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  • Writer's picturePat Browne

Designing to make the most of smaller spaces

When designing a condo suite, the number one priority is the balance between function and style. In the end, space will dictate what is most important – function will always win. Just like designing a house, condos need to be designed to fit our lifestyles in order to be a proper home – a flexible modern design with an efficient layout will make smaller space living the dream. High-end finishes, large windows and all the little details help you envision a home within the space.

Today’s modern minimalist style is made for the condo environment. Clutter is the enemy of small space living. Tricks to visually expand the space include light colours, consistent colour scheme throughout and the right amount of furniture. Having said that, don’t miss out on art – it’s what gives a home heart.

Over the years there have been significant changes to the way we live, especially in condos. Sizes have decreased, but design has become much more efficient. Hallways have been reduced – no one lives in a hallway. Layouts have become more open concept, for both homes and condos. It’s how we live today.

Our latest tour takes us to a condo at 120 Dalimore Cricle. A two bedroom, two bathroom unit with a open plan living space in the centre. A calming colour scheme of equally light aqua and grey lets one room flow into the other. The TV in the main living area is hidden behind a wall mirror. Wood tones are kept light to balance the darkness of the engineered hardwood floors.

Things to keep in mind when designing for a small condo:

  1. Choose furniture for your lifestyle. A small space will need special consideration when looking for furniture. Storage will be at a premium, so remember to include a chest of drawers or a sideboard for a quick hide-away of life’s daily clutter.

  2. Play with feature walls. Installing a feature wall in the living room or behind the headboard in the master bedroom draws the eye and makes a statement without taking up additional floor space. Hanging an over-sized piece of art or using wallpaper can truly turn the space into your own.

  3. Add texture. Layering your suite with multiple textures adds style and function. They’ll add visual interest and personalize an elegantly composed environment.

If your space is small enough that a dining table and chairs are a cramped edition, don’t sweat it. Most new kitchens are designed with a breakfast bar or island: include two or three bar stools in your design plan and opt for a larger living space – it’s the living space that you’ll spend most of your time in, especially if you’re a big screen watcher. A sectional with an ottoman for a coffee table will allow you to put your feet up and watch the game.

And don’t forget your outdoor space. Spring is coming and even a small balcony can supply space for a small table and chairs.

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