Affordable Style for a 32sqm Condo

Budget-friendly decorating ideas, space-saving storage solutions, and vibrant colors fill this high-rise unit

Original Article: Katherine Lopez Photography: Ocs Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions Pictorial Direction: Joanne Enriquez-Bohol

Designing your own home doesn’t have to be an expensive process. For her 32sqm bachelorette pad in the city, homeowner Nancy Siy has perfected the practice of recycling old pieces and purchasing cheap but chic things. Another affordable trick that she tried was to paint the walls a refreshing aqua. These candy-colored walls made her space look interesting and also provided the perfect backdrop for her budget finds.

Nancy used some of her favorite pieces, such as a couch now dressed with a black slip cover to fit the color theme of the space, a black chandelier bought for only P5,000, and an old shoe cabinet repurposed as a TV stand. To make the most of the limited area, she also has different multi-purpose items like a couch that can be turned into a bed, a coffee table that transforms into a dining table, and ottomans that also serve as storage.

Original article by Katherine Lopez.  Pictorial direction by Joanne Enriquez-Bohol. Photographed by Ocs Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions.

Read the original article (“Color Me Happy”) in the May 2012 issue of Real Living Magazine. To download a digital copy of Real Living Magazine, visit Summit Newsstand at


The plain white front door is spruced up with a quirky key-shaped sticker.


A version of the popular "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster can be seen on the wall next to the door. In line with the homeowner's beliefs, this one reads, "Keep Calm and Live Vegan."


Scrappy's food and water bowls are placed next to the front door.


Upon entering the unit, a shelf containing Nancy's shoes, bags, and other belongings greets the guest. Keys and her dog Scrappy's leash are hung on wall-mounted hooks. Black ottoman stools, which also came from her old home, function as seats and storage options.


Nancy keeps the house organized by putting chic storage boxes on her shoes and bag cabinet. To add more personality, the top shelf is filled with notebooks and vector arts of Nancy.


The living area is furnished with dual-purpose pieces: a couch that can be transformed into a bed and a low coffee table that can be elevated to become a dining table. Hanging above the space is a black chandelier bought for only P5,000.


Adorning the couch is a pair of pillows with a dachshund print which shows the owner's love for dogs.


An old shoe cabinet is now used as a TV stand. The piece is highlighted with a pair of ottoman stools that serve as additional seats and storage options.


A black chandelier hangs on a blue-painted ceiling.


Facing the living area is the kitchen area that is completed with open white shelves that hold pots, pans, and other cooking essentials.


Nancy transfers hand soap, dishwashing liquid, and veggie wash into matching black containers for a uniform, spic and span look in the kitchen.


The stainless-steel refrigerator is jazzed up with a magnetic poetry set from her sister.


Tall white shelves separate the living, dining and kitchen area from the bedroom. Apart from serving as a divider, it is also a place for Nancy to keep her books, magazines, and personal possessions.


In her bedroom, she decided not to have a bed frame so that her small dog can easily climb into bed with her. Black and white bed linen and pillows complement the vivid aqua paint on her walls.


The space next to the window is used as a reading corner. Black and white throw pillows from SM Homeworld make the space cozy and comfortable.

Bedroom Detail

Colorful pillows such as the pink-and-white patterned pillow and the green-on-black statement pillow provide a cool contrast to the blue wall and vintage pieces surrounding the room.


A black cut-out ornament from Dimensione and wall stickers add personality to the small bedroom.


The bathroom walls are painted bright yellow to immediately liven up the area. Small knick-knacks and more wall stickers from Japan Home Store make the space more interesting.


Affordable home accessories (like an alarm clock with a yellow face atop the toilet) add character to Nancy’s yellow bathroom.


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