Folding Furniture Helps Two People Share a Minimal but Cozy 193-Square-Foot Studio Apartment

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Credit: Daryl Zamora
Two steps from the main door, you’ll find the bed with a view of a large tree outside. We love the idea of letting nature in!

Name: Daryl Zamora and fiancée
Location: Manila, Philippines
Type of home: Condo
Size: 193 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year and 8 months,

Credit: Daryl Zamora
The dining area is directly in front of the bed, so there’s always a great view when waking up (slowly).

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I started renting the space almost two years ago, aiming to cut transportation expenses by living close to work. It was also to become the first home I would have with my soon-to-be wife. Then the pandemic happened. Lockdown was announced a few days before our wedding. With the wedding postponed indefinitely, my fiancée and I spent the long quarantine furnishing our home instead, adding a cabinet, some plants, and appliances. It was therapeutic. We didn’t (yet) get the wedding we planned, but we got the home we wanted in our current circumstances.

Credit: Daryl Zamora

I’m probably a minimalist romantic. I keep things down to a minimum, and the thought of beaches and forests excite and relax me at the same time. Especially now that we’re still in quarantine, I like the idea of bringing nature into our home through plants, earthy colors, and natural materials.

Credit: Daryl Zamora
We bought black kitchen appliances to keep the counter looking long and spacious. We think it works!

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Japandi with Filipino bits

Credit: Daryl Zamora
When the sun is already blazing hot, I set up my workstation at the dining area. I make sure the palm plant is in plain sight!

What is your favorite room and why? The balcony! This is where I spend the early mornings for meditation, coffee, reading, and writing. The areca palm we bought amid the pandemic does a great job of transporting me to the island paradise of Siargao. Plus the trees below the condo are a haven for noisy birds — music to my monastic ears!

Credit: Daryl Zamora
My favorite spot! The balcony is perfect for any introvert like me. Breakfast is always a treat here.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? The white foldable chair from IKEA. It completed the balcony’s lazy vibe.

Credit: Daryl Zamora
I started picking up a reading habit again. (Because I’m done buying stuff, haha)

Any advice for creating a home you love? Be very clear with your idea of “home” — the emotion it produces, the effect it gives your mind. Given our home’s limited space, my fiancée and I figured that our home would simply be our small oasis, a little vacation space we can access whenever we want. Always going back to that primordial idea, little by little we built the home we love, with nary a useless thing.

This submission’s responses were edited for length and clarity.