Owning your first condo unit is an exciting experience. Whether you have the place by yourself or with your family, you want to make your unit feel as comfortable and homey as it can be. Designing and furnishing your condo depends on your taste, and it’s really up to you. But there are certain things you have to know on how much you can actually change and move around in your unit.
What should you consider before designing your unit? How can you effectively design and furnish your condo? How much will it cost?
This article will guide you on breezing through the design and furnishing of your dream condo.
9 Things to Consider Before Designing Your Condo Unit
Planning involves envisioning a limited condo space to be your ideal home. You have to list your non-negotiables in a home and discard unnecessary areas or items you feel you can let go of. While identifying what you want, determine which materials, articles, and fixtures you must buy.
Planning is essential to execute the construction of your home smoothly. You have to research allowable electrical load per unit and construction guidelines provided by the administration.
You also have to pay a construction bond that shows the intended scope of work and target completion date. Similarly, an architectural and engineering drawing is sometimes required by the homeowners’ association (HOA) for significant renovations.
If you are considering cabinet installations, floor replacements, wall demolitions, and sprinkler relocation, you must submit a document signed by engineers and licensed architects to the building’s office for approval.
2. Property Permission
Your HOA controls many construction projects in your condominium to maintain the building as a whole and protect its structural integrity through covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs). Owners automatically become members of the condo’s HOA once they purchase a property from the building. As such, you must also follow its by-laws.
Being a condo owner entitles you to have the freedom to make changes and minor remodels to your home, such as fixing the kitchen, bathroom, and repainting the walls.
However, you have to secure permits with large exterior projects before modifying your place. Interior remodels like the installment of a kitchen floor may significantly change the weight of a level, impacting the structure of a building as a whole. Plumbing, exterior, and electricals are also common properties in condos and are under the control of the HOA.
A typical mistake made by first-time homeowners is suddenly renovating their homes without assessing the costs and if it fits with their budget. Identifying what matters most to you when it comes to a home can help you properly allocate money for your condo’s renovation.
Your budget should cover flooring, demolition, furniture, upholstery plumbing, and even small decors. As a rule of thumb, experts estimate a 50 square meter condominium in the Philippines to cost P15,000 to P20,000 per square meter for renovations. This figure includes furniture, accessories, and construction.
4. Size and Space
For a condo unit with a limited size, it is crucial to identify the space’s layout, so you can leverage illusions and multi-functional furniture. For instance, using mirrors can visually enlarge your condo’s interiors, give it more depth, and bring in more light. Similarly, oversized floor-to-ceiling curtains can make your walls appear taller.
Additionally, multi-functional furniture that is adjustable and mobile such as a sleeper couch, foldable dining table, or movable kitchen island can be a convenient way to maximize space while keeping your interior costs low.
You can also utilize various spaces in your home, such as using custom cabinets around the sink, above your TV, or the space under your bed as storage. Remember that you don’t have to live with less in condos.
Condo interiors can come in the style that you want them. Whether you want to incorporate a maximalist, minimalist, glamorous, mid-century modern, rustic, Scandinavian, or bold look, choosing a single theme can help you pull a completed unit.
Decorating is also easier when you follow a motif or style. You can start browsing through magazines, Pinterest, travel blogs, and books to brainstorm condo design ideas and determine what you want.
When choosing materials, decide on what best fits your lifestyle. Ideally, you should invest in high-quality materials, especially if you plan on keeping your home long-term. If you want to create a focal point in a room, consider show-stopping pieces to make that space stand out and appealing.
Also, explore different materials to introduce other things into your home. Using many kinds of materials when decorating your living room can help create a mutual connection between your pieces and artistic styles, as compared to sticking to just one.
Once you’re settled with the theme, style, materials, and permits, the next step is making a timeline. Here, you need to consider the scope of work, the area/s you want to renovate, and the overall design of your home. Usually, a 22-square-meter unit would take approximately 45 days to renovate and design.
However, with time constraints and minor renovations, a 64-square-meter condo may take an interior designer three weeks to complete, especially if you are eyeing a specific theme. Similarly, transforming your condo from the bottom to the top may entail a minimum of three months to a year, depending on your vision.
8. Overall Look
Planning your design inspiration is a vital step. Buying items that don’t suit a theme is one of the mistakes condo owners make when doing DIY interiors. Without considering your overall space when purchasing furniture and fixtures, you can ruin its overall look.
