An Extreme Makeover of a Pasay Studio Unit for Four

This major overhaul of 29sqm condo reveals a fantastic kitchen, living-dining area, and two private bedrooms!

Photography: courtesy of Elle Uy

Decorating a studio unit for one person is already challenging (like, where will you store all those shoes?), but planning a studio for four people or more has a totally different level of difficulty.  

Such was the dilemma of the homeowners of a 29sqm studio unit in Pasay City, who called on decorator Elle Uy to help them out. “The studio is less than 30sqm, and [they are] a family of three, plus one kasambahay, with a lot of guests sleeping over,” reveals Elle of the living situation. The main problem of the unit was that it lacked any sort of definition of space, with the living, dining, cooking, and sleeping areas blending into one another. Another problem was lack of storage.

Elle rolled up her sleeves, and in a one-month makeover, renovated the unit into a home that had distinct and organized living areas, two private bedrooms, and a proper working kitchen. Using her philosophy of “Decor Me Happy,” Elle infused bright and happy colors into her chosen Vintage-Industrial theme for the unit. 

Kahit maliit siya, challenged ako sa floor plan and how to make the space work, pero I love the results,” the decorator says.  Check out the final before-and-after photos below: 

Entry foyer

Elle reveals that ironically, it is the entry hallway that had the most space in the studio unit, so this is where she located the family’s main wardrobe closet (seen partially at left) and shoe cabinet. The steps at right lead to the new, main sleeping area. 

Main living area

The studio unit’s former appearance was just that—one big room, with no partitions or walls to divide living, cooking, and sleeping areas. “When we started, walang divisions ang studio unit nila,” shares Elle. “The bed area is located beside the kitchen, may divider lang sila and aparador.

Sofa/guest bed

This sofa serves multiple purposes: it can be pulled out and transformed into a queen-size (!) bed for guests, or pushed back to become the main lounge area in the studio unit. The backrest is a retro secondhand panel that the homeowners—who love to thrifting—found in Bangkal.

Above the sofa bed is a storage unit that Elle customized using the sampaguita glass divider that the owners had. “Ayoko naman ng ordinary cabinet [doors] so I proposed to use the panels of their vintage divider,” the decorator says.


Of the unit’s former kitchen, Elle reveals: “hindi siya talagang kitchen…they put their kitchen items lang near this sink. E mahilig pa naman sila magluto, so the priority was the kitchen should work for them.”  What the decorator did was extend the stump of a counter into a fully functional working counter with sink, prep area, shelving, drawers, and built-in microwave oven. A new backsplash using tiles from FC Tile Depot makes a graphic statement and serves as the condo unit’s focal point. “It’s black and white, it’s subtle, but meron naman siyang visual impact.”

Elle’s solution to extra storage in the new kitchen was to hang the cooking implements on the new wall (behind this is the new bedroom). “Para di siya super-cluttered tingnan, fi-nrame ko siya,” she says. You can buy simple molding like this at home depots. 

Dining area

The dining area has a small but handy dining table that can actually be extended to seat six people (Elle has the same table at home). There wasn’t anything on the wall beside it, so she located the TV-entertainment above the dining table, hiding all the unsightly cables behind the wall. You can get similar metal chairs from Match Contract. 

Sleeping area

Elle promised to provide two private bedrooms and she was able to deliver, closing off the right side of the studio unit and elevating it to accommodate pullout storage underneath (and the pullout sofa bed in the living area). The cozy sleeping area also has a surprise: patterned wallpaper on the ceiling that the homeowners found at Shell Canvas at Mall of Asia.

Watch Elle Uy’s makeover tour here:

To get in touch with Elle, follow her on her Facebook page and on Instagram at @elleuydecor, read her blog Decor Me Happy, or subscribe to her channel on Youtube.

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