An 18sqm Condo in Katipunan

This unit shows that space cannot limit imagination. Mirrors combined with plenty of storage solutions make this space cozy and inviting

Original Article: Kathleen Valle Photography: Dairy Darilag Pictorial Direction: Nat M. Clave Styling: Paula de Guzman Interior Designer: Kristine Neri-Magturo

An 18sqm condo can be seen as a problem or an opportunity. For interior designer Kristine Neri-Magturo, it was a chance to show that space cannot limit imagination. The owners asked her to furnish the unit to be rented out in the student neighborhood of Katipunan. “I kept in mind the schools around the area, because this unit is more for the young, trendy, and hip students," Kristine shares.

She worked with just two non-negotiables: mirrors and plenty of storage. For the former, a three-panel mirror was installed on almost the entire length of one wall of the living room.

“The owner was saying that during her time when she was renting out, she needed a lot of storage for books and other things,” says Kristine. Inconspicuous storage spaces were added wherever possible: under the bed, side table, and overhead cabinets cleverly hidden as a false beam. Modular storage with the same finish as the existing cabinets were also added. Yet, some pieces like the console and dining tables had to be scaled to fit.

Kristine incorporated details like cabinet doors covered with chalkboard paint and lighting fixtures with hanging wires to keep the youthful utilitarian design. By choosing key elements that are useful and imbuing them with some whimsy, this small space became a student’s dream unit.

Read the original article ("A Study in Cool") 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 and Dining Areas

Space-amping staples like white walls and mirror-lined wall were used to full advantage here.

Dining Area

A black-and-silver color scheme transforms the dining area into a chic café at-home. The wall prints add a hip vibe to the space.

Study Area

The study nook has utilitarian and fun elements like a barn light for illumination and chalkboard for reminders.

Sleeping Area

Gray and white make the sleeping area conducive to restful sleep.

Decor Detail

A framed photo of a typewriter is retro chic.

Decor Detail

A barn light torch is mobile as needed as well as industrial cool.

Decor Detail

Colorful accents like these make the small condo more interesting.

Decor Detail

A monochromatic alarm clock gives elegance to the study area.

Decor Detail

The chalkboard on the wall is convenient for reminders. It adds to the young vibe of the unit.


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