Building & Renovating

4 Designer Tips for a Small Living Area

Let these inputs from an interior designer help you create an inviting space

Original Article: Katherine Lopez and Paula de Guzman Photography: Ocs Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions (Main Photo)

It can be difficult to design and style a small living area. Where can you put the sofa? Is it still okay to add a rug and coffee table? Can we still accommodate guests? These are just some of the questions that we need to answer. But have you ever tried looking at the bright side? Consider the advantages of styling a small living space? Upkeep is easier because a small area is easier to clean and it allows the family to bond and spend quality time.

“A small space also encourages family interaction. Parents can easily monitor the activities of their children, and there’s better interaction with family members,” shares interior designer Rochelle Granali. To create an efficient and cozy space, you need to have the right pieces. Rochelle shares these tips and picks: 

Choose a sofabed

Enjoy comfort and ease even in a limited space. A sofabed is your best bed for two good reasons: it doesn't take up too much space and according to Rochelle, it creates an extra bedroom once you unfold it so you're ready just in case a friend decides to sleepover.

Sofa Bedm P28,500, 5Corners

Add a storage ottoman

The ottoman is probably one of the most versatile pieces that you need to invest in. It's an easily-transferable seating piece that can hide unsightly clutter.

Ottoman with Storage, P795, Our Home

Consider having nesting tables

If you're in need of tables that don't take up precious floor space, opt for nesting tables. An extra table or two are useful especially when you're expecting company. You can also move it easily and use these for other areas.

Sutter Nesting Tables, price available upon request, Philux

Opt for vertical shelving

Storage is one of the most important concerns that you need to address. A vertical shelf is your best bet as it creates an illusion of a bigger vertical space as it draws one's eyes upward.

Vertical Shelving, price available upon request, Crate & Barrel

This snippet originally appeared in the June 2015 issue of Real Living Magazine. Minor edits have been made by the editors. Log on to for more details.

More on

5 Ideas to Steal from 5 Compact Living Rooms

4 Ways to Arrange Furniture in a Small Space

4 Ways to Style a Small Living Area


Latest Stories

8 Cultural Spots in Negros You Can Visit This Summer

This Southern region holds many (sweet!) surprises such as a bakery in a centuries-old building and an art gallery in an ancestral house

Get Fresh, Tropical-Filipino Inspiration From This Store

These pieces will remind you of nostalgic summers in your lolo and lola's home

5 Ways To Redecorate Your Home Without Shopping

For starters, you can try these pro-approved tips

Avoid A High Electricity Bill This Summer While Keeping Your Home Cool

You don't need to leave the AC unit turned on 24/7

How I Moved Out of the Family Home and Survived Living Alone

A young photojournalist shares the triumphs and struggles of living independently

This House in Pasig Has Been Under Renovation For Years

Architect Pierre Briones transformed a dated property into a stunning home filled with wooden touches, designer pieces, and handpicked accessories

This TV Show Does Home Makeovers In 15 Hours

And some of the decorators (and one judge!) are Pinoy. Check out this amazing makeover show.

This Museum In a Bahay Na Bato Is a Lesson In Pinoy History

In photos: The Destileria Limtuaco Museum in Intramuros will delight your mind and eye, not only your tastebuds

This Elevated Walkway In Ortigas Makes Pasig A More Walkable City

The walkway is one of a series of new pedestrian areas rising in Ortigas Center

How Do You Divide Conjugal Property When You Get Annulled?

It's not as simple as 50/50.

4 Questions To Ask Your Interior Designer

Develop a healthy relationship with your design professional for a beautiful home

Designer Pieces We Love in Derek Ramsay’s House in Alabang

The actor doesn’t shy away from investing in pieces that make his home distinct and personal
Load More Stories

Get inspiring design ideas and handy hints.
Subscribe to our newsletter now!