My Modern Condo Makeover 2022

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My Modern Condo Makeover 2022

I went into redesigning my newest condo with no formal design experience. Instead of treating my condo like it had to be perfect, I went into designing this with a learning experience in mind.

I used both my passions and my blind spots to try and pick everything from color schemes to amazing tech. Here are some of the highlights of my modern condo makeover.


My prior designs have been very dark-color-heavy, so I wanted to pick something with more color. We went with a dominant white oak color scheme with mixes of mid-tone wood and neutral furniture and fabrics.

Overall, I think our color scheme came out far better than prior condo builds in the past. I’m beginning to appreciate differences in shading and texture more than I ever thought I would.


Our goal for these designs was to make each area distinct, while still tying together. To achieve that seamless feeling, we integrated a walnut finish on the cabinets and black accents. That walnut plus black combination became the through line for the rest of the apartment.

I hadn’t considered how making livable designs includes leaving space for scratches and scuffs. I’m so glad I included the black accents on the kitchen table because the table should age more finely.

One of my biggest learnings from designing this condo was the way texture and color play into how gracefully a space can age.

Living Room

The living room is where my 10+ years of being a technology creator begin to shine.

Obviously, the focus of the living room is the 83” TV, with a walnut finish console under to house my PS5.

Behind the TV is a subtle backlight with slats that give a “renovated barn” feeling. Those slats were important to me, as I wanted to create some depth between the TV and the wall, while also allowing the TV to blend in when it’s off.

A key way to create that feeling of blending is to draw your eyes away from the TV. Arguably the coolest part of my living space, my fireplace, does that.

We went with a dominant white color to brighten the space, and hidden next to my TV is a vapor fireplace. Rather than build a chimney and find a storage unit for wood, we’re able to use one of my favorite pieces of tech.

This vapor fireplace uses water to create vapor paired with light to give the impression of a real fire. As I said, this is where being a tech YouTuber pays off.

The Building Process

We’re still deep in the renovation process, so translating these designs to reality will take some serious work, but we’ve been off to a solid start.

To see the final build, subscribe to the Justin Tse channel, and stay tuned to to see more.