Building & Renovating

4 Small Space Dilemmas and How to Solve Them

Three interior designers answer your queries about furniture and layout concerns

Photography: Paolo Feliciano

Small spaces can be a bit tricky to furnish. How can you achieve a cozy and relaxing space given a limited floor area? We listed down four common small space problems and asked three interior designers to give a couple of tips and insights. Be guided by their suggestions below:

What can I do with the space under my stairs?

“If the end of the room is your living area, the space under your stairs can serve as storage. Enclose the area with a built-in cabinet with doors that can be finished in these decorative materials—mirrors (for illusion of space), wood laminates (for warmth) or decorative panels (for pattern). Another option is to create a cozy seating area, add shelves, an accent chair, three-seater sofa, coffee table, and a cluster of your favorite artworks on the wall. Throw in a patterned rug to frame the space, and your living area will be set.” –Interior designer Vera Villarosa

We have pink tiles in the bathroom. What else can I do to tone down the girly vibe of the space?

Since you already have pink tiles in the bathroom, I suggest that you paint the walls white. To keep it from being too girly, you can accessorize the walls with framed black and white pictures, or install wall shelves and fill it with décor like potted succulents or candles in neutral colors. –Interior designer Van Acuña

I’m hesitant to buy a bed frame because it may not fit the stairs going up to the bedroom, what do you suggest?

“With homes getting smaller, most suppliers have come up with knockdown furniture pieces like bed frames that are lightweight and can easily be dismantled to fit any space. Try Crossings Home in Shangri-La Plaza, or Mobler at 4977 Palanan St., Makati.” –Interior designer Van Acuña

How can I turn a single room into a small sala, small dining area, and small office?

“First, identify the proper layout of your furniture in relation to the other areas of your home. Place your dining/worktable near an outlet for convenient charging of gadgets. Locate a bookshelf or console close to the dining table where you can easily reach your materials during working hours. You can use a bench with a rectangular table to provide more seating and additional surface to stack things on. A sofa in the right height can also become your seating in the dining table.” –Interior designer Kimi Manuel

More on

5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Small Space

4 Answers to 4 Small Space Layout Questions

5 Easy Ways to Update Your Small Space


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