From Tambakan to Tiny Office: How This WFH Mom Created a Special Place Where She Can Stay Focused and Productive

Measuring 2.28sqm, the mini office has everything she needs to tick things off her checklist

Photography: Courtesy of Dei Morales

Those working from home would agree when we say that having a dedicated space for working helps if you want to stay focused on work throughout the day. Knowing the bed is just a few steps away or that you can switch on the TV can make it difficult to stay productive, and this is something Dei Morales can relate to.

Dei, a former OFW who moved back to the Philippines in January, runs a couple of businesses and is also a financial advisor. “I didn’t anticipate the problems that may arise from not having an actual workspace. I tried working in our bedroom but it didn’t work,” she shares. After trying to set up a work area in the different parts of their house, Dei still cannot find the perfect work nook – until she spotted the “tambakan” area that’s such an eyesore.

“It’s a space between two houses that became a storage area. I wanted to put a door sana para hindi pangit tingnan ‘yung storage, then, ‘yun na! That’s when the idea came in na gamitin ko itong space na ito as a tiny office,” relates Dei. As soon as she thought of transforming the area, the businessowner started decluttering and she soon found out that most of the items can be thrown away. Dei then started gathering pegs online and listing the items she would need in her office.

See the rest of the makeover below:



After decluttering the small space and looking for pegs, Dei started planning the space. “I’m the kuripot type and what I love best about this project is the fact na nasunod lahat ng pegs ko without shelling out a long of money. Naging possible ito with the help of recycled stuff and family,” she says. 


The finished tiny office looks cozy and ideal for working. Choosing to paint the room white helped in making it look bigger. Dei spent around P15,000-P18,000 for the entire project which covers materials and labor. “I hired a carpenter and he finished the room in seven days. The finishing touches were done by my sister’s boyfriend while the wall paint was done by my cousin and sisters who paint pots,” explains Dei.

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Notice the green paint behind the chair? The owner initially wanted to have an all-white space but since she attends online meetings regularly, having a clean and seamless background is a must. She went to a paint shop to have her preferred shade of green mixed and prepared.

With a permanent background like this, there’s no need to hang a cloth! Since the shade is light and easy on the eyes, it works as a wall accent, too.



To make the most of the available space, a wall-mounted desk was chosen for the tiny office. A chair was brought in to make sure the height is right and Dei doesn’t have to slouch while working. 


In completing the compact space, Dei brought together old pieces to keep within the budget. The floating shelves from IKEA came from a former house and just repainted white while the lamp is a spare lighting piece she owns.

“I have my photography corner here and the lamp gives good lighting for the products I photograph. It can be very Instagram-worthy,” she muses.


Privacy – check! A door was installed to give Dei the serene ambiance she needs while working. The flooring of the small space was also spruced up with wood-like tiles from Wilcon Depot.



Aside from the door, she also had to address the need for a comfortable setting. “I had a two-way exhaust fan connected to our room which is just beside my office. Para makatipid, hindi na ako nagpa-kabit ng AC sa office at nakiki-sagap lang ako ng aircon from the bedroom,” explains Dei. 


To avoid eyesores, outlets and cords are hidden from view. Dei also made sure she has enough organizers. “I was hands on talaga. The drawers, the holes, the location of the outlets, lahat ‘yun binantayan ko,” she muses.

Dei’s photography essentials and gadgets are on display on the floating shelves. Keeping these things accessible makes it easier for her to get the photography tasks done. When not in use, these double as décor pieces, too.

“Minsan akala natin, walang space sa house but if you look closely, meron at meron tayong possible space to convert into an office. It doesn’t have to be huge, kailangan lang, kahit maliit, may ventilation at tahimik. We need to be resourceful and creative,” Dei suggests.

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Have you recently spruced up your room or renovated your home? We'd definitely love to see the result! Send clear photos (with your full name, city address, and accompanying kuwento) to [email protected] with the subject "DIY Makeover" and we may just feature your DIY project!

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