Tips and Guides

5 Small Space Decorating Ideas Inspired by Real Homes

Take note of these design solutions and easy hacks

Photography: Ocs Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions and Jilson Tiu (Main Photos)

Given the different ideas, tips, and tricks that we’ve featured on how you can make the most of your small space, we’re sure that you’re at a crossroads on which idea to apply first in your own home. There’s no need to worry as many homeowners encounter the same dilemma. Since we all want a pretty and functional home, we need to be ready to face an exciting process of transforming a compact space into a cozy haven.

To help you kick-start your journey, we’ve revisited some of our favorite condo homes to review a couple of ideas that you can work on. Depending on your budget and list of priorities, here are five must-dos to keep in mind:

Go horizontal and wide

We're used to seeing floor-to-ceiling shelves that draw the eyes upward—break the norm by opting for wide shelves that seem to create an illusion of an expansive space. In this 99sqm condo in Mandaluyong, the homeowner paired the long wooden shelves with mirrors to make the space seem bigger. Paired with neutrals and wooden elements, a welcoming home was achieved.

Photo by Jun Pinzon.

Click here to see more photos and view the complete home tour.

Experiment with dividers

Many studio units showcase an open layout to allow the homeowners to move freely from one area to the next. While this is an efficient solution, you may also want to take into consideration privacy and defining the different areas in your space. 

Aside from shelves, wooden dividers, curtains, and huge potted plants, you can take inspiration from this sliding glass partition found in a 43sqm unit in Taguig. It gives the home an industrial feel while keeping the bedroom and home office private and separate from the living and dining areas.

Photo by Jilson Tiu.

Click here to see more photos and view the complete home tour.

Compact and transforming pieces are your best bets

Transforming furniture are all the rage these days and for a good number of reasons. Aside from giving your multiple functions in one piece, you get the most of your budget while still keeping the home sleek and streamlined. Most of these pieces do not take up floor space and you can easily move them when not in use. Take for example the compact sofa bed in this 18sqm condo in Katipunan.

Photo by Dairy Darilag.

Click here to see more photos and view the complete home tour.

White and wood go well together

Who says the rustic style is only applicable to big, sprawling homes? In this 38sqm loft-type condo, interior designer Jean Suzanne Sy completed the rustic-industrial look by pairing white with gray. Get a similar look by working with neutrals and well-selected wooden pieces. Inject a bit of industrial flair to your space through pendant lights, stools, and metallic accessories.

Photo by William Ong.

Click here to see more photos and view the complete home tour.

Of course you can go dark

We're used to reading about how white and neutrals can easily open up a unit and make it seem airy and spacious. While these are good and safe choices, you can also experiment with darker hues—similar to how Pai Edles and Misty Floro transformed this 22sqm home. If you're going for a similar shade, achieve balance by choosing the rest of the furniture and decor wisely.

Opt for sheets in lighter colors, create contrast by choosing an accent shade (in this case, the neon bed frame works well against black), complete the home with sleek pieces, and make sure you maximize vertical space for storage.

Photo by Ocs Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions.

Click here to see more photos and view the complete home tour.

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