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Tips and Guides

5 Small Space Ideas We Can Learn from a 21sqm Condo Unit

You can always depend on clever storage solutions and nifty nooks

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Photography: Jerome Jocson

Those who live in compact units would agree when we say that maximizing the available floor area is the biggest challenge one must face after the big move. However, rather than dwelling on what can't be done in the space, it's more important—and fun!—to think outside the box in terms of what you can do to make it as bright and as welcoming as possible.

If you're looking for ideas, here are some things to take note of inspired by one of the smallest units we've featured on the website:

1. Choose a bed with hidden storage.

According to designer Roland Lustado, the home serves as a retreat for an owner who travels a lot. Since he's out and about most of the time, Roland worked on a snug look that's comfortable and functional. To help the owner organize his belongings, a customized bed with pullout storage was chosen. The drawers may come in handy when organizing extra pillows and sheets.

2. Install a wooden ledge on the side of the bed.

If you will notice, multiple shelves were added in the space. These additions give the owner enough space to display photos, travel souvenirs, and other knickknacks. Those who don't have space above the bed can always install wooden ledges on one side of the wall. You can position it high above for decor or if you love reading a few pages before calling it a day, you can have it installed in an accessible height. Just make sure you work with an ideal height to avoid bumps and bruises.

RL Tip: More often than not, the sleeping space occupies the same space as the living, dining, and kitchen areas. To help you define the areas, you can use a slim shelf as divider. In this unit, the designer opted to add a shag rug to separate the bed from the work area. 

3. Opt for a shelf in the entryway.

Many homeowners choose to do without a console table upon entry to the unit to save on space. Make use of the few steps from the door to your main living area by adding a shelf with multiple compartments. The cubbies can accommodate shoes and bags. You can also use it to organize baskets or bins filled with various essentials. You can display decor pieces on top of the shelf or set up a vignette featuring artworks and a few catchalls.

4. Don't forget empty corners.

Corner shelves are your best bets when it comes to maximizing unused niches and empty spaces. Add open shelves and feel free to display potted plants and framed photographs.

If you're adding one in the kitchen, you can use it to organize condiments and jars of ingredients. Meanwhile, one or two open shelves in the bathroom will give you enough room to keep toiletries from turning into eyesores.

5. Choose built-in and pair it with mirrors.

It's a given that mirrors can create an illusion of bigger space, but how can you take things to the next level? Pair it with a built-in table and shelf to create a multifunctional nook. This part of the unit can serve as extra work space or even as a temporary dining nook when you have guests over. Prepare extra seating pieces like ottomans and upholstered stools, too.

Click here to see more photos of this unit. 

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