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Tiny or micro living, and here I mean condo living in urban areas, may not be everyone’s ideal home but it does have its advantages like lower property taxes, lower association dues which are usually computed in terms of sqm space, or lower electrical bills, that is if you are not an energy monster. If you’ve chosen the optimal location for your needs, that’s the biggest advantage of all for me. I’ve seen renovations and stunning house paint ideas of small spaces that make me think that it can be done so well that anyone living in one can be proud to call it home.

Why People Choose for Micro Living

There is no clear definition of what the size of a micro home is.

Based on my quick research of homes here in Manila, prices of 15- to 30-sqm condos range from about P1.3 million to 5 million, depending on location. Mostly they are studio apartments, meaning they are sold or rented out as a one-room open space.

Developers make these small apartments since they are an easy sell in the current market. In Manila, these could be first homes for millennials who earn enough to pay the monthly mortgage on top of living expenses, or living spaces for students who have moved from the provinces and whose parents can afford to invest in a condo, or as second homes for workers who live in the suburbs but want to live closer to their offices during the week so that they don’t have to suffer the long and exhausting commute twice a day.

OFWs and real estate entrepreneurs buy these small-sized apartments to diversify their investment portfolio, start an AirBNB business, or flip these to earn more profit. It can even be home to a family of five! A new market is brought about by the influx of Chinese workers and online gaming firms whose preferred area is around the Mall of Asia.

Design Inspiration: An Architect’s 28 sqm Apartment in Melbourne

Architect Douglas Wan bought a 28 sqm apartment in Melbourne in what was once a housing development for nurses in the 1950s. He wanted to be a part of the city but also wanted the flexibility to withdraw from it. He renovated the apartment, including breaking down load-bearing walls and changing them with steel support beams. Doug also changed the layout to incorporate the way he wanted to live and move around in his home. That already gives an indication that in building or renovating a home, you must know yourself, what you want, and how you would occupy the different areas in your living space.

Talking about his bedroom which doubles as dining/living room, Doug had this to say, “People are like water. People are more adaptable than objects. So what happens usually is people [his guests] just find space where they can.”

Flexible Furniture and Fixtures

For small spaces, it would be best that you have custom-made furniture. The biggest challenge is to find the right supplier who can make furniture with amazing craftsmanship that fit. If you find one, then there’s the price factor to consider.

Storage

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For tiny homes, storage becomes an issue. So create storage solutions in what could be dead space. Think not only of horizontal space but also vertical space. Read Design Ideas for Small Spaces.

Multiple Use Furniture

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Sofa beds or pull-out beds are often used in tiny apartments to create the space needed to live when you’re awake. Over the years, the mechanisms, quality and designs of such beds have vastly improved. Make use of the flexibility that these kinds of furniture can give to your space.

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Bookcase to double as partition. I’ve used this trick in my previous homes. You don’t have to build a wall to partition areas. What’s more, unlike a wall, a bookcase provides a function not only to demarcate zones and provide privacy, but also to store books (naturally) and other things. If you are a reader, then you’d know that this piece of furniture is important.

Micro Living Lifestyle

Micro living is not for everyone. What drives this kind of lifestyle is mostly pragmatism. This tiny space may be affordable in the preferred location. For those living in the suburbs, it could be a second home closer to work. With the traffic situation in Manila, living closer to the work place could mean a great improvement in the quality of life. Or this may be the only viable alternative for some who use an existing property despite the growing family. Or it may be just a temporary housing solution for people in transit.

However, micro living could also be a a matter of choice, just like it is for Architect Douglas Wan.

Life has never been easier … It’s a simple space. It’s easy to clean. It’s easy to lock up and travel. And it’s just a nice big space to work throughout the day. – Douglas Wan | Source: Living Big in a Tiny House

Whatever the reason, micro living may also be the lifestyle you need. What you do with your home and how you live in it are two things that are within your control. Every single detail, whether it’s a house paint idea or furniture theme, will be up to you. So make the choice to live your best life now.

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Annie H Adlawan
Author

Annie is an unrepentant workaholic, who runs this blog and her own company Talking Lions. She thrives on collaborating with people who are good at what they do, and working together with them to create something special.

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Hi there,
    This is an amazing idea. I love how they manage the tiny spaces and make use of it. Thanks for sharing.

    • MyBoysen

      Thank you for visiting the blog! Do subscribe to Let it B by filling in your email address so you’ll always be updated.

  2. Avatar

    Very interesting to read this article. Actually I have a plan to buy a new apartment. After reading this I got many informations. Thanks for sharing.

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