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  • Small But Fancy! This Family’s Bungalow Is A Tiny Dream Home Come True

    Inspired by a show featuring tiny homes, this mom transformed the property into a cozy and welcoming space.
    by Cielo Anne Calzado .
Small But Fancy! This Family’s Bungalow Is A Tiny Dream Home Come True
PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ervi Zamora-Leyco
  • It’s not unusual for newlywed couples to live with in-laws in the first few years of marriage while saving up for their own home. In the case of Ervi Zamora-Leyco and her husband, Nelson, moving into their own home in Cordova, Cebu, was a story of things falling into place and perfect timing.

    “The property was acquired by my husband when he was still single and since it’s located in the countryside, it was affordable compared to the ones in the city,” Ervi shares.

    The house stands on a 120sqm lot and features a 40sqm floor area. During the renovation, Ervi had a 15sqm extension done to accommodate an additional room for househelp, an extra T&B, and a dirty kitchen.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ervi Zamora-Leyco

    After living in the bungalow for a few days after getting married, they decided to live with Nelson’s family given his place of work. After five years, they decided to move to the bungalow for good and make it their family home.


    “The tenant who was renting our house decided not to renew anymore and a few months after that, my husband was assigned near the area. It became the most readily available property we had,” explains Ervi. The now family of four is ready to begin a new chapter in a space that’s truly theirs.

    Small-space-living made better

    The house is bright and welcoming, with light colors and essential furniture pieces.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ervi Zamora-Leyco

    How can a family of four live comfortably in a bungalow? Ervi admits that her husband is used to living in a big house and staying in hotels. To make the home as relaxing as possible, she designed it with a staycation in mind and by making sure everything has its own place.

    Ervi, who started Spacemaxer, a start-up company that specializes in contemporary made-to-measure space-saving cabinetry, made sure that storage concerns around the house are properly addressed. “Whenever I design joineries or cabinetries, I make sure they not only meet the minimum standard dimensions for the convenience of the user but that they are also multifunctional without sacrificing aesthetics, convenience, and function,” she explains.

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    From the well-thought-out storage compartments in the kitchen and the dining nook, to the efficient garbage disposal outside the house, each corner of the home has been planned well. You wouldn’t feel like you’re in a bungalow or small space at all because it exudes warmth and happy vibes.

    Tiny house living lessons


    Ervi and Nelson with their kids, Sam and Nigel.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ervi Zamora-Leyco

    Some would immediately want to move out to their own homes given a chance, but Ervi and Nelson are glad they took their time in saving up for their own place. “Had we moved out earlier, I wouldn’t have had the needed experience and we wouldn’t have enough [budget] to work on the renovations,” she shares.

    See more photos of their home sweet home below:

    The TV has a movable bracket to allow the family to watch TV while enjoying meals.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ervi Zamora-Leyco

    The open layout makes it easier for Ervi to watch over her kids while they’re playing. “When you have a small bungalow, checking on the kids while working on my laptop is a breeze. I find it easier to multitask,” she shares.


    Instead of an ordinary dining set, Ervi created a nook with bench seating and storage compartments where kitchen essentials can be kept.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ervi Zamora-Leyco



    Despite the size, the kitchen is clean and organized, with no clutter in sight. Ervi made sure there are enough cabinets in the kitchen to accommodate their cooking essentials.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ervi Zamora-Leyco
    More storage and even the garbage disposal is incorporated into the cabinetry. Having these drawers can help keep the cooking area organized.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ervi Zamora-Leyco
    In the master’s bedroom, a work table, a vanity/dresser, and bookshelves were expertly incorporated.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ervi Zamora-Leyco

    The kids’ room also serves as the playroom. “I change the set up depending on what fits, like I set up chairs and tables on school days but keep them stored during the summer so they have their toy boxes in place,” shares Ervi.

    Since her kids love to climb, she added an indoor climbing wall in the room. Completing the room are the blackboard they can write on and a full-sized cabinet.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ervi Zamora-Leyco
    The side yard works as an additional play area and a gardening nook for Ervi.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ervi Zamora-Leyco
    “This is where we hang clothes to dry and where I put the kids’ pool during summer. I’m planning to set up a vegetable garden soon as well,” Ervi shares.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ervi Zamora-Leyco

    Without a doubt, some things are definitely worth the wait. The Leyco’s family home is a testament of trusting God’s timing. “

    “To those who want to achieve their own tiny home, do whatever works for you and your budget. A tiny house doesn’t have to be restrictive. Learn how to maximize space to fit your needs,” she adds.

    Want to share your #budgetperofancy home makeover and get featured? Email us at smartparentingsubmissions@gmail.com and tell us about your project. For more home improvement and renovation ideas, click here.


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