Last year, Activa was proud to host a fun and informative event about how to rightsize to a condo after living in a larger home! We know it can be intimidating to make this change, so we brought in a series of experts to give our audience some of the tools and know-how to do it.
We’ve recapped each speaker’s presentation so that we can offer these insights to all of our ActivaLearn readers. Keep reading to learn how you can make the transition to a smaller space! For the final part of this series, Activa’s Design Studio Manager, Laura Wilson, spoke about how to maximize the visual impact of a condo with her top five tips on colour selection, furniture choices and more.
Tip 1: Let There Be Light
In a smaller space, it’s important to maximize the amount of light in your home! Keep the overall design light and airy, with a neutral colour palette. Think light wood floors and pale walls to create a sense of calm and space. When choosing your flooring, try to use the same product throughout the main living area – this will open up the space and allow you to be more flexible with furniture placement. Buying new furniture for your home? The best chairs and tables for small spaces have bases you can see through! Exposed legs allow light to pass under your furniture and will prevent the room from feeling tight or cluttered. This goes for couches, beds, and nightstands too!
Tip 2: Think Vertically
Consider your space and how you can maximize it with furniture placement. By adding full-height built-in cabinetry, you’ll get extra storage and be able to display some of your most treasured pieces (like your child’s masterpiece that deserves its own frame). You can also place your TV on the wall to free up floor space and create a beautiful feature wall (especially when it’s surrounded by all those special pieces of décor!)
Tip 3: Earning Their Keep
When you have less furniture, each item should work a bit harder and be multifunctional. Opt for slim line pieces that perform double-duty such as:
- Nesting tables that can be pulled out and used for extra space when entertaining
- A console table with a bench or pair of stools underneath to provide extra seating for visitors andcan be tucked away when not in use
- Under bed storage that can be used for stowing extra linens that are only needed occasionally. This will leave space in your linen closet for regularly used items
- Consider the scale of your furniture – steer clear of bulky arms on sofa’s in favour of a slim profile
- Baskets are not only useful for storage but also look great on display too
Tip 4: Storage is Key
Take advantage of every nook and cranny by adding clever storage solutions to your kitchen, bathrooms, and closets such as:
- Deep Fridge Cabinets
- Corner Cabinets with a Lazy Susan
- Roll Out Drawers
- Back to Back Cabinets on Islands
- Custom Closet Solutions or Extra Shelving
Tip 5: Expand Outdoors
We’re pretty happy that we get to enjoy all four seasons, and that it’s not winter year-round! This means that we get to expand our living outdoors on balconies and patios and make them part of our home. Even the smallest outdoor space can be turned into an oasis to enjoy! Try adding an outdoor rug, some comfy seating, a few plants and additional lighting and voila! Whether it’s a spot for your morning coffee, a space to roll out the yoga mat, or a comfortable seating area to entertain, the options are endless with a little TLC (and your imagination!)
Bonus tip: when decorating your condo, make sure to measure each space carefully, and look for “condo sized” furniture to find a great fit.