Building & Renovating

3 Common Condo Layouts and How To Maximize Each

Make the most of the different features with these tips

Photography: Marc Jao and William Ong (Main Photos)

Once you've decided to get a condo unit, the next step would be to finalize the type of layout you'll be purchasing. The common condo can be categorized into studio, number of bedrooms, and loft-type units. These layouts have different features and depending on your lifestyle, you can choose one that suits you best. To help you make a decision, here's a peek into each type and how you can work around its features:


A studio unit highlights one whole area with an open floor plan. Aside from the bathroom which is a separate room, the living, dining, kitchen, and even the bedroom are in the shared space. Keep in mind that it's important to establish individual areas while still maintaining an open layout. Here are more tips to consider:

1. Make a visual separation for the kitchen and bedroom areas as these two should be the farthest apart. To be able to do this, consider that a studio unit only has one window, which is the primary source of natural light and air. You can use decorative partition walls that give privacy while still providing light and ventilation to the other areas like timber strips and decor panels.

2. Different interior elements like droplights, special wall finishes, and raised flooring can also help dictate area separation.

3. With the limited floor area, it is also key to create multifunctional spaces. For example, a dining area can serve as a study before and after meals, while a living area can double as a bedroom for extra residents or weekend guests.

4. Using multipurpose furniture such as sofa beds, a daybed with trundle or drawers (sofa by day and bed by night), and foldable or space-saving furniture is best for studio units.

In photo: A 22sqm studio unit designed by TKSL Interior Design. Click here to see more photos.

One-, Two-, or Three-Bedroom

With a little luxury of space, units with a specific number of bedrooms have separate sleeping areas but still has the same open layout for the living and dining areas. Meanwhile, the kitchen is commonly situated far from these rooms, but in cases where it is not, you can also use a partition to define each area. Here are more tips to keep in mind:

1. As far as layout goes, depending on where the kitchen is—assign the dining area closest to it and the living room nearest the bedroom. Use interior elements as space markers to help separate the areas. A variation of ceiling heights and fixtures, accent walls, and even proper furniture placement can help with the division of space. Again, consider the location of windows and door openings in your layout.

2. For one bedroom units where the only bathroom is located inside the bedroom, mind your cabinet placement. Keep this away from the bathroom door for security purposes—in case visitors need to use your toilet.

3. For the bedrooms, the number of residents will determine your bed options. You may opt for a queen-sized bed with pullout or a double-deck with pullout to accommodate more people. A small study area can be incorporated into the room as well.

In photo: A three-bedroom condo owned and designed by a Real Living reader. Click here to see more photos.


With an airy take on the usual one-, two-, or three-bedroom units, this type basically separates common areas from the bedroom. The living, dining, and kitchen areas are usually on the lower floor while the sleeping and bath areas are on the upper floor. The loft boasts of a high ceiling with the bedroom overlooking a view of the living area. Take note of these must-dos if you're opting for a loft:

1. Most loft units have the kitchen pushed toward the corner of the space. With this type of layout, you can add a raised breakfast nook or bar on the counter separating the kitchen from the living and dining areas. Some would even use the space as the primary dining area in order to maximize the remaining space to achieve a spacious living area. Hang some accent lights above the new counter to separate these areas.

2. Typically, the bedroom will also be an open area with railings in the perimeter fronting the high ceiling. For privacy, you can add partition walls (decorative or not) on two sides of the railings—these walls should be around a meter wide that spans from floor to ceiling. This will only cover a part of the loft to maintain the openness of space. In addition, you can also install full-length curtains for maximum privacy. These curtains can be drawn to the sides during the day and be closed at night or when you have the AC unit turned on.

3. Furniture options for the loft is similar to that of units with multiple bedrooms depending on the owner's needs.

In photo: A 38sqm loft-type condo designed by interior designer Jean Suzanne Sy. Click here to see more photos.

PHOTOS (in order): Jilson Tiu | Marc Jao | William Ong.

Interior designer Vera Villarosa-Orila is an alumna of the University of the Philippines and is one of the go-to designers for the Real Living Makeovers. You can get in touch with her through e-mail: vera.villarosa[at]



Do you have questions or concerns about your home's layout, furniture, and color scheme? Send your questions to reallivingonline[at] with the subject: Expert Advice. We might answer and feature your queries online.

More on

4 Common Condo Unit Types

Expert Advice: 5 Things to Consider Before Building a Loft

Expert Advice: 5 Ways to Manage a Condo Renovation Project


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