How to create a stylish and efficient student condo |
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How to create a stylish and efficient student condo

by Jillian CariolaPublished: November 3, 2016Updated: November 3, 2016

Home furnishing brand Crate & Barrel explains how a student condo can have both form and function with the use of smart design

Typically, a person’s idea of a condo is a few feet of space furnished with only the bare essentials, namely a bed, table, chair, and whatever form of window dressing the unit may have come with. In short, it’s only a place to sleep in at night, which defeats is supposed purpose of being a college-aged student’s home away from home.

Aside from being comfortable, a student’s residence should also be a place where they can express their uniqueness, but due to the small space and limited budget, it’s quite a challenge to accomplish. But according to Crate & Barrel Senior Marketing Manager Ram Bucoy, there is a way to marry form and function: smart furniture shopping.


How to create a stylish and efficient student condo Crate & Barrel MyProperty Philippines
Space-savvy seating area. In a one-bedroom unit with a bit more room to work with, smart  choice and placement still come into play. Here, no piece of furniture has too much heft: tables and seating are slender, while the couch is raised for a more roomy feel. Ottomans, which mainly serve as chairs, also act as tables and provide additional storage. Decorative elements are minimal, with pops of cream and orange doing most of the work in keeping the room lively and inviting. Photo by Lincoln Gasmen


“When shopping for home furnishings and accessories, you don’t have to be in a hurry. Start slow and go for the basics first. If you’re on a budget, go for something that you really need,” Bucoy shared.

“For example, get a sofa bed, which you’ll need more than a fancy mirror. And make sure you get the right measurement and the right cut. For the living room, get a coffee table that might double as a dining table, or try getting an ottoman instead, which you can use as a storage space too,” he added.


How to create a stylish and efficient student condo Crate & Barrel MyProperty Philippines
Lavishly light living room/bedroom. Current studio condo units might be more on the small side, but it’s not a problem smart organization can’t fix. Instead of dividing what floor space you have between a living room and a bedroom, combine both with a sofa bed, which transforms quickly depending on your preference. Add a side table and a floor lamp for a well-rounded look that works well, whether you’re waiting for guests or getting ready for bed. Brightly colored pillows and interesting carpet pattern add character without being overwhelming. Photo by Lincoln Gasmen


That’s not to say one is not allowed to splurge on a few things. In fact, Bucoy recommends that as college students are often sleep-deprived, it’s essential to have items that will help one rest comfortably, such as a duvet and a comfortable pillow.

Bucoy also stressed the importance of choosing items based not just on current appeal but longevity in terms of design and use. He says it would make sense for one to furnish their first bachelor pad or starter home with the same items that previously occupied their student condo. This means right from the start, furniture and accessories should be selected with utmost care, ensuring that they’re of the right size for both a small space and a larger one.


How to create a stylish and efficient student condo Crate & Barrel MyProperty Philippines
Feasting with flair. For a unit with space for a dining room, a full-sized table is still a lot of furniture to work with, hence the birth of the collapsible table. Sleek and stylish foldable tables are becoming the norm, ensuring that you have a space-saving but stylish dining area. Match the table with slim chairs for an even more spacious look, and top with no-frills tableware for a timeless feel. Photo by Lincoln Gasmen


As for those who would prefer a classic home design that’ll last longer than the time it takes to finish your thesis, Ram has some important advice: “Don’t follow trends. That’s one key mistake I’ve noticed. Go for something timeless—like pieces made of brass, wood, wicker, rattan, pine, or mahogany—that you know is going to be in style forever.”


How to create a stylish and efficient student condo Crate & Barrel MyProperty Philippines
Stylish slumbers. If there’s one thing you can’t underestimate, it’s the power of a good night’s sleep, especially when you’re constantly pulling all-nighters. Splurge a little on bedding for your comfort, then stick to classic pieces that you won’t have to constantly update, like wood or brass. Also, instead of showcasing a variety of small knick-knacks, choose large decorations like vases and picture frames when accessorizing to add visual appeal, not clutter. Photo by Lincoln Gasmen


Want to recreate these home designs? Take inspiration from these featured items:

How to create a stylish and efficient student condo Crate & Barrel MyProperty Philippines
Photos by Lincoln Gasmen

1 Stow Persimmon 17" Leather Storage Ottoman (Php14,990) | 2 Botanical Sketch Placemat (Php439) | 3 Flip Large Bruno Dining Table (Php 74,990) | 4 Hagen Tall Vase (Php259) | 5 Davis Queen Sleeper Sofa (PhpPhp114,990) | 6 Hue Bowl (Php229), Hue Dinner Plate (Php289), and Hue Platter (Php899) | 7 Hamlin 5x7 Picture Frame (Php899) | 8 Tepi Natural Throw (Php1,699) | 9 Elston Dining Arm Chair (Php24,990) | 10 Falvo 18' Pillow Cover (Php1,789)


Featured items courtesy of Crate & Barrel Philippines. Established in 1962 in Illinois, USA, Crate & Barrel is an American chain of retail stores selling home furnishings and accessories. Currently with over 170 stores in the USA, the company continued its expansion by setting up shop in various parts of the world, including their first international store in Canada in 2008 and their first Asian store in Singapore in 2013. The first Crate & Barrel store in the Philippines opened in 2014 in SM Mega Fashion Hall, followed by branches in SM Aura Premier and SM Makati.


Styling courtesy of Jennifer So Hu of SoHu Designs. To inquire about professional interior design services, email or visit


This article originally appeared in the third quarter 2016 issue of Magazine. Main photo by Lincoln Gasmen

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