A Pretty Condo with a Soothing Green and White Palette
“I love coming here,” gushes the daughter of the house. “It’s like being in The Hamptons, like we’re on vacation” she adds, her eyes dancing as she takes in the surroundings. Designed with the objective of bringing the outdoors in, this Serendra unit exhibits a soothing green motif, its charm similar to a tiny patch of a beautifully landscaped garden. A section of the living area has walls splashed with solid pistachio while the rest of the surfaces are painted with green trellis overlay on white. Handpainted botanical artworks in silver bamboo frames complete the stress-reducing ambience.
Lining the shelves are ceramic knickknacks of white and green that reveal a penchant for New York and France. Adding cheer to the welcoming vibe are feminine accents of raspberry on the soft blinds, throw pillows and chair backrest.
But the place wasn’t always this pretty. “It was so dark, it looked so gloomy, and i
t was so depressing in here,” another daughter recalls. The transformation was achieved in collaboration with Cynthia and Ivy Almario, who were commissioned on short notice, merely three months prior to the homeowner’s scheduled arrival for her yearly Christmas visit. Her daughters wanted to surprise her and found an accomplice in Atelier Almario. “I trust the work of Cynthia and Ivy. I’ve seen them in magazines, and I like what they do,” says one daughter. The aligned taste of client and designers made the project more manageable despite the tight schedule. “We liked the first plan right away, we were already wowed,” the clients say. “They never brought anything that we didn’t like.” And that includes the chandeliers with wooden arms hanging from the ceiling. It helped that the Almarios were given a clear inventory of requirements before they got started with the job.
Topping the list of things to consider is the homeowner’s extensive stash of things and sentimental nature. Storage was an absolute must. And this was addressed by creating cabinet space all over. A close look at the walls reveals knobs that swing open to drawers and shelves, eliminating the need for a storeroom. Everything is usable but hidden so there is no clutter, and order is easily maintained, making the place look like a model home at all times despite being lived in.
Spacious and Breezy
The walls of the third room were torn down to give way to a cozy den that made the condominium more spacious, comfortably accommodating everyone down to the grandchildren. A change in the flooring from dark to light wood, and installation of mirrors contributed to lightening up the mood of the space and giving it a breezy illusion.
“They really opened it up. When we’re here, we don’t feel like we’re in an apartment, it feels big,” an impressed daughter shares. The lady of the house is fond of tinkering in the kitchen and now, she can cook while interacting with the rest of the family. “Before, it was like a closed galley-type kitchen, but now she can cook and be with everybody at the same time,” describes a daughter. One cannot miss the dainty overhang, which is both functional and decorative, leading to the kitchen. Except for the customized couch with trundle bed, the original set of furniture was kept but reupholstered to cover the old dull green and salmon combination, and create harmony with the rest of the remodeled design.
A prized rug, custom-made and shipped from the States, is the center of the concept for the bedroom, with its avocado-colored and floral-painted walls. “Our mom loves flowers,” explains a daughter who made sure there are several potted bouquets on tables. While the guestroom’s green-gray hue veers away from the verdant theme, it still adheres to the general relaxing and tranquil atmosphere.
Aside from the white cabinets, a lone camel-colored leather armchair in a corner breaks the monotone. “We love it, we love this whole house and everyone who comes in here is so amazed at the work and how it looks,” says a daughter. Their surprise was indeed a success, and their mother, who constantly puttered around, no longer worries about fixing up her house. “There is nothing else she can do but look around and smile and relax. Everything’s done!” says a proud daughter.
Photographs by Terry UY