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

Lucky sale finds and a calming ambiance reign supreme in this compact home

Photography: Vincent Coscolluela

From the sound of the waves to the sand between one’s toes, a trip to the beach is the best getaway for those looking for some quiet time—to think, reflect, and simply to unwind. When the owner of this unit decided to renovate her condo, she envisioned it to be a staycation place where she can hang out in peace, read a book, and even get some work done on the side. The best inspiration? Nothing but the beach, of course!

Modern and rustic furniture pieces complete the home, while accessories in aqua, teal, and turquoise can be seen all over the space. To stay true to the refreshing and airy coastal feel, walls are in white, blue, and light gray. The best part about this DIY renovation project? The accessories and furniture were all bought at affordable prices! Having pegs, visiting different stores, and being on the lookout for sales and good deals helped the owner keep costs at a minimum while still achieving the look she has in mind.


To make this spot functional, the owner added a cabinet (scored from a furniture expo for only P2,000!) where essentials can be kept, a place for keys, and a wall-mounted shelf for extra decor. Since the beach is all about having fun and relaxing, there's a small jar of iced tea as refreshment, too!

RL Tip: The entryway sets the tone of the unit—you can decorate it with knickknacks that highlight the theme. In this corner, the owner added a bottle with LED lights, a potted plant, and a tray filled with shells.

Living and Dining Areas

Given the limited floor space, it's easy to see the entire unit from the door. The dining area is situated near the kitchen, while a few steps from it is the living area. Aside from the modern furniture pieces, some of the must-haves also sport a distressed finish for a rustic touch.

The mirror propped against the wall serves many functions—it can double up the space as well as serve as a special spot where the owner can check her outfit before stepping outside.

Dining Area

Though compact, the dining area can seat four people comfortably. To stay true to the theme, it features a dining table from a home depot and blue chairs. Meanwhile, the dinnerware and table accessories all have hints of aqua.

Dining Area

The wall-mounted shelves hold blue mason jars to highlight a beach picnic feel, while the "Eat" sign from Robinsons Galleria defines the purpose of the space. To complement the pieces, a minty wallpaper with a Stacy print livens up the wall.

The bench seating piece was purchased from Mandaue Foam and can also accommodate more guests during get-togethers.


Designing and decorating the kitchen proved to be a challenge for a owner who loves to cook and bake. To address the problems, she had the cooking area extended. Extra cabinets were added and the refrigerator was brought out by the door to create more space for meal preparation.

Look closely and check out the wall accent and pot holders—all of these go back to the ocean-inspired theme. Floor tiles were also used to change the countertop.

Living Area

The living area screams cozy, inviting, and a soothing feel. A customized daybed by the window can be a spot for reading books and short naps. Extra drawers underneath make it a dual-purpose must-have, too! It can hold magazines, extra sheets, and more books.

Meanwhile, the customized built-in shelf holds various knickknacks and books with blue spines for a cohesive look. The curtains even have a pattern similar to the dining area wallpaper!

Living Area

Since the owner is also a businesswoman, she added a work corner with a view. All pieces were bought at a budget-friendly price (including the computer, which was a secondhand steal!) as the desk and chair are both home depot finds.

To keep the space from drowning from the blues and whites, one wall of the living area is in light gray. It serves as the perfect backdrop for the sofa bed from SM Home. Opting for a sofa bed is a good choice—especially when the owner's kids are staying over. Completing the wall-mounted shelves are framed verses from the Bible.

RL Tip: Loved the wall colors of this home? The owner chose Sherwin-Williams paint available at Ace Hardware.

Living Area

Geometric shelves in white serve as functional wall decor. Aside from holding a few decor pieces that speak of the beach life, it adds life to the wall, too.

Notice the brick wall on the left? It's only wallpaper! Find something similar at Builders Point, CW Home Depot Ortigas, 1 Dona Julia Vargas Avenue corner Meralco Avenue, Pasig City.

Living Area

Working with a theme in mind has made it easier for the owner to choose her soft furnishings. Since she has a pattern in mind, she knows what to look for. Fortunately, The Nifty Decorator has tons of designs homeowners can check out! The pillow covers used in the space were all from the shop.

From pillow covers and curtains, to table runners and placemats—you'll love more than one design for sure. Follow The Nifty Decorator on Instagram to learn more.


To make the bedroom perfect for restful sleep, the walls are in blue and white. The bed can be considered as investment piece as it's the most expensive must-have in the house. The hotel quality mattress costs P11,000 while the upholstered headboard with nailhead trim costs P10, 000—both pieces were bought on sale during a furniture expo held at SM Megamall.


On the side table is a table lamp with a patterned lamp shade and a few beach-inspired decor pieces. The side table was crafted using an excess part of the TV stand in the living area.


Functioning as a vanity nook in the bedroom are floating shelves with distressed wood boxes in the middle. These can be used to store makeup, jewelry, and other accessories. A similar placemat from the dining area livens up the setup while pearls and shells complete the look.


Instead of displaying the toiletries on the counter, the owner opted to make use of the available vertical space by having a wall-mounted mason jar organizer. Aside from showcasing the unit's color scheme, it's also reminiscent of a beach cottage. Find something similar at Etsy or Robinsons Galleria.


Sprucing up the wall in the shower area are hexagon tiles in a lighter shade of blue.

Find tiles in different styles and colors when you visit FC Tile Depot, Buendia Road corner Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City. Click here to learn more.

We might feature your home, too! Send photos for review to reallivingonline[at] with the subject: RL Reader Home. You can also send us a private message on Facebook.

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