A Beautiful modern Filipino Apartment designed around the owner’s art collection

June 25, 2021



Germaine Dilay

Interior Designer Carlo Cam, an advocate for filipino designs, creates his trademark with restrained & contrasting elements.

Carlo is a notable interior designer with fourteen years of experience. He established his firm, Carson Design Studio in 2018. Exceptional art and curated local pieces work beautifully in this One Serendra Apartment in BGC where the interior designer’s challenge of dealing with a straight staircase was a key to create a masterpiece.

The unit is 80 sq.m big and was designed to provide a working space for the client and eliminate the huge straight run staircase going to the loft that ate a lot of hid dining space below. When asked about his dynamic with the client, Carlo mentioned that the client is a friend of his. There was no tension as the client fully trusted him as a designer throughout the duration of the project. Because of this good working relationship, Carlo mentioned that this was also an opportunity for him to get to know his friend more through his preferences and goals in life, inspiring him to set his own goals accordingly.


The main direction of this design project was to keep the space stylish and reflect the personality of the client. In the beginning, the design team first had to identify what the client needs in the new space, imagine his lifestyle and create a design that will complement it. When asked about the challenges he encountered in the project, Carlo specified that it was the building of the spiral staircase and the extended part of the loft.

Carlo: We have to demolish the metal framing of the old stairs which took us a long time and make sure that we measured the space correctly since we did a lego style assembly of course with a bolt and nut of the new unit and made sure all are in the right dimensions and placement.

Meeting the deadline also became a challenge because apart from working with 50% workforce capacity, there were also other trades that caused delays. Nonetheless, the design team was able to accomplish the project in a span of 2.5 months.

Carlo pursued a modern design with a touch of Filipinism through the paintings and artwork used as accent pieces. An interesting highlight of his designs are the solid steps that were made to look like an “Abanico” when viewing it from above. For accessorizing, he mixes his furniture pieces with high end pieces such as Furnitalia to mainstream brands like habitat and even getting a solid wood bench from Baguio. All of his paintings are from local artists the likes of Arturo Luz, Gus Albor and many more. Carlo is well known for the contrasting elements he uses. This is perfectly embodied by the unit’s combination of white walls, dark colored furniture, colorful artwork and wooden floors.

BP: What is your most favorite part of the unit and why?

Carlo Cam: The home office on the extended loft, because you see the view of BGC streets with some green landscapes and since it was also the newest addition to the apartment.

BP: As a designer, what is FILIPINISM to you? And how will you promote it?

Carlo Cam: I think having the warm weather we have all year round is very filipino to me. And I know architects and designers are already designing spaces and houses that are sustainable and environment conscious. So yes, I will apply it because I believe that there is more to this and the possibilities are endless.

Like the perfect decorator, this apartment has a sense of conservative filipino values and low-key glamour that’s hard to mimic, and undoubtedly those elements are exhibits of giving Carlo’s work that little touch of je ne sais quoi

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