A Charming 26sqm Unit You Can Rent on Airbnb

Scandinavian-inspired décor, light colors, and chalky white walls make this one-bedroom feel more spacious and inviting

Photography: Dairy Darilag Styling: Kamila Arianna Garcia Interior Designer: Nikki Audine

After years of traveling and staying in vacation rentals, the owners of this one-bedroom condo in Quezon City thought of investing in a unit for hosting. But how can you turn a tight 26sqm space into homey escape? It’s no secret that compact spaces are challenging to design and furnish—after all, there’s only so much you can do and add to make it look bigger.

To transform the space, interior designer Nikki Audine turned to Nordic interiors for inspiration. “The vision was for the small area with one window to look as inviting and bright as possible given the layout,” she says. Though there’s only one source of natural light, the unit is far from being gloomy. White walls dominate the space—with wooden pieces and light colors completing the look. With a home as delightful and relaxing as this, we wouldn’t mind staying indoors for days.

Living Area

Given the narrow entrance, Nikki had a mirror installed to create an illusion of a wider space. "The layout [of the unit] is like an obstacle course, the partition of the bedroom made the living area look small and [the addition] of a coffee table may block the bedroom door," says Nikki. To remedy the situation, the designer chose a sleek gray sofa that adds a streamlined feel to the space. Completing the look are the coffee table with metal base and wooden tabletop and the lighting fixture in natural wood finish.

Notice the walls in the living area? To keep it from being dull, Nikki added a neutral geometric mountain wall mural inspired by the Scandes or the Scandinavian Mountains.

Designer's Tip: Achieve a similar look by using a lot of white and pastel colors as accents. Nikki advises that shades of blue, green, and coral pink can help bring in more light. You can also tone down the accent colors with soft gray.

Dining Nook

Due to the limited space, Nikki had a wooden ledge installed to create a breakfast bar. Two stools in natural wood finish complete the quaint setup. This option not only saves space, it gives the occupants a view of the city, too.

Find similar stools at Match Contract Furniture, 2100 Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Makati City.

Gallery Wall

While the frames are in different sizes, all are in white for a cohesive look. The chosen prints add pops of color to the corner, keeping it from being dull.

Find similar frames at The Landmark, Ayala Center, Makati City.

Dining Nook and Kitchen

The kitchen is tiny yet functional. It has enough storage for food items, essentials, and dinnerware. With natural light streaming in from the window, tasks can be done easily. Prior to the unit's makeover, the cabinets were painted dark brown—making the kitchen look dated. To give it a new look, Nikki had the cabinets repainted in white. The old handles were retained and painted in matte black to match the backsplash.


Pairing white with natural wood finishes can help you create a Scandinavian effect. Wooden pieces and accessories also add warmth to your space.


Whether you're working on a small space or you plan to have a Scandinavian theme, Nikki suggests choosing minimalist furniture pieces with fabrics in neutral colors. These picks add to the lightness of the space, while keeping the overall look airy.


To make sure that guests can sleep soundly without feeling confined in a tight space, Nikki spruced up the wall in the bedroom with a light geometric pattern that's easy on the eyes. "It's in soft gray and Swedish blue. [The colors are] very light and ethereal as if you're floating on the sea," says the designer.

Above the headboard is another mirror that helps double up the space. Since the bedroom has no windows, Nikki chose cool white lights to keep it bright and open while complementing the colors on the wall.


The headboard has enough space to accommodate a chic lamp, a few accessories, and a couple of books. These are welcome buddies—especially if the guests love to read before calling it a day.


A sleek built-in console holds the TV while also serving as storage for more books and devices. Painting it in white keeps the look seamless.


In any home, extra storage is important. To maximize the available vertical space, a wall-mounted shelf was installed above the TV where plants, decor, and other accessories can be displayed.

Designer's Tip: Nikki suggests making space for indoor plants in your home. Real and natural picks are beneficial to one's health as these can help purify the air. If you can't commit to maintaining a pot or two, faux ones are your go-to must-haves as these can make you feel calm and at ease.


A lovely round mirror doubles as wall accent in the bedroom. When furnishing a space, see if you can find pieces that are pretty and functional—this can help you save money and time when shopping for the home.

Find a similar piece at H&M Home, G/F, SM Makati, Hotel Drive, Makati City.

Ready for your own makeover? Get in touch with interior designer Nikki Audine through mobile at (0917) 823-2118 or you can also e-mail vvaudine[at]

Do you have an RL-inspired home? Send us photos on Facebook and we might feature you, too!

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