In choosing a design inspiration that fits your preferences, consider tropical, traditional, eclectic, or contemporary patterns. Remember to select a specific color palette, lighting, layout, and fixtures.
With the many interior design ideas for a condo that you can choose from, stick with the one that best represents you and makes you feel good when surrounded by that space.
9. Hiring an Interior Designer
Hiring an interior designer can help you save time and money. With most firms and freelancers collecting furniture in advance and ahead of their projects, the lead time for specific products is less than usual. It also helps your home get the look you want and efficiently capture the statement you want to make.
5 Design and Furnishing Tips for Your Condo Unit
Now that you have the basics in place, here are some proven tips on how you can design and furnish your condo unit.
1. Invest in Functional Pieces
Functional pieces can make your space feel more spacious and less cluttered. Built-ins, modular furniture, and tall armoires in the bedroom, kitchen, or other small rooms can offer more storage as well as lounge space. Similarly, benches or daybeds against a window or wall can maximize the area you would usually disregard to serve as extra storage, seating, bedroom, crash pad, or a nook for guests.
2. Maximize Every Corner
Oversized furniture in a limited space could work at maximizing every corner. Using fewer larger pieces can keep your home clean and straightforward. For instance, using dining benches instead of chairs is recommended by industry experts because they occupy less floor space, can easily slide into tables, and can be kept out of the way.
3. Establish Good Lighting
Windows play a significant role in making your space airy, refreshing, and bright. Allowing the sun to seep into your home can bring many benefits, including boosting your vitamin D intake, preventing the development of pathogens with its UV rays, and extending the size of your unit.
In the same manner, pot lightings, ceiling panels, hood fans, and other overhead elements can increase the coziness of your area and improve ventilation.
4. Experiment with Colors
Paint the walls in hues you love. The ability to easily repaint your walls gives you plenty of freedom to experiment with your home’s palette—not to mention it has minimal costs compared to other renovations or upgrades.
5. Build up instead of Tearing Down
Condo renovations often consider rich, detailed moldings to give traditional elegance and classic earthbound abodes. Instead of tearing down your door frames, you can build them up with the addition of backbands that can be layered over existing frames.
Bathroom fixtures can achieve the same effect. You can restructure how your bathroom looks with finishes focusing on a statement piece. Mixing up various elements can also deliver a great impression, rather than moving the toilet and sink.
How Much Will It Cost?
Expert designers would consider P15,000 per square meter a minimal expense when furnishing, adding appliances, accessorizing, construction, and upgrading a unit. The cost could go up to P20,000 to P30,000 per square meter if it involves renovation with new materials and significant revisions.
However, these ballpark figures are on a case-to-case basis. They could change according to the design you want, the quality of materials, your chosen furniture or appliances, and your designer.
For those with lower budgets and who are still paying off their home loans, you can consider using existing items you already own. A P10,000 per square meter budget can be challenging and would mainly involve furnishing or the addition of ready-made accessories, products, and furniture that blends well with a space. Your designers can achieve this in two weeks for a studio unit.
Here’s a quick view of the primary things that will cost you money and the areas you can save up on.
Lighting fixtures include wall lights, bulbs, drop lights, table lamps, and accent lights. In a 50-square-meter unit, it would approximately cost P20,500.
Renovations include bathroom fixtures, a stainless laundry sink, kitchen sink, faucet additions, and shower enclosures. All these would approximately amount to P50,000.
A budget of P25,000 for bathroom, countertop, kitchen floor, walls, and backsplash tiles is sufficient in a 50-square-meter unit. You can save on flooring by retaining the existing materials in all dry areas.
Doors, such as sliding louvers for a walk-in closet, will approximately cut you back by P20,000.
Partition work is estimated to cost P18,500.
If your finances are capable of handling these costs and other unforeseen expenses that come with designing and flourishing your unit, then perhaps, it’s time to make a property investment and reach for the milestone of becoming a homeowner.
Make Your Space about You
Designing and furnishing your condo may be a challenge that you will eventually enjoy. To successfully and effectively renovate your unit, you will need to consult with the HOA of your building, plan sufficiently, and identify your non-negotiables when it comes to a home.
If you are looking for your first or next real estate property, Mandani Bay is the property and location you should be looking at. We have a vast array of condos for sale in Cebu that can meet your preferences. Learn more about our offerings!