A Self-Proclaimed Lazy Person Turns His Condo Into An Urban Jungle
The bachelor who owns this almost-40sqm corner unit in upscale BGC prefers to have a clean, bright, and easy-to-maintain space that combines the aesthetics of Minimalist, Scandinavian, and Industrial designs. He also wants to keep every single thing in his unit within reach—not because his space is limited, but because, he admits, he’s a lazy person. However, there’s one thing that can make him forget about being a couch potato: his precious plants.
“Tending to my plants is a form of relaxation for me, so I don’t mind bringing them to the bathroom to water them and putting them back in their shelves. Yet, for other things, I’m really lazy,” the owner reveals, laughing. “During the design phase, I told the designers to make everything within my reach, like the light switches or the electrical plugs, so I won’t have to exert much effort. I also told them that I want my unit to look neat and simple, with little accessories except for my growing plant collection,” he adds.
Naturally, his plants greet guests upon entry to the unit. The pots of greenery pop against the condo’s neutral color palette inspired by Scandinavian taste. The L-shaped kitchen with beveled subway tile backsplash influenced by the Industrial style, is decked with small and medium-sized greens—one is even hanging by a magnet on the fridge.
More plants are housed in the built-in shelves of the bar island, which is a space-saving alternative dining space and food preparation area. The interior designer, Angelica Pacete of Primea Design Group Co., shares that the kitchen and dining looked nothing like the original layout. The original layout suggested a linear kitchen with the refrigerator provisions near the toilet and bathroom door.
“The kitchen’s circulation didn’t seem feasible for us, so we extended the counter space to the area where the kitchen range is now, and placed the fridge near the entrance door instead. We then placed a wooden panel on the side of the fridge to somewhat separate it from the entrance door,” the designer shares.
Angelica also points out that the wood panel complements the wood finish of the kitchen cabinets and the entertainment unit, which is more natural than the flooring that is lighter and more Scandinavian. The natural wood finish also creates a comely contrast to the black metal finish throughout the unit, and the predominantly white walls that the owner requested.
In the living area, where natural light is abundant, more plants take over the space. The owner says that he envisioned to have a nook in the living area where his plants can take refuge. He shares that he didn’t really have a generous space and sunlight before in his previous condo.
“I used to live in an inner unit, where the windows open to a view of another unit. There’s not much light coming in, so it’s not really suitable to raise plants there,” the owner recounts. “It was also smaller, so my plants had to squat at my friend’s place for a while. But when I’ve accumulated too many, I had to evacuate them to my parents’ home in Taytay,” he adds.
In his new condo, storage for his plants and other belongings is no longer a problem. The designer says that it’s one of the owner’s requirements, and he’s very particular about it. “I laid out the plan because I want to know where I can put storage. But I don’t know the standard size. I know I can make it with the help of a contractor, but I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing with my unit. That’s why I need a professional to handle it instead,” the owner shares.
All the storage units in the condo are custom-made, especially the entertainment unit. “The owner is meticulous about exposed wires or cables, so we opted for a cladding for the entertainment area,” Angelica says. The owner says that the strong need for concealed wires is his lazy and nitpicky self talking.
Even the barn door to his bedroom is because of his being lazy. Before it was a barn door, the designers suggested a sliding glass door to preserve the natural light coming in from all three windows of the corner unit, but the owner, being the lazy man that he is, didn’t want that. “Having a glass door would mean I also need to pull my curtains for privacy, doble-doble. ‘Di ba sabi ko tamad ako, so I asked the designers for a barn door, instead,” the owner shares. He adds that the barn door also adds to the masculinity of the Industrial style that he wants for his unit.
To install the barn door, the design team needed to install structural support for the railing, which then became an extra storage space for his plants in the bedroom. “It wasn’t really intended for the plants, but I needed more space for my new plants,” he says, laughing.
More cabinetry in a lighter wood shade are installed on one side of the bedroom, on top of which is a cantilevered countertop that lines the whole length of the wall. At a corner is a small space for extra workspace.
On the other side of the bed is a wall of wardrobe with mirror sliding doors that reflect the light from the windows. “With all these windows in my unit, it gets really bright when it’s early morning, that’s why I got these blackout curtains installed,” points out the owner. “Also because I’m not a morning person,” he adds laughing.
The toilet-and-bathroom sports the same neutral palette as the rest of the condo, with the cabinets in the same wood finish as the cabinets in the bedroom. Angelica shares that the first thing they dismantled in the unit were the vinyl and tiles in the toilet and bath. They then replaced the sink and shower fixture to achieve an updated look.
Meanwhile, a small area is allocated for doing laundry, complete with a floating shelf for laundry and toilet supplies and a small hanging bar for clothes. Plants, of course, are placed near the window to create a refreshing feel in the compact space.
The owner reveals that his urban jungle condo is still incomplete, and that he is yet to purchase more plants. On top of his list are fiddle leaf fig tree, and Monstera deliciosa. For now, however, he’s enjoying his own small urban jungle. His goal for his first year in his condo is to keep all his plants alive in spite of his laziness.
Designed by Primea Design Group Co. | Designer: Angelica Pacete | Architect: Jean Dennis Javier | Styled by Mark Jeff Pecayo/Q Living Manila | Constructed by: Fascon Corp.