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7 Essential Design Tips for Working with a Small Space

Photo from official Instagram of Elle Decor
I have been living in a condo unit for years now here in Manila. Yes it is a small space so I know that I have to adjust to everything from choosing the right furniture to limiting only important stuff to keep. I am sharing this to everyone who can relate to my story and a condo unit dweller. 

The amount of micro condos available in the market today has new dwellers facing an age-old dilemma, something that takes just a bit of ingenuity and a splash of creativity to solve. Because we know that owning a tight space means having a tough time pulling off a unique design, we’ve compiled for you eight key points in giving your space the personality it needs, no matter how small it may be.

1.     Find the perfect fit
Space presents boundless opportunities, and planning it is the first step. Determining the use of each space allows homeowners to allocate the furnishings necessary. While it is important to know the right kind of furniture to put in your home, it is just as imperative to get the right measurements for it. 

By knowing the exact floor space you’re working with, you can stylishly furnish your home without compromising space. That way, you don’t overload on home items that cramp up your space.

 “D├ęcor that is well thought of can give your space personal style and the illusion of extra space.” (See main photo for reference)

2.     Go see black and white

Introduce contrasting elements into your space. Don’t be afraid to mix and match! Pair the old with the new, the light with the dark, or contrast soft with textures. This will add a harmonious balance that makes interiors look more spacious.

Photo by Christian Lucas Sangoyo
“Furnishing your new home doesn’t mean you can’t re-use old items, just make sure they keep to the overall theme of your home“

3.     Stamp the ‘fun’ in functional

Make use of multi-purpose items or storage pieces to save up on space. This does not mean you have to sacrifice the look of the interiors by stacking up plain boxes for storage. Spice things up by choosing ones that have eye-catching colors or prints. Refurbishing old things and re-using them, whether for storage or display, amps up your room’s style while being economical. 

Photo from Smitten Studio Online website
“Keeping your storage neat and functional means you can also show off your items as accessories”

4.       Master the art of layering
Be it on tabletops or with pillows, layering can be done in every part of the home. Use items that vary in shapes, colors and sizes. Don’t worry about overlapping because this will avoid the space from looking empty, and can actually add dimension.  

Photo from NY Ceiling, Inc. website
“Numerous items don’t mean cluttered – just keep it clean and balanced.”

5.       Add a splash of color
Color will always be your friend - just as long as you don’t overdo it. Add accent pillows to your plain and neutral sofa to make it more interesting and to make your space vibrant and happy.

Photo from Things That Sparkle Blog website
“Contrasting colors can provide a much needed pop of life in an otherwise subdued or monochromatic room”

6.       Take advantage of that wall

Think of blank walls as spaces that are just waiting to be brought to life. The best way to do this is by decking out one side with paint or accents to highlight a specific area while visual interest.

Photo from Agatha O House of Design website
“Paint your wall a bold color or stencil on a unique pattern to make it a built-in accent.”

 7.       Bring the outdoors in
Plants that flourish indoors are good for this. Not only do they bring life into your home, they also radiate tranquility and freshness. Get succulents as they are typically small, easy to maintain, and have beautiful varieties to choose from.

Photo from Centsational Girl website
“Adding plants, especially green leafy ones, is an easy way to add light and life to your space”

If living in a small space makes you feel like you’ve gotten the short end of the real estate stick, just think outside the box. Think of your small home as space that’s bursting with design potential. Find the right pieces to suit your space and style from online furniture stores. A dose of creativity and imagination is all it takes to have it transformed into a covetable masterpiece.

Prestigious design institution PSID (Philippine School of Interior Design) has put together an exhibit entitled Studio 24 at Ronac Lifestyle Center - to be held on October 3 to 31, 2015, showcasing young urban professionals seeking intelligent ways to maximize space. Leading to this, hope you don't mind me sharing this article on essential tips for working with small space given that Metro Manila condos are shrinking to floor sizes measuring 50 sqm and below is seen in today’s trends. We hope you could share this to your readers as well.

The Philippine School of Interior Design will have its upcoming exhibit “Studio 24” on October 3 to 31, 2015 at Ronac Lifestyle Center, Magallanes, Makati City. For more information, please visit:

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