Tips and Guides

Editor's Picks: 5 Must-See Small Homes

Real Living’s editor in chief shares her favorite small-but-striking spaces

Photography: Miguel Nacianceno, Paolo Feliciano, Zernan Mataya, and Rene Mejia

We’ve featured thousands of homes in the past, but the ones that have made a big impression on me are the smaller homes. It takes immense talent (and purging) to fit everything in a space that’s 100sqm or less. Here are my all-time favorites:

Rommel Caballes's 80sqm Maximalist Condo

What makes Doc Rommel’s condo amazing is that he crams it with larger-than-life pieces one would usually find in grander homes.

Rommel admits he is a maximalist, so he thinks nothing of decorating his condo with an antelope head, life-size Buddhas, floor-to-ceiling apothecary drawers (a great shoe storage idea), and a Balinese temple door that is actually the kitchen entrance!

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

Bien Po's 47sqm DIY Loft

Almost everything you see in Bien Po’s industrial loft-type condo was made with his own hands. This doctor/weekend-tinkerer DIYed his lighting fixtures, paintings, planters, and even his own headboard.

Inspired by the inside of a ship, his condo home is one of the most efficient ones I’ve seen, with everything organized and within easy reach.

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

Mabi David's 30sqm Writer's Nest

Can you fit 886 (and counting) books inside a studio-turned-one-bedroom condo? Yes you can! This writer-poet, with a bit of help from friend-interior designer Wilmer Lopez, created a moody-eclectic condo home filled with flea market furniture, vintage-style wallpaper, family memorabilia, and of course, loads of books.

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

John Vigilia's 15sqm Container Van Project

A daybed, funky batibot chairs, and industrial-style bricks all make this small home stylish, but what makes it special is the fact that it is actually a container van.

Created by interior designer John Vigilia for a client who is a Typhoon Haiyan victim, this home proves that a living space can be compact, cost-effective, portable, and upcycled.

Click here to see more photos of this 15sqm container van home.

The Salazars' 35sqm New York-Style Studio

The couple was disciplined enough to pare down their belongings to fit into this very small condo. To save money, they made everything look raw and industrial, even keeping all the ducting exposed. One great detail here is a hammock for guests that can be detached when not in use.

See the whole home and more amazing small spaces in the August 2015 issue of Real Living. You may also download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to for more details.

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