City Condos: A Modern-Minimalist 52sqm Compact Home for Sibling Students
August 30, 2023
It's a common misconception that living in a condo comes with limitations. Many people believe you can't have the space you want or do the things you love because of the limited floor area. However, in our City Condos series, we're here to prove there’s so much you can do in a condo unit. We'll showcase condos that offer creative solutions and inspiring interiors, proving that you can always achieve a home that supports your lifestyle and reflects your personality, regardless of size. So, get ready to be inspired and discover the endless possibilities of condo living.
Size: 52 square meters
Style: Modern Minimalist with an Achromatic Color Scheme
Location: Taft Avenue, Manila, overlooking Roxas Boulevard and Manila Bay
Today, it's increasingly common to hear about students choosing to live independently in spaces conveniently located near their schools. While parents might find it challenging to let go, this decision has proven to be beneficial, particularly for those coming from the province.
The owners of this condo unit are based in Zamboanga, and its primary residents are their children, who study at a university along Taft Avenue in Manila. Beyond serving as the kids' home during the school year, it also doubles as the family's secondary residence for their city visits.
Despite its compact size, the unit comfortably accommodates up to five people. Interior designer Mika Abad ensured that certain areas were designed with flexibility in mind, easily transforming into sleeping spaces as needed. Noteworthy features of this urban condo include the inviting living area, a dedicated study space, and a deliberately muted color palette.
According to the designer, the owners had a specific request for a modernized space without the inclusion of color. Mika explained, “The clients preferred using blacks, whites, grays, and touches of dark brown tones.” Following this directive, she conceptualized a modern-minimalist aesthetic with an achromatic color scheme, completely devoid of vibrant hues.
Despite the absence of bold colors, the space emanates a cozy and inviting ambiance, perfectly suited for its youthful inhabitants and their family.
The key to designing small spaces lies in efficient storage solutions. To make the most of the narrow foyer, the designer installed a floating shoe storage unit and a custom-made stainless-steel bookshelf. Additionally, an altar, a common feature in many Filipino homes, is also present.
Black steel dividers delineate the living area, which is furnished with an L-shaped sofa, a TV, an ottoman, and other elements.
When needed, the living area can be converted into an additional sleeping space by drawing the curtains and blinds that create a division from the common areas. This provides guests with nighttime privacy. As per the designer, the L-shaped sofa can comfortably accommodate two people.
The combination of the ottoman with the built-in ledge and mirror instantly forms a vanity area.
The one-wall kitchen boasts an all-white aesthetic accented by a black countertop. It's evident that there is no stove or induction cooker, possibly due to the occupants' minimal cooking needs in the area. Nonetheless, the designer ensured the availability of additional overhead cabinets for storage.
Instead of a conventional dining set, the designer opted for a dining bar, complete with a customized high table and bar stools. This setup allows the students to continue watching TV while enjoying their meals.
“This option also occupies less space, providing a good clearance when someone is using the kitchen on the opposite side. We could imagine the owners’ kids inviting their friends over for group study or just hanging out here,” the designer added.
An essential feature in a student's condo is the study area. In this case, the designer incorporated a symmetrical study space that accommodates two individuals simultaneously. Each side is equipped with its own table featuring drawers, a glass board for reminders, and a tall cabinet for storage. Sleek linear lighting has been installed beneath the overhead cabinets to provide task lighting.
Utility Storage Area
The hallway leading to the bedroom and bathroom serves as a storage hub, featuring a floor-to-ceiling customized cabinet with sliding doors to optimize space usage.
In this 3D render of the design, you can also observe its clever function of concealing the water dispenser from view.
One of the most crucial tasks when furnishing small spaces is measuring both the available space and the furniture pieces you have your eye on. In this bedroom, the designer managed to incorporate a double-sized bed for the son and a twin-size bed with a pull-out option for the daughter. The pull-out bed comes in handy whenever they have cousins staying over.
A big cabinet with mirrors completes the sleeping area.
The designer mentioned that the small bathroom underwent an extensive makeover due to its outdated and worn-out appearance. To rejuvenate the bathroom, the dividers were removed to enhance the spatial flow, and new tiles that complement the condo's aesthetic were installed.
Despite the size of the bathroom, the designer was also able to find space for the washing machine.
From the Designer:
“My first recommendation for making the most of our spaces is to utilize the vertical space. While it’s tempting and more affordable to purchase ready-made cabinets, investing in custom-made or modular cabinets gives you the most amount of additional storage space. You’d be surprised by how much space you have, plus, it avoids dust accumulation above. Another suggestion would be to use task lighting as we have to put lights where we need them, especially for important tasks like working or cooking. Lights shouldn’t just be limited to the ceiling. They can be freestanding, fixed on walls, or integrated under cabinets or behind mirrors.”
Photos by Hilary Buenaflor Photography
Enjoyed this article? Check out our previous City Condos articles here.
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