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Building & Renovating

5 Things You Never Thought You Could Add in a Small Space

These smart and surprising hacks will leave you inspired

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Photography: Jilson Tiu (Main Photos)

It’s no secret—tiny units and limited spaces bring out the best in us. Whether it’s discovering an organizing hack or coming up with unexpected storage solutions, we’ve learned quite a lot when it comes to making the most of small space living.

While we’ve mastered a ton of solutions and learned to invest in space-saving furniture picks, there are still so many things we can do in a condo or a small apartment. Whether you live in one or you love looking at smart homes, here are five ideas that will leave you in awe. Just like in sprawling houses, the possibilities are endless in a tiny haven:

1. A stunning recycled piece


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In this coastal-inspired condo unit designed by interior designer Willie Garcia, recycled pieces take center stage. Aside from the colorful seating pieces, handmade furnishings, and locally made décor, the dining nook that doubles as storage is worth the attention, too. Made from wood pallets, the unit can accommodate two people, with enough space underneath for magazines, books, and other essentials. It helps the owner save on space while complementing the overall theme of the unit.

Want to invest in a recycled piece? Junk! Not has creations you can check out. Follow them on Facebook or visit their website.

Click here to see more photos and view the complete home tour.

2. A work / dining nook


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Sacrifices are inevitable when you live in a small space. There are instances when you have to let go of certain pieces or décor just to make room for the important things. As seen in this 17sqm condo, you can have the best of everything without sacrificing space and style. William Brothers Manila and interior designer Rod Lascano transformed a part of the countertop into a work/dining nook by adding a slim table that can be pulled out when needed. Grab a stool from the bedroom—and voila! You have an instant workspace. Inviting a friend over? An extra stool can turn it into a legit dining space.

RL Tip: Remember to spruce up the table for special dinners. A table runner or two potted plants can do the trick.

Click here to see more photos and view the complete home tour.

3. Two comfy beds


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Many homeowners shy away from using big items in a small unit and we can’t blame them. Concerns like being able to move around freely and having extra space for other belongings usually arise and pose a challenge. However, as seen in this condo unit designed by interior designer Jiezl Sunga and Upcycle Manila, having a functional layout allows you to bring in the pieces you prefer.

Taking into consideration the owners’ wish to accommodate as many people as possible, the designer turned one part of the studio unit into a sleeping space. Two beds—one placed by the window and the other against a wall—were added without making it look cramped. The secret? Letting in natural light and working with light colors. The two beds can also be combined to create one huge bed if needed.

RL Tip: Always measure the area where you intend to place the furniture. Always bring these measurements with you and feel free to consult with the store attendants about the dimensions of the piece you’re eyeing. This saves you the trouble of going back to the store and returning an item that doesn’t fit.

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Click here to see more photos and view the complete home tour.

4. An outdoor-inspired dining set


Did you know that aside from using plants and flowers as décor, there’s another way to bring the outdoors into your tiny home? Opting for a dining set that will remind you of picnics and al fresco dining will surely add a sunny vibe to your space.

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In this reader home, the dining area highlights a country feel with the pairing of a wooden table and white upholstered chairs. The addition of a bench enables the owners to accommodate more guests, too. Pairing white with hints of green instantly creates an airy, backyard vibe that can make mealtime more fun and relaxing.

Click here to see more photos and view the complete home tour.

5. A loft!


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Who knew that a loft can fit perfectly inside a 21sqm studio unit? Interior designer Nikki Audine cleverly transformed the sleeping space into a functional area by dismantling the cabinet under the loft and creating a living area. This gives the owner a space for guests, watching TV, and reading. Raising the bed is a smart way of making the compact unit look more spacious, while adding spots for storage (hidden drawers are incorporated into the steps) and squeezing in space for other activities.

Click here to see more photos and view the complete home tour.

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