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Building & Renovating

How To Live Comfortably in a Small Condo Unit

With 40sqm at their disposal, designers Misty Floro and Pai Edles of Morfosis created a snug, smart, and minimalist dream

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Photography: Hans Fausto Interior Designer: Pai Edles and Misty Floro of Morfosis Design

Seeing tiny spaces turned into functional and comfy homes is always a treat. Aside from inspiring us to make the most of the homes we have, it also teaches us a few easy hacks when it comes to choosing furniture and incorporating storage. The design of this 40sqm condo unit in Manila takes inspiration from capsule hotels that are famous in Japan. Showcasing a delightful combination of wooden touches, light colors, and well-chosen furniture pieces, this high-rise unit designed with siblings in mind is the perfect peg if you’ve always wanted to achieve a minimalist-inspired haven that’s practical yet homey.

Here are the small space tips and ideas you might have missed in the unit:

1. Think outside the box when sourcing for furniture.


Notice anything unusual in the photo above? Pai and Misty used a metal side table as center table and a shoe rack as console table. Smart choices, don’t you agree? The compact table gives the owners enough room to move around the living area or even add floor pillows and extra seating. Meanwhile, the shoe rack has compartments where the owners can store speakers, gadgets, and other entertainment essentials.

RL Tip: Shopping for living room furniture soon? Be creative and see if there are unexpected pieces you can use. Aside from using side tables as center tables, many homeowners also look into storage ottomans. Visit EDIA for options.

2. Don’t stick to ordinary wall accents.


Posters, artwork, and prints—these are go-to picks when it comes to sprucing up a plain wall. Take your creativity to the next level by exploring other options that can liven up boring walls. In this unit patterns made with birch wood slates can instantly capture the attention of guests. Aside from showcasing the theme of the unit, it also adds height and width to the living area.

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3. Keep within the theme and let your chosen furniture help you create an illusion of a bigger space.


In compact homes, it’s quite a given to see extendable or folding tables that help owners save on space. Some even opt for transforming pieces that moonlight as cabinets or part of the countertop when not in use. To achieve the look the owners wanted without sacrificing precious floor area, the designers decided to go with high table and chairs reminiscent of coffee shops. The slim legs add to the airy and spacious feel of the unit. To stay within the theme while expanding the space, they also installed a capsule-shaped mirror.

4. You’re not limited to ordinary beds.


How many beds can you fit in a tight bedroom? It’s possible to have a pull-our or a loft-type bed. To maintain the capsule hotel vibe, Pai and Misty thought of a unique arrangement, with two single beds lining one wall and a sleek divider between them. This option saves on floor space while giving the siblings enough privacy and more room for other belongings.

5. Be creative with mirrors.


Don’t just install them on a blank wall or simply place a freestanding piece. Mirrors can be incorporated into closet doors—you can prep from another day easily while helping create an illusion of a bigger space.

6. Choose sturdy furniture pieces that you can easily stack or keep away.


We love the compact furniture pieces that add a chic appeal to the unit. In the bedroom, the owners have side tables that provide enough storage. The designers were also able to create a vanity nook with select essentials and a stool that can fit under the table.

7. Add storage wherever you can.

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Whether it’s a niche under the bed or secret drawers—these may come in handy when storing extra sheets, books, clothes, and other belongings. You can have your storage units customized or be on the lookout for items that have extra compartments when sourcing for furniture and accessories.

Loved this unit, too? Click here to see more photos and view the complete home tour.

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