially coming from a big house with a lot of stuff in it,” Cecile shares.
Those 50% that were left of their things were incorporated into the new condo. Doods says, “We really considered the old furniture pieces. Hindi naman lahat kailangan gamitin, but as much as possible we want to save some. So some of them were reupholstered so they’ll match the finish and new concept of the condo.”
In the living area, Doods reupholstered the couple’s old rounded sofa into a modern one and added an old wooden chair that, according to the lady of the house, was from Thailand. In the middle is a custom-made coffee table. Meanwhile in the dining area, Doods kept the dining table’s base and replaced the table top with a new one, while the dining chairs and buffet table were custom-made.
Next to the living and dining area is the family’s den or entertainment area. According to Doods, the family also had a den back in their old house, so he turned one of the two guest rooms of the old unit into a den by tearing down one of the walls (facing the living room). In its stead, Doods put a sliding glass door to somehow extend the living area and also provide privacy when the family needs to. Storage is also incorporated into the den, with open shelves and full-length cabinetry under the TV.
Behind the TV was an offset wall to create a storage system that Cecile requested, while the wall that separates the den and the other guest room has full mirrors to create an illusion of a spacious room. The den’s feel is made warmer by the warm lighting and wood details of the floor.
The other guest room is now the son’s room for when he visits from Bacolod. Like the den, it’s full of storage and open shelves for his collection of clothes, toys, and music. Doods also added mirror and wood details on the headboard that breaks the solidity of the otherwise boring gray wall. The wooden floor is also continued from the den to evoke warmth and coziness.
Next to the son’s room, at the end of the corridor, is the master bedroom with a more spacious study area and a walk-in closet incorporated with the bathroom. When the CondoLiving team visited the retired couple’s renovated contemporary condo, they were only a few weeks into the move in so they still haven’t fully decorated their new home, especially their bedrooms. However, they already have paintings and other art collections that were displayed, like this one on their headboard, which coincidentally matches their current set of beddings.
“Their art collection is also one of my considerations in designing this unit. Since they’re already colorful, I wanted to keep the background neutral,” explains Doods. “But it’s also the clients’ request to keep the unit’s color scheme neutral, with a few accent colors. Besides, I personally want to keep things on the neutral side, like earth tones, so it’s easy on the eyes,” he adds.
“You should see how it used to look like! It’s really a drastic change. That’s why when the clients asked me to do this condo, I said, ‘Wow, these are the kind of projects that I really like.’ Kasi makikita mo talaga ‘yong pagkakaiba. Nakaka-excite i-design,” furthers Doods. But he also admits that renovating a really old condo is challenging because of the amount of work it entails. For this unit, his team took around six months to finish.
Nonetheless, his clients were really happy. When asked how they were doing since moving in from an expansive house into a small condo, Cecile says, “Actually, we’re enjoying it. Kasi nga parang bahay pa rin siya, maaliwalas. Hindi kami masyadong nahirapan mag-adjust.”