Building & Renovating

Small Space Ideas in a 24sqm Utilitarian Condo Unit

Substance meets style in this Scandinavian-inspired haven

Photography: Harvey Tapan Architect: Angelo Siochi

Those who are furnishing a compact unit are all too familiar with the challenge of turning a blank space into a home that’s both functional and beautiful. With only 24sqm to work with, is it possible to have a comfortable haven where you and your guests can move around freely? While you can always stick to basic pieces to leave the unit open and spacious, your home might end up looking too stark and dull.

To help you seamlessly combine style and purpose in a small home, you can take inspiration from this pop-up model unit designed by architect Angelo Siochi of AGSiochi Architecture and Design. It proves that even the smallest of spaces can become useful and practical nooks—with fun details and a design that’s one for the books.

1. Work with a theme in mind.

The unit features a Scandinavian feel that's refreshing and easy on the eyes. Multifunctional pieces with clean lines complete the overall look with pops of color seen in the accessories and furnishings. Angelo took inspiration from the wooden house artwork that's common to Scandinavian themes to finalize the look of the space. He effectively combined blues, grays, and even touches of black with accent colors like yellow to make the unit inviting.

2. Achieve a practical and functional home with pieces that do double duty.

Some might think that it's difficult to find sleek pieces that do more than just complete your space. There are different options in the market today that not only help you achieve a certain aesthetic, a few can be used to store belongings as well as transform to serve another purpose, too. Angelo worked with pieces from Habitat and Dimensione to make the most of the limited area.

In the living/sleeping space, we especially loved the sofa bed with hidden storage from Dimensione and the side table that can hold plants, magazines, and other knickknacks from Habitat. 

3. Personalize the space and work with what you have.

You don't have to splurge on expensive items to make small spaces work. Invest in key pieces like the sofa and the dining set, then personalize your unit with things you've had for years. This can be a work of art, a collection of books, and even quirky decor like the lego bowl seen in the living/sleeping space.

RL Tip: In a space dominated by neutrals, don't be afraid to go bold with color. An accent chair in blue captures the attention in this setup. Situated in a corner of the unit, it's a special nook on its own.

4. An open layout helps with the airy and spacious feel.

Let one area flow freely to the next by doing away with dividers and huge cabinets that help define spaces. An area rug can separate the living area from the dining nook. You can also experiment with wall decals, wallpaper, and paint to differentiate one area from another.

5. Mix-and-match and be creative!

Don't let a small space stop you from having fun with colors and furniture. "Be more playful in your chosen furniture. Be true to your style and don't be afraid to mix and match the pieces," Angelo says. Decide on your major pieces first then use your picks as starting point when choosing the rest of the decor and accessories. 

RL Tip: In this compact dining area, a round table takes up less floor space. While you only have a few chairs in this area, you can still accommodate guests in the living area. Investing in a few extra ottomans or stackable chairs may also come in handy.

The pop-up model unit was designed for Avida Land's Homepossible: Homegrown event held last October 8 and 9 at the Glorietta Activity Center. For more details, visit Special thanks to Habitat, Dimensione, and Ace Hardware. Select decor were sourced from SM Home and H&M Home.

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