A Young Family Of 4 Finds Home In A Rustic Contemporary Tandem Condo
Quite a number of families in the metro have either moved to the suburbs where it’s less crowded and relatively more peaceful or to condominiums where it’s easier to maintain a home. In Lester Lim’s case, it’s the latter. He and his mother moved to a smaller condo unit in Quezon City as their old house became hard to maintain, not to mention the flooding during monsoon season and the hustle and bustle of commercialization in the area.
When Lester got married in 2012, his wife Melody moved in with him and his mother in their small condo. Melody liked the convenience of living in a condo, where safety and maintenance are not issues. However, as they are a growing family, they moved to a larger space in a new neighborhood. The young family purchased two 2-bedroom units in Acacia Estates, and had it combined and dressed up by interior designer Catherine Cena into a homey rustic contemporary space. The couple worked with Cathy after seeing how she designed Lester’s cousin’s condo and her portfolio.
The lady of the house shares that keeping a corporate job while also raising a toddler got their hands full and their days hectic, so they wanted to have a space that’s homey. She says, “[Lester and I] both work in a corporate setting, and have very hectic work schedules. Weekends are packed with household errands, too. So, we want our home to have a classic, clean look that will last years.”
To achieve the look the young family wants, Cathy turned the two units into one 98-sqm tandem condo with 4 bedrooms (including the maid’s room), 2 bathrooms, and 2 balconies. Cathy mixed country elements and elegant contemporary pieces, and incorporated a lot of natural stone elements that add to the rustic vibe of the space. She explains, “The clients really didn’t want anything too cold, modern, or industrial. They really wanted it to be homey, cozy, and a little bit rustic.”
Cathy shares that they changed almost everything in the space. She had one of the entrance doors closed off to extend the kitchen space and storage and create a small breakfast bar. The kitchen was made by System One Concept. “This kitchen is actually pretty big for condo standards so the clients were very happy with it,” Cathy shares. Melody, who loves to cook like Lester’s mother, calls the kitchen her “Pinterest kitchen.”
The designer also added an open shelving at the six-seater dining area, and more storage throughout the tandem unit. “We put in furniture with lots of storage, but also gave a lot of character to the unit. For example, the beds have drawers built into them, the foot bench in the master bedroom is also a storage piece, and we put in consoles around the unit to serve as additional table or counter space and storage,” shares Cathy.
The designer also had the unit’s ceiling dropped. “We dropped the entire ceiling to make room for recessed pin lights. I added some elements like mouldings in the ceiling of the living and dining to add character to the space,” Cathy explains. She also had the flooring changed, particularly in the living area and the bathroom, into new vinyl flooring on top of the existing tiles to make the space feel more homey and cozy.
Cathy kept the color scheme of the tandem condo neutral with white and gray walls throughout the unit. Turquoise glass subway tiles in the kitchen, and the unit’s accessories add pops of color to the space. “We told Cathy that we don’t like loud colors, that we want whites and neutrals. We want it to be maaliwalas and peaceful. We want to have a clean look that we can easily accentuate with decors that can add colors,” shares the lady of the house.
The walls in the toddler’s room have light blue waves painted on them, while the bed comes in a deeper blue, complementing the study table and chair. The bed also has a provision for a pull-out in case the family grows in the future. “With the exception of the desk chair in the kid’s room, all the furniture pieces are custom-made, but we bought most of the accessories from different department stores and suppliers around the metro,” shares Cathy.
Lester’s mother’s room is also very personalized with the use of magnets and figurines from her travels abroad. The room also has quite a large closet which Cathy updated with mirrors to make the room feel and look more spacious. It also has the same color scheme as the master bedroom.
As for the master bedroom, it originally had a walk-in closet, but it was torn down to extend the living area (it’s where the console and the four round mirrors are now). Cathy raised the back wall with a wainscoting detail and painted it in a medium gray color to contrast the white walls. In front of the queen-size bed with a tufted headboard is a rustic brick wall providing a background for the TV set and a white chest of drawers. A four-door wardrobe sits at the side, very much the domain of the lady of the house.
“The clients were an absolute joy to work with, they knew what they wanted and expressed it so clearly that we really didn’t have any misunderstandings or miscommunications. They were also very patient during the entire process, especially during construction, where so many things were going on with the contractor,” Cathy concludes.