Tips and Guides

5 Small Space Tips You Shouldn't Forget

It's not just about putting a huge mirror to visually expand your space

Photography: Ocs Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions (Main Photo)

With a lot of people coming to the city to work and study, luxury of space isn't something we are afforded with. Space expands vertically, what with condos mushrooming almost in every corner and floor areas measuring less than 20sqm. To help you live comfortably even in a tiny space, heed these tips from interior designers:

1. Purge.

It has been said time and again, but there is no stressing this important tip. Get rid of all the things you don't need and no longer use. Start with your closet—remove all clothes that you no longer wear, even if you think you might use them someday (which you actually won't, promise!), because you're bound to forget them if they're buried underneath your countless shirts and dresses.

You can hold a garage sale to free your hands from all the things you've accumulated, or you can donate them to charity (as with the case of old but still usable clothes).

2. Choose smart furniture pieces.

Multipurpose pieces are great picks, because they do more than one task without occupying a lot of precious floor space. A sofa bed is also a smart choice—if you live alone in a small studio unit, this can act as your sleeping area as well.

3. Look for secret storage spots.

Storage doesn't only mean cabinets and drawers. Even walls have great potential to become a storage space. Make the most of available vertical space by turning an entire wall into instant storage! Install shelves, hang rods, and you can also work with suspended pipes. You can also invest in quality pieces with hidden storage like ottomans with lids and bed frames with drawers underneath.

4. You don't always have to use a light color palette.

Yes, dark colors can still be used. According to interior designer Wilmer Lopez, these hues can be used as accent and give an illusion of depth. But if you're more comfortable with lighter color schemes, interior designer Kristine Neri- Magturo suggests going for colors like white, cream, and light blues or greens.

5. And yes, you can also use large furniture pieces.

Having a few big but functional pieces is better than having several, small pieces that may cause a space to look cluttered. Kristine advises to choose the focal point of each room and make it extra special with the right accessories. The rest of the room can be kept airy with an open layout.

Read the original article in the November 2012 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to for more details.

PHOTOS (in order): Ocs Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions | Paolo Feliciano | Louie Aguinaldo.

More on

5 Clever Ideas for Small Spaces

Your 10 Favorite Small Spaces, Ranked

Editor's Picks: 5 Must-See Small Homes


Latest Stories

A Taguig Condo With Cool Storage Features And Vintage Accents

This 80sqm unit has everything that its owners need: light and airy spaces, an interesting mix of furniture, and nifty storage tricks

8 Celebrities Who Are Also Amazing Artists

From John Lloyd Cruz to Ian Veneracion, these famous faces put a new spin to being creative

Katrina Halili’s House in El Nido, Palawan

Found inside her own farm, the tranquil sanctuary features spacious rooms and an incomparable view of the lush outdoors

10 Designer-Approved Coffee Tables

Sisters Cynthia and Ivy Almario, first ladies of Philippine interior design, discuss their favorite coffee tables.

These High-End Villages Have Tripled Average Land Prices in the Last 6 Years

Do you live in one?

The Ultimate Quiapo Bargain Shopping Guide

Ready to go on a Quiapo adventure? From Ilalim ng Tulay to Plaza Miranda, you are bound to spot a budget home find. Read on for our list of stores and buyers tips.

The New Holiday Balikbayan Guest Solution: Airbnbs

They will surely feel right at home!

Your P2,000 Budget Can Afford A Mini Makeover

Turn sad corners and uninspired nooks into spaces that wow

18 No-Fail Building Materials For Your Home

These designer-recommended products would make your home last a lifetime, saving you money in the long run

You'll Love These Pieces That Combine Style and Function

An elegant blend of design and style, these picks make a great addition to any room.

All The Breathtaking Design Details At The ASEAN Summit

In photos: Pinoy design and Asian elements took center stage, from the arrival area to the closing ceremonies

This Is How To Choose The Best Products For Your Home

Top tip: seek professional advice!
Load More Stories

Get inspiring design ideas and handy hints.
Subscribe to our newsletter now!