How This Homeowner Personalized Her 21sqm Condo Unit

Inspired by the things she loves doing, the creative soul achieved a special space that nourishes her passions and creativity

Photography: courtesy of Ria Tagulinao

A home that reflects your personality is akin to a space that mirrors your passions. The owner of this 21sqm condo unit, Ria, is a young professional who works in a publishing company. While she has always had huge respect for the arts, she never considered herself the creative type so it surprised her that at the height of the pandemic, she suddenly had a burst of creativity.

Her recent creative pursuits? Reading books, journaling, doing TikTok dances, and creating online content. Most importantly, she discovered a newfound love for writing. Moving into a new condo unit allowed her to create a space that nourishes these pursuits.

With the help of a friend, interior designer Patit Custodio of PMAC Interiors, Ria maximized the compact space. Given the limited space, she made a list of her priorities: nooks for memorabilia that inspired her, a work-from-home setup, and a Scandinavian-inspired overall vibe that’s clean, cozy, and pleasing to the eyes.


READ: The Pandemic Inspired this Homeowner to Turn an Open Space Into a Wet Kitchen

Check out her refreshed unit below:


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Ria placed a shoe and storage cabinet in the hallway and utilized the top for the items she uses regularly, such as her keys, masks, watch, and her favorite everyday earrings. On display is a piece of street art she bought in Paris years ago. The accessory holders double as additional décor, too.


Before: Sleeping Area

While the owner has a full-sized bed, the private space lacked oomph. Ria also had to rely on a laptop table so she can get work done.

After: Sleeping Area


The queen-size bed with a large, padded headboard from Our Home is a statement piece on its own.

pinterest-worthy bedroom in small condo unit

Meanwhile, this narrow bedside shelf is a Lazada find. “I put my all-time favorite books closest to me so I can just grab and read them again,” she shares.


READ: 10 Before-and-After Photos of a Total Home Renovation

led wall accent pinterest bedroom

Instead of hanging a framed print above her bed, the owner decided to go for a centerpiece that’s very Pinterest-worthy – a neon yellow customized lighted signage. Built with a dimmer, Ria can control not just the room’s brightness but help set the mood in the space, too.


Work Area

compact work area in a small bedroom

Bookshelves were on top of Ria’s list of non-negotiables. To spruce it up, she put some of her travel essentials on display as well as a framed art piece from Korea. Since she also wanted to limit the visual clutter on the desk, she kept décor pieces to the minimum.


“Here’s a quick tip! Try changing the orientation of your organizer so that you don’t immediately see the items inside. It’s much easier on the eyes,” she suggests.

As for the seating piece, she chose a neutral-colored, upholstered dining chair instead of a regular office chair to ensure comfort.

Find similar shelves, vases, and whiteboards at IKEA. Shop for a similar dining chair at SM Department Store.

READ: How an Interior Designer Renovated a Two-Bedroom Unit Into a One-Bedroom Japanese-Industrial Home


cabinet in a small bedroom with full-length mirror


A space-saver, this oak-colored shelf storage combination gives Ria the best of both worlds. Aside from allowing her to showcase her prized travel souvenirs and other essentials, she can also hide some of her belongings behind closed doors. She also had a tall mirror customized and installed on one wall to create an illusion of a bigger space.


Did you recently work on a renovation or home improvement project? We’d love to see your home! Send us photos and a short story about it to reallivingonline[at] We might feature you on the website next. Looking forward to hearing from you!

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