Building & Renovating

4 Small Space Tips from the Pros

Let the experts help you work around your limited area problems and concerns

Photography: Ocs Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions

We've probably given out a hundred tips on how you can make the most of a small home—from adding mirrors to choosing your furniture pieces wisely. Since we all want to live in a comfortable and functional space, let's not stop at a hundred! We asked two design professionals to dish out tips addressing four common small space problems. Take note of their suggestions below:

Main photo: A dining area designed by interior designer Pam Tan.

How can you deal with a low ceiling?

"Paint the walls in light colors," shares interior designer Rochelle Granali. She suggests using a bright white or gray to make the space less claustrophobic. Choose dark or bold colors on the patterns on the beddings, pillows, and other items.

In photo: A studio unit designed by architect Allen Oblena and interior designer Vera Villarosa-Orila.

How can you work around a limited space?

Interior designer Pam Tan suggests maximizing mirrors and reflective surfaces. You should also avoid using heavy and dark draperies.

In photo: A bedroom designed by interior designer John Vigilia.

Is it possible to store all of my belongings in a small space?

Yes! As long as you invest in the right pieces. "Custom-made pieces and built-in storage are very popular in small spaces since you need furniture that can serve many purposes," shares Pam. Opt for a couch that can be used as a bed, a coffee table that can be used as dining table, and a bookshelf that can moonlight as divider.

In photo: A work designed by interior designer Kat Villanueva-Lopez.

Can I still apply Feng Shui tips in a small home?

Some people believe that it's bad to have two doors facing each other at home. "Some condo units (like 18 to 24sqm units) have two doors facing each other," shares Rochelle. "If privacy is not much of an issue, the homeowner may remove the partition and provide a divider with storage. But if privacy is a major concern, the last resort is to relocate the door opening or replace the partition with a translucent sliding door."

In photo: A bedroom designed by interior designer Kat Villanueva-Lopez.

Do you have your own small space concerns? We'd love to help! E-mail us at: reallivingonline[at] or send us a message on Facebook.

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

4 Ways to Arrange Furniture in a Small Space

Feng Shui for the Home: Identify the Good and Bad Sectors of Your Space

4 Unexpected Ideas for Small Spaces


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