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

How I Moved Out of the Family Home and Survived Living Alone

A young photojournalist shares the triumphs and struggles of living independently

This House in Pasig Has Been Under Renovation For Years

Architect Pierre Briones transformed a dated property into a stunning home filled with wooden touches, designer pieces, and handpicked accessories

This TV Show Does Home Makeovers In 15 Hours

And some of the decorators (and one judge!) are Pinoy. Check out this amazing makeover show.

This Museum In a Bahay Na Bato Is a Lesson In Pinoy History

In photos: The Destileria Limtuaco Museum in Intramuros will delight your mind and eye, not only your tastebuds

This Elevated Walkway In Ortigas Makes Pasig A More Walkable City

The walkway is one of a series of new pedestrian areas rising in Ortigas Center

How Do You Divide Conjugal Property When You Get Annulled?

It's not as simple as 50/50.

4 Questions To Ask Your Interior Designer

Develop a healthy relationship with your design professional for a beautiful home

Designer Pieces We Love in Derek Ramsay’s House in Alabang

The actor doesn’t shy away from investing in pieces that make his home distinct and personal

6 Ways To Increase Storage At Home

From custom-designed pieces to minimalist shelves, explore clever ideas to amp up your storage potential

Here's How To Keep Your Clothes Wrinkle-Free When Traveling

Get perfect OOTD's with this handy (and travel-friendly) gadget!

Neutral Colors Make This 50sqm Condo Unit Extra Homey

Taking inspiration from an accent wall, interior designers Honey Mutia Cervantes and Rosa Manduriao were able to achieve a modern yet comfy look for a one-bedroom vacation home in the city

5 Plants That Can Repel Mosquitoes

Keep your home safe and these pesky pests away with these natural solutions
Load More Stories

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