A 35sqm Flat with Pocket-Friendly Finds and Simple yet Elegant Fixtures

Clean lines and minimalist furniture define this cozy condo

Original Article: Mari-An Santos Photography: Paolo Feliciano Styling: Dagny Madamba and Tala Singson

When Ulyssis Javier, a publishing professional, moved into his new flat, he contracted his close friend, creative director Ateng Azcueta, to help him furnish it.

Ateng’s biggest challenge was perhaps finding ways to make the 35sqm condo unit appear more spacious and interjecting accents and fixtures that would reflect Uly’s laid-back personality and vision to make his pad as homey as possible — all while working within a limited budget.

The two friends ended up scouring the city for affordable finds, such as the dark brown dining table from Landmark, a Marilyn Monroe print on sale, and the big, wooden clock bought on sale at Ace Hardware. With regards to space constraints, the unit was fortunately equipped with walls that were already painted white and built-in cabinets in the kitchen and closet in the bedroom in a dark wenge tone—clever tricks to make the space appear larger.

Both friends confess that when they took this decorating project one step at a time, everything eventually fell into place. “We would go on decorating activities in waves because of the limited budget. Yet, we were able to finish it within a month.” Though Uly’s flat is still a work in progress, it is obvious that this tiny flat is shaping up to be one cozy haven for the hardworking urbanite.

Read the original article ("Friendly Space") in the June 2014 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details.

Living Area

Potted plants, photography enthusiast Uly’s very own prints encased in silver frames, and subtle colorful accents break the monotony of neutrals in this homey space.

Living Area

Most of the items are from IKEA, the Swedish brand famous for its clever, space-saving home products and fixtures.

Living Area Detail

A simple wire chandelier hangs from the ceiling in the living area, lending a subtle touch of drama in this minimalist setting.

Dining Area

The first thing one will spot upon entering the condo is the scaled-down dining area simply furnished with a dark brown bar-type dining table—a nifty one with built-in storage for dinnerware. It came with two small bar stools and a built-in shelf on one side. Framed prints lend a touch of color to the white walls, and the big, wooden clock beautifully enhances this cozy dining nook.


A sliding door leads to the bedroom, which is occupied by a queen-size bed that Uly insisted on despite the space constraint. 

Bedroom Detail

Roman shades swathe the room in natural sunlight during the day, while a Moroccan-inspired lighting fixture hovering overhead provides the area with a warm glow at night. Fronting the bed is a sleek, white desk that also serves as Uly’s mini home office. A dark gray shag-type duvet and strategically placed accents offset the predominantly white space. 

Bedroom Detail

On one corner of the room is a table with a couple of religious pieces.


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