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How To Create A Private Space If You Live In A Small Home

Whether you live in a condo unit, a tiny apartment, or just in your own little room, you can create your own beautiful, private sanctuary

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Photography: Michael Angelo Chua & Miguel Nacianceno (Main Photos)

If you think that having a private sanctuary is the luxury of those privileged enough to live in large homes, then you are wrong. Even if you live in a condo unit or a crowded townhouse, you could always carve out a tiny corner or nook where you can relax, read a book, finish a passion project, or simply introvert. Here are some ideas from our real homes.

1. Choose your quiet space


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You’ll be surprised as to how many cozy nooks you can find, even in a small home. If you live in a condo unit, you can find a corner where to put a snug armchair and a small side table, or even have a window seat built and draped off with curtains. Another big plus is that the window seat’s base can double as hidden storage.

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READ: A Pinterest-Inspired Family Home With Industrial Touches


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Your quiet space can be anywhere, be it in a tiny area beneath a staircase, on the balcony, or out in your backyard, as seen here in artist and succulent person Jeng Cabrera’s lush outdoor area where she paints and tends to her potted plants.

READ: A Small Space Turned Into An Artistic, Two-Storey Family Home

2. Customize it to fit your hobbies


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Is your idea of winding down more of piecing together beads, knitting, or crafting pretty things rather than just cuddling up with a book? Then fix up your private space to accommodate those hobbies. In Style Spotter Amber Folkman’s house, she has a room she calls her “Happy Place,” complete with desk and a lounging area. This is where she does her crafts and DIY projects, and writes her blog.

READ: We’re Loving This Mom’s Budget-Friendly Decorating Ideas


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In this condo unit decorated by the Lucina designers Joel Salazar and Paul Baes, they added an exuberantly ornamented, antique-style escritoire (secretary desk) with cubbies to store beads and jewelry-making tools (the supposed homeowner is a jewelry designer). The furniture piece goes well with the glamorous, classical interior.

3. Don't forget to properly light it 


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Ideally, your private space should be near a window so you can soak up some natural light or gaze outside and daydream. But it’s good to add a floor lamp for extra lighting, or for evening quiet time. Aside from that, the ambient light adds to the coziness.

READ: A 60sqm Condo Unit That’s Easy On The Eyes

4. Decorate it with the right “cocooning” pieces


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It all depends on your “me” space, and you should always personalize it according to your taste. Do you need an armchair and a side table to rest your cup of tea on? Or perhaps a comfortable occasional chair and a desk for you to tinker on? Wherever your space may be, always add a comfy pillow or two, a soft throw, a cozy rug, and a lamp.

READ: An 86sqm Condo Unit That Looks Like a Hotel

5. Fill it with memories


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You can decorate your little corner with pieces that bring back beautiful memories. In her townhouse, architect Arlene Maslog created a reading nook in her office and filled it with her children’s favorite books. Even now, with her children grown up, they still go back to this nook and re-read some of the books for sentimental reasons.

READ: A Family Downsizes To A Smaller Quezon City Home And They Love It

6. Choose a soothing palette


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Your private sanctuary should relax and soothe you, so it is best to avoid jarring colors. Some suggested color palettes: oatmeal and khaki, sage green, blush, or a sophisticated bluish-gray.  

READ: A 36sqm Art Deco-Themed Condo Unit Breathes Sophistication and Nostalgia

7. Add objects that you love


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When decorating your private space, choose pieces that mean something to you, or décor that inspires you. Don’t fill it up too much that it gets cluttered (then it won’t be relaxing, anymore). In this study nook, designer Gino Eraña decorated the wall with polymer clay appliques he made himself, and added sculptural bone china pieces for inspo.

READ: This Designer’s Sophisticated 32sqm Condo Has A Story To Tell

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