Before & After House Flip | Studio Apartment – Julia’s Tropical Oasis

This was a very exciting project that my business ‘JQ Properties‘ was hired to do; a 37sqm studio located in Bonifacio Global City, Philippines. There were three steps I would take – renovate, design, and manage as a short-term rental on Airbnb. I knew it would do very well on Airbnb since it was a corner unit overlooking the lush scenery of Manila Golf. Properties with good views always did the best in big cities.

This apartment look tired, worn down and begging for a facelift, and I couldn’t be happier to be the one to do it. It had tile flooring throughout, dated cabinets and furniture, and window-type air conditioning (AC). It was a studio unit with the opportunity to extend the wall and install a sliding door to turn it into a 1-bedroom apartment. I always like to create privacy for the bedroom to possibly host more guests.



The client mentioned that they wanted the theme of the property to be tropical, so I began pinning color palettes and home styles on Pinterest. Once I had a clear plan, I created a 3D layout with Home Design app to guide my contractor and decorator. Meanwhile, I had all of the dated furniture, tile flooring, kitchen cabinets, countertops and fixtures removed from the apartment – we were going to start from scratch.

I bought the new flooring for the Living, Dining, and Bedroom from Wilcon Depot – light brown/beige tile planks with wood grain. I wanted to keep the floor light in color since the apartment was small. A light wood color would work nicely with a tropical style as it may remind you of sand once decorated with plants.



There was an awkward wall in the bedroom where the headboard leaned against. It was displeasing to the eye and it had to be modified as it was the best location for the bed. After some thought, I decided to extend the thicker side of the wall out and then use the deeper part as a workspace nook. The new extended wall would be wide enough to fit a Queen-size bed where the end of the wall would line up with the edge of the bed. The Queen bed with a pullout single bed was customized by Casa Consunji to fit the space against the side of the room.

The wall between the living room and bedroom was extended and a sliding door fabricated and installed. The reason I chose a sliding door was to save on space. The whole room was decorated with minimal and tropical pieces such as pillows, books, a balinese chair, picture frames, and plants. I believe it was best to have the fixed and large features of the room minimalist in color and style since the space was small. Then, the tropical aspects would come out with decor.

Both blinds and curtains were installed to provide light blocking options for our guests. The apartment faced the west and the full fabric blinds help with filtering the afternoon sun while not completely blocking out the light. I had the blinds customized by Costuless. I usually get 100% blackout curtains from SM Department Store to save on cost and just have it cut and sewn to fit the height of the room.

I also had the window-type AC replaced with a split-type to provide our guests with a cool and quiet experience as they slept. I buy my split-type AC units from Abenson.

The bedroom has an ensuite bathroom which went through full renovation as well.



The floor and wall tiles were taken out and replaced with white and grey rectangular tiles bought from Wilcon. Again, I wanted to keep the main features of the space as minimal as possible since it was quite compact.

I had a new counter fabricated and installed with white gravel stone (same as kitchen counter). Silver fixtures such as towel hooks, knobs, shower and sink faucets were installed. A glass shower partition was customized and installed by a store in MC Home Depot.

The bathroom was decorated with customized bottles, wooden baskets, appliances, plants, and decor. Most appliances, items, and decor were bought in SM Appliances, Landmark, and SM Department Store.


The TV wall was extended and covered with brick tile with wooden features to create an accent for the living area. A Samsung smart HD TV from Abenson was installed floating on the center of the wall. A strong split-type AC unit was installed above the window to provide cool air for the living, dining, and kitchen area. The living room was also dressed with customized blinds and curtains. The grey curtains matched well with the couch and also contrasted with the beige flooring.

The grey two-seater couch bed was purchased from Furniture Source to fit the small space from the window to the door. The couch bed rolls out onto the floor and is spacious enough for two guests to sleep on. Simple beige and grey pillows were placed on the couch to tie all of the colors together. A rustic minimal coffee table topped with books was chosen to invite a homey experience. I enjoyed how the brick and colors of furniture contrasted well with the green scenery outside.



A gorgeous rustic 4-seater dining set from Casa Consunji was set nicely in the center of the dining area and directs the eye towards the lush view of Manila Golf. Small decorative plants run down the table to highlight the length.

The entryway featured a minimal wooden shoe and coat rack. I also had a smart deadbolt installed on the door for an easy self-check-in/check out experience for our guests.





The kitchen is small so I decided to have it completely white to seem more spacious. The backsplash was styled with white subway tiles sealed with light grey grout (Wilcon). White gravel stone countertops were cut and installed with the existing sink to save on cost. An electric stove top from Abenson was placed into the counter for a seamless modern look. I decided that an oven was not necessary for this small short-term rental.

The cabinets were fabricated with white shaker doors. And the kitchen floor tiles were touched up with new grout to save on cost. Black knobs were installed to continue the minimalist look of the kitchen with contrast. The counters were decorated with necessary appliances, wooden objects, and plants to add life and color to the space.


I’m very happy with what I was able to achieve with this apartment and the client was impressed with the outcome. I enjoyed combining my minimalist and modern tastes with the client’s rustic and tropical theme. The most important part of designing a place for someone is by being a good listener, understanding personalities and styles, and creating a space that is relate-able but can also inspire open-mindedness. Once you gain the trust of a client, you can be sure they will call you again.

It was so much fun designing this place and I can’t wait to share more of my property projects with you all!


Julia’s Tropical Oasis – Another project I can add to the JQ Properties success stories. To see how this property is doing on Airbnb, you can click here.


If you haven’t booked a place on Airbnb before, use my code on your first reservation and you’ll get a discount. Happy travels!



Update: 04/21/20

4.9 STARS (71 Reviews)



Kristine – September 2019
Stayed with my husband and 6.5month infant recently. Communication was prompt and check in process was smooth and straight forward. The unit is exactly as it shows on the pictures. My infant loved the views and we stayed for 1-2hrs just looking out the window. very calming and relaxing. Its the last unit in the corridor so you don’t hear the elevators or people walking past. Would love to stay there again if we get a chance!
Jonathan – March 2020
One of the best Airbnb rooms I’ve stayed in BGC. Decorated very well and newly renovated. Extremely clean and very comfortable for a staycation or escape in the city. Thank you very much!
Edith – February 2020
Everything from initial inquiry to check out went smoothly. The place is well-appointed, spotless and lovely. The host and her representative were attentive and professional. Staying for a weekend at Julia’s was a five-star experience for me and my family.
Eboy – December 2019
One of the best BNBs I stayed in! Really great place, was quite surprised how spacious it was. The view was fantastic. Host was very hospitable and easy to contact.
Kessa Thea – November 2019
We enjoyed our stay in Julia’s place. It was clean, really stylish with a great view of the golf course and the nearby city. The unit is really quiet, almost straight out of Pinterest to say the least also and all the amenities work. We did not have a hard time with the automated door, the internet, the aircon, and all. We would love to stay in this place again.

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