Interior Designer Renovates Her Neighbor’s 153-Sqm Family Condo Into A Classy And Luxe Unit

Not all design partnerships sail smoothly. In condo dweller Christine’s case, it took her three designers and contractors before she finally got the dream look she wanted for their family’s condo unit.

Businesswoman Christine owns PR group Comco SouthEast Asia and business consultancy firm Pinnacle Sources Global Consultancy. She initially worked with two designers and other contractors to renovate their family’s 153sqm unit. However, she shares her disappointment at how they were not able to fulfill her design requests. An ample amount of Christine’s time and money were put to waste, citing how the designer and contractor would neglect what she asked for. “I have voice recordings, calls, and texts that state I don’t want those things and yet they still installed them!” she shares.

family condo unit

Christine knew then that she needed another professional to design the family condo. One Sunday, she went to her local grocery and picked up a copy of CondoLiving Magazine. Upon browsing through the pages, one of interior designer Uzel Alconera’s piqued her interest. She immediately reached out to Uzel and found out they’re living in a small world—they happened to be neighbors.

“I told Uzel to meet me in the coffee shop downstairs,” shares Christine. After their first meeting, both the owner and designer realized they share the same design preferences and personalities as well. “We just jived so well,” the owner adds.

family condo unit

Uzel personally invited Christine to her unit for the client to see her other works and projects. The interior designer shares that while a portfolio of your work is nice to present to clients, inviting them to spaces that you actually worked on is better. This gives the client an opportunity to feel and see the potential work output firsthand.

Unlike most of the designer’s previous projects where she would work on a blank canvas, Uzel had to pick up from what the previous team left off. The family condo was dark and cold which was a disconnect to Christine’s warm and welcoming personality. “I was limited by what was already there while still considering how to merge what the client wanted to add,” the designer shares. Uzel transformed this two-bedroom unit into a classy and contemporary home together with Architect Jec Pelayo of JT Pelayo Design and Construction.

family condo unit

“You’re not the one who’ll be living in that space, at the end of the day it’s your client who will wake up with the design everyday,” explains interior designer Uzel Alconera.

A loving wife and mom to baby Kyle, Christine says that the living room has the perfect lighting for taking photossomething important for her as a mom who documents their family time together. Uzel took into consideration the owner’s previously bought furniture from Natuzzi and BoConcept upon working on the living space.

family condo unit

Uzel also worked on baby Kyle’s bedroom—her first child’s bedroom design project. “It’s different when you have a kid as a ‘client’. You have to consider safety, easiness-to-clean, and the sizes of the storage for the toys,” explains Uzel. Interestingly, Kyle occupies the unit’s master bedroom because of his large collection of toys.

family condo unit

A non-negotiable for Christine was a playpen for her son, which Uzel fulfilled by sectioning a portion of the bedroom with a picket fence and lining the floor with faux grass. “I wish I had Kyle’s room sometimes. Whenever I’m there, I feel like a kid. Everything is colorful and I love spending time with him there,” shares the mom.

family condo unit

Two weeks before the expected turnover, Christine called in a Feng Shui expert to check the space. The expert recommended to remove the slated ceiling in the kid’s bedroom. Discontinued ceilings are considered to “chop” the energy inside in Feng Shui. Uzel replaced it with a blue sky ceiling instead.

“Uzel always asks me what I want and that made me comfortable compared to the previous people who were doing the renovation. She was easy to talk to and super easy to work with,” Christine explains.

family condo unit

Christine was a hands-on client, with her husband letting her take full control of condo’s design. “I got to see the advantage of having an interior designer because they’re the middleman between you and the contractor,” shares the owner. While it took Christine three tries to find the perfect interior designer to achieve her dream look for their family condo unit, it was worth it in the end.

This story first appeared on CondoLiving’s November 2017 issue. Edits made for

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