A Contemporary Pinoy Studio Unit That Fits Everything In

This fashion designer’s tiny studio unit is a home, office, and atelier—an example of one-room-living at its best

Original Article: Chinggay Labrador Photography: Rene Mejia Styling: Gwyn Guanzon

“I’m used to working and living in the same place,” fashion designer Phio Enaje readily admits. The ultimate challenge of combining both home and work in his former studio in Manila was handled with his trademark élan.

This condo unit served as Phio’s living room, bedroom, office, and design atelier when he was in Manila. Spaces and furniture morphed Transformers-like into different pieces at the snap of a finger—a sofa unfolded into a bed, a study desk turned into a dining table, and a small nook became an elegant fitting room with the drape of a curtain.

But in spite of the diminutive space, this home-slash-atelier hardly felt cramped. In fact, it had a vibe that was sophisticated, but was as comfortable and as easygoing as its owner. “I wanted people to feel na puwede silang humilata,” Phio says. 

General living area

The L-shaped unit served as a multi-functional space; not only as his residence, but also as his workplace. Phio’s living arrangements left no trace of haphazard sofa bed living—his linens and pillows were neatly tucked under a rolling hanger where he kept his clients’ clothes neatly hanging. 

Living-sleeping area

“Even if my home’s colors are all on the earth-side—browns and beiges—I also opted to place elements that add vibrancy.” Phio’s calming interiors were contrasted by vibrant accent colors—orange throw pillows, a teal vase, and a wall-mounted banig in all colors of the rainbow. “I spotted the banig at Kultura Filipino,” he recounts. “The minute I saw it, I said this was what I wanted on my wall—something different, not just any ordinary painting.”

Dressing area

Hidden behind a taupe curtain in the living area is a dressing/fitting area for his clients. It is located conveniently next to a bathroom. The elegant drapes of this evening gown echoes the drapes of the curtains. 


A grouping of harlequin masks on padded frames makes a great DIY wall accent. “Combining European design concepts with Filipino ideas gives it a different look,” says Phio. 

Home office-dining area

The work area was positioned in one cozy corner by the window, and was isolated enough from the rest of the unit to comfortably accommodate clients and friends. Phio got a spectacular view of Manila whenever he rotated his chair towards the window. 


The framed mirror, which was a gift from a friend, visually enlarged the bathroom. Woven baskets by the side of the water closet hide toiletries. You can get baskets like these at Dapitan Arcade. To read more about Dapitan Arcade, click here. 

Shoe storage by the entrance

Every bit of space in the unit was maximized, including this narrow but efficient niche by the door, which was transformed into storage space for Phio’s books and shoes.

Read the original article ("All-In-One") in the Real Home Ideas 5: Small Space Solutions book. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to for more details. 

More on

A 21sqm Contemporary Studio Unit

A Homey Minimalist Look for a 36sqm Studio Unit

A Real Living Reader's 36sqm Ocean-Inspired Studio Unit


Latest Stories

Would You Live Inside This 9sqm Water Pipe?

This modern designer studio unit (inside a water pipe!) in Hong Kong may be the home of the future

Miss Universe Philippines Catriona Gray Is An Awesome Artist

We discovered the Binibining Pilipinas-Universe winner has some mad painting skills!

8 Properties That Will Make You Want to Move to Pampanga ASAP

When it comes to investing in real estate, Pampanga is the place to be right now

Team Kramer Gives A Tour of Their New Home

The house will have an elevator, an infinity pool, and a classroom for the kids

17 Important Loan Terms That You Should Know

Buying a house? Here’s an A-to-T glossary of financial terms that won’t leave you in the dark.

A Loft-Type Bachelor Pad Found Inside a Family Home

The owner worked with interior designer Erika Uichanco to transform an ordinary bedroom into a remarkable, condo-like personal space

This Hostel in Makati Has Calming Bedrooms Perfect for Staycations

The bonus? You get design ideas for the different rooms in your house, too!

Lazada Plans to Launch an Online Grocery This Year

Shopping for the home will be easier as the e-commerce startup aims to build cold storage hubs in Metro Manila and nearby provinces

What Kind of Furniture Do Millennials Look For?

Are they all about aesthetics or do they care about functionality, too?

The Ultimate Kamuning Shopping Guide

Once the go-to place for affordable fabric and tailoring, this Quezon City district is now a happening place and a treasure trove of hip vintage stores, cool furniture shops, and more

14 Baguio And Ilocos Destinations To Visit On a Summer Weekend

The beginning of summer vacation is the perfect time to head up north! Here are fun and easy places to visit and shop at.

Beautiful And Functional Ways To Decorate A Bi-Level Home

Maximize every nook and cranny of your humble abode with these ideas
Load More Stories

Get inspiring design ideas and handy hints.
Subscribe to our newsletter now!