A Style Guide for Out of the Box Living

Are you a city dweller who has sacrificed personal space for the convenience of living in a prime location? You’re not alone. Almost half of all condos in Metro Manila have floor areas of 50 square meters or less. Seventy-five percent of units in the pre-selling stage in metropolitan areas are studio and one-bedroom units.


Where Creativity Reigns Supreme

Photo from the official Instagram of Elle Decor
“Décor that is well thought of can give your space personal style and the illusion of extra space.”

Making the most out of a limited space requires assessing the different areas of your condo and listing all of your needs for living comfortably in each area. You have to figure out how to fit the pieces you already own into the space that you have.


Well-Curated and Proportional

Photo from Smitten Studio Online website
“Something simple like an accent wall or beautiful wall prints can liven up a room without taking away any more space.”

If your place is really short on space, you may choose multi-purpose, functional pieces that also provide extra storage.

Try to avoid adding walls or tall dividers, which may make a room feel cramped. Don’t be limited to using the four walls around your space. Use step-ups to add coziness and privacy, and use the space below for storage. Use wall- or ceiling-mounted pieces instead of standing furniture to make the floor feel more spacious. Removing unnecessary items also gives a space more fluidity.

Using area rugs or changing flooring can also define living areas without physically separating adjacent spaces.


Embellish with Character and Color

Photo from Free Response website
“Clean and minimal doesn’t have to be stark and boring – a sleek and open space if well styled can be inviting and breezy.”

Painting the walls can change your perception of a room’s size. Warmer and darker colors create a cozier feeling, while cooler and lighter colors make a room look more spacious.

You may also introduce color through accessories. Try to mix and match textures to add visual interest.

A small space doesn’t have to cramp your style. It can be an opportunity for you to pare down your possessions and keep only what helps you thrive. With a well thought out interior design plan, a micro condo can be more than just a concrete box.


For more ideas for making the most out of a small space, check out the Philippine School of Interior Design exhibit “Studio 24” from Oct. 3 to 31, 2015, at Ronac Lifestyle Center, Magallanes, Makati City. For more information, please visit:

COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by Manila Standard. Comments are views by readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with Manila Standard editorial standards, Manila Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.