Building & Renovating

Your 10 Favorite Small Space Solutions, Ranked

Ace your way through compact living with this handy list as your guide

Photography: Vincent Coscolluela (Main Photo)

Those who live in teeny tiny condo units can attest to the fact that limited spaces bring out the best in us—we become more creative, more resourceful, and definitely determined to achieve a pretty and functional home despite the available floor area. You’ve probably heard about the magic of mirrors more than once and you’ve most likely read that multipurpose pieces are you best bets when it comes to furniture.

Whether you’re moving into your own unit soon or looking for clever ideas when revamping your space, here are 10 must-read tips to keep in mind and memorize by heart. Trust us, it’s best to bookmark this page, too!

10. Declutter

How can you live comfortably in a space if you still have clothes you haven't touched in six months? Or furniture that have seen better days? Do you still keep receipts from last year? Schedule a day for cleaning, discard broken items, and keep those that are still useful. Having unnecessary items can only make your space look and feel cramped. Get started on your decluttering journey with the help of the KonMari method.

9. Work with space-saving furniture.

Whether you want to carve out a craft corner or a dining nook, space-saving furniture like stackable chairs and folding tables are perfect picks for small spaces. In many compact homes, tables can be easily kept or moved to clear the area for other activities. Some even opt for mobile shelves and pieces to make it easier.

READ: 3 Space-Saving Furniture Tricks for Small Spaces

8. Depend on nifty must-haves like hooks and rods.

To maximize an area, one must know how to turn extra spaces into storage. To help you do this, you must have rods or hooks at home. The space under your overhead kitchen cabinets can be used to display mugs and plants with the help of rods. Got a mug collection? Put it on display with the aid of S-hooks!

READ: 5 Clever Ways to Use Hooks at Home

7. Work with subtle dividers.

One of the first challenges homeowners must face is separating the different areas at home. To accomplish this, you can use curtains as dividers or even shelves, big potted plants, and even area rugs. By using these items, you maintain an airy, open feel while being able to define each functional nook. For example, to separate the bedroom from the living area, the owner of the space above opted to add a shelf for books and accessories. There are also those who worked with storage counters to separate the dining area from the kitchen.

READ: How to Separate Areas In Your Home

6. Make use of vertical space.

If you think that you've maximized every inch of floor space in your home, look up and check out the walls. How can you make the most of it? Some add pegboards to hold tools and essentials in the kitchen or balcony. There are also a few who install wall-mounted shelves to hold books, magazines, and other belongings.

READ: 10 Things You Need to Maximize Vertical Space

5. Play with colors.

While neutrals and light colors remain to be the top choice when it comes to sprucing up small homes, you can also experiment with dark picks like black and navy blue. These colors can add depth and create an illusion of bigger space. If you want to play it safe, you can always depend on white and light shades of blue to create the bright and maaliwalas feel many would love to come home to.

READ: Color Schemes for Small Spaces

4. Inject hidden storage.

Notice the wall behind the door or the awkward space in between two walls? Be creative by turning them into instant storage spots! Carve out niches, install corner shelves, and have all the space you need for decor, books, and framed photos. These are sometimes concealed and can help you keep personal items organized. Aside from these options, you can also opt for customized furniture like beds with hidden drawers underneath or benches and chairs with secret cabinets.

READ: 12 Secret Storage Spots

3. Invest in multipurpose pieces.

These must-haves maybe a bit pricier but they are worth every peso! Multipurpose must-haves can help you maximize the available space—a daybed in the living area can be transformed into a sleeping space when you have guests over while a storage ottoman can help you stay organized while keeping guests comfortable when you host a get-together at home.

READ: 5 Multipurpose Furniture Pieces For Your Condo 

2. Customize!

When browsing our Homes section, we're sure you've read about homeowners completing their spaces with custom-made pieces. A customized bed, sofa, or table is a safe choice—especially when dealing with tiny units—as you are assured that it will fit in the allotted space. When having an item customized, make sure the space for it is carefully measured to ensure the right dimensions and perfect fit.

1. Make magic with mirrors.

The go-to tip of many? Installing mirrors! Of course, you shouldn't just place one in every corner. Make sure the space in front of it is free from clutter. Many homeowners choose to add one in the living area or bedroom to create an illusion of bigger and wider space. Aside from installing an actual mirror, there are those who also double its function by using sliding mirror doors to conceal shelves and closets.

PHOTOS (in order): Ocs Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions | Architecture and Design | Jilson Tiu | Vincent Coscolluela | Homes for Now | Dairy Darilag | Paolo Feliciano (last four photos).

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