Designing living spaces for students
Interior designer Chingay Liboro illustrates a home away from home for young college students through the model unit of Torre Central, a 30-story mixed-use residential condominium that is a few steps away from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila’s famed University Belt.
Developed by Torre Lorenzo, the project is focused on providing the best solution for young adults living on their own while studying college. As opposed to renting out an apartment or living in a dorm, Torre Central assures parents of the safety, security and comfort of their child—not to mention a worthwhile property investment as well.
To make moving in a hassle-free experience for its buyers, Torre Central units will be turned over completely furnished with bunk beds, wardrobe closet, kitchen top with stainless steel sink and grease trap, stove top and range hood, shower heater, window-type air conditioner, bathroom fixtures and a dining set. Unit owners will also be provided a ready cable and Internet connection.
Liboro provides tips and tricks on how to personalize and enhance the Torre Central living experience, as can be found in the design elements and strategies she used in dressing up the 25-square-meter sample studio unit.
Play with colors
For starters, Liboro says one element to play with is the color. She explains that color “is a factor that is visual. It influences the atmosphere; it could be calming to induce good rest, or conducive for studying.”
She adds, “The color scheme for the unit could depend on the profile of the student—whether he’s athletic, active in school affairs, an artist or a medical student.” In the model unit, for instance, Liboro painted the walls with a yellow accent color, as homage to the alma mater of its two imaginary occupants—a medical student and a fine arts student at UST.
Another way of playing with colors is to leave the walls of the unit in a neutral shade, while using vibrant hues in furnishings and items like throw pillows, seat cushions, bedcovers or area rugs. The bright colors function to break the monotony of the nondescript atmosphere. Also, it will be easier and less costly for the owner to change the unit’s color scheme by simply replacing the accessories.
Another element to consider in designing, especially for students, is the available space. The latest trend in condominium living, according to Liboro, is the use of modern furniture that helps maximize space. Examples are beds that can be tucked away or converted into a table or storage cabinet, and coffee tables that double as everyday dining tables.
Manageable living space
“Ideally, a student’s living space should be manageable and maximized in an interesting way,” Liboro explains. In the model unit, the bunk-style beds allow more free space below them to accommodate study tables and book shelves. The wooden steps that lead to the upper beds also double as drawers for the unit occupants’ clothes and other possessions.
However, furniture must possess both function and form. The size should be compact enough to gain more room space without sacrificing its purpose, Liboro says. The quality of the furniture and accessories is also vital, taking into account tough daily use, especially from active young people. Liboro suggests the use of furniture made of durable materials like wood and metal, and easy-to-maintain fabric, like leatherette.
Overall, unit owners might be tempted to fill a student’s condo with a lot of furniture, appliances and items of convenience, but these may simply lead to more problems regarding efficiency of movement in a tight space. “The mantra in decorating a student’s living space should always be ‘less is more,’” Liboro says.
Torre Central units range in sizes from 16.55 to 37 square meters, and are targeted for completion in 2017.
The residents of this low-density, fully furnished residential project will enjoy its well-thought out amenities such as an indoor swimming pool, fully equipped gym and a study hall.
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