Tips and Guides

6 Designer Secrets for Small Spaces

These tried-and-test ideas can help you make the most of your home

Photography: Paolo Feliciano (Main Photo)

Living in a small space allows you to efficiently plan out every furniture piece that is placed in your home. Since you need to make use of your space wisely, we've come up with a list of decorating and organizing tips that may just help you furnish your condo home or apartment.

Read the original article ("50 Makeovers") in the September 2008 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to for more details.

Segregate through shelves

Place open shelves in between living and sleeping spaces. Doing this separates the two areas while allowing light to pass through. To liven up your shelves, you may use potted plants, books, and vases as decor pieces.

Go for wall-mounted storage

Since you need most of your horizontal space, why not make use of your walls? Wall-to-wall shelving not only helps you get things in order, it also creates an interesting visual effect when filed up. 

Photo by Paolo Feliciano and Pat Martires.

Decorate with lights

A striking area rug and an interesting lighting fixture directly above it can energize any room. If you want a warm and inviting vibe, choose cove lights or pin lights to enhance your space.

Use a rug

Visually stretch the dimensions of a cramped living room by using a striped rug. One that has varying widths and punchy colors can elongate a space without the mess of a paint job. Plus, you can get a new design whenever you want.

Picks and Styling by Dagny Madamba. Assisted by Tala Singson. Photographed by Paolo Feliciano. 

Paint your walls

To create an illusion of more space, paint the walls with horizontal stripes in neutral shades. You can use warm mid-neutrals like tan, taupe, and mocha to add contrast to your space. 

Use small tables

Cluster two or three small tables instead of one big coffee table for ample leg room in a small living area. You can also use storage ottomans as these pieces can serve multiple purposes and do not take up floor space.

Photo by Marc Jao.

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