Amanda Stutt
Small Space Design | How to Live Large in a Small Pad

Small Space Design | How to Live Large in a Small Pad

They say design changes everything.  The reality of modern urban dwelling is undoubtedly centered around increasing density, and many urban residents; like die-hard, suburb-shunning, latte-loving, sea-wall roaming Vancouverites, would rather scale down on space than retreat to the outlying districts that offer up sprawling floor plans and backyard bling. In this article, there are tips and tricks related to expanding and creating small space design.

For the loyal lovers of the urban oasis, who find themselves living in shrunken spaces such as lofts, bachelor’s suites or – the latest trend to touch our urban spaces- laneway homes – read on for tips on how to optimize your living areas for greater functionality and fun.

While it is true design concepts can change the aesthetic of your home, they can’t increase containment measurements. But with a little ingenuity, you can optimize the dimensions of furniture design to increase storage space.

Whether your budget is as small as your square-footage or you have room for some splurge, we found retailers with products to add style and function to your home.

Look up: Always optimize vertical space (we mean wall space) in all rooms when thinking about small space design. Whether it’s your kitchen, bathroom, living room or bedroom (if you have one) affixing floating shelves serves as the best way to approach both storing and showcasing your precious possessions, whatever they may be.  In the kitchen, consider using floating shelving units to store everything from non-perishable pantry items to plates and utensils to cutlery. In the bathroom, store cosmetics, shaving and hair appliances if cupboard space is limited. In the living and sleeping space, maximize the usages of bookshelves, media walls and cabinets. A stylish Ottoman can also double as a storage unit.

Budget: Ikea is the classic go-to for almost any shelving unit, and floating shelves are found in abundance for every room.  We also recommend Homesense and Pier 1 Imports.

Splurge: Article Mid-Century Modern Furniture is known for its stylish cabinets, dressers and benches. Anthropologie Furniture has an array of unique shelving units and cabinet designs. We especially like their fold-down bar shelf for optimal storage of essential spirits.

Hide a Bed: Multi-functioning wall beds are key space-savers, so be ‘resourceful’ when considering your space for furniture purchases. Companies like Resource Furniture specialize in transforming, space-saving furniture concepts, where multi-functioning, space-saving design concepts offer wall units with concealed compartments, wall beds that transform into an office desk, and a coffee table doubling as an expanding dining table.

Mirror Magic: To add more depth dimension to any room or hall, strategically placed mirrors can increase the perception of space.  Lighter colour tones like beiges, nudes, and greys as well as monochromatic themes for floors and walls can often enhance small spaces.

Remember that retail storefront showrooms are not essential, as shopping moves increasingly online.  You can seamlessly browse, peruse, compare prices, sizes, colours and combinations without even putting on pants (no judgement here) from clicking “add to cart”, to the “check out” button, you can look forward to having your purchases arrive on your (small) doorstep in mere days. Living in a little pad is not the end of the world if you utilize these small space design techniques.

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