A number of people on our staff live in
small condos, apartments and houses. In the spirit of this issue’s theme,
I thought I’d ask them to share their best tips for living well in a small
space. There’s lots of good advice here, no matter how big your home.
It looks like discipline, storage and a willingness to purge are the keys.
• Katie, who lives in a student-sized apartment, uses a large cube
shelving unit in her bedroom. A few cubes are for books, some are for
accessories and photos, some have baskets to hold clothes and belts, and
others house a small TV and media components. Everything has a place.
• Kimberley lives in a studio apartment and has grown to love her
kitchen’s wall-mounted “hanging cup” system. “Everything is right at my
fingertips and doesn’t take up valuable counter or drawer space.”
• Sam lives in a smallish city house and has a pine chest in her living
room that looks grown-up on the outside but is actually stuffed full of her
kids’ toys that get tucked away whenever they’re not in use.
• Catherine uses some of her books (ones she seldom reads but wants to
keep) stacked up under a sheet of glass to create a coffee table.
• Kate can live with a small place if she has a great view outside her
window and a fun neighbourhood outside her door, with parks and cafés
to keep her from feeling confined.
• Stacy (whose loft is featured on
page 82) lives by the rule of input/
output: if something new comes in,
something old has to go out. She also
rents a storage space and lives a block
from a Goodwill location (she says
weekly drop-offs are not unusual).
• Trish also visits Goodwill regularly
and keeps a bin right in her kids’
closets so that clothes they outgrow go
directly into them, ready for regular
deliveries. She also finds that a closet’s
size doesn’t matter as much as its door
size. Cutting a larger door opening into
a standard closet makes all the
difference — being able to reach every
corner yields three times the space.
• Alison also finds that organized
clothing storage is key to sanity in a
small space. If she can find her clothes,
shoes and accessories easily, the rest
is a breeze.
• Scott likes to build things and with
his handyman skills has created great
storage spots in unexpected places:
cubbies tucked under a staircase or —
his personal favourite — a beer cooler
built into the bench of his back deck.
• Lastly, while Patricia believes that
furnishing a place with today’s
contemporary, streamlined looks leads
to clean uncluttered living, what really
matters is who you’re locked in the
small space with!
I guess she’s got a point there.
Decorating and organizing can only
go so far…
Photography by Gabor Jurina/Art direction by Barb Woolley/Hair and makeup by Gregory Graveline/Styling by Joan Bald.
Chairs, Queen West Antique Centre, Toronto (416) 588-2212.