Small condo living is becoming more of the norm these days. Whether it’s the high cost of housing in Toronto or a move to a minimalist lifestyle, more people are turning to smaller spaces. Micro-living usually means sleeping, eating, entertaining and sometimes working take place in the same space. But, the most importing think to keep in mind is that you don’t need to sacrifice style for functionality.
Enter micro condos, a living space roughly between 275 and 400 square feet — roughly as big as two parking spots. These tiny living quarters appeal to professional millennials who want affordable housing without sacrificing their lifestyle. This concept, of course, isn’t unique to Toronto and is actually quite common in metropolises like New York City and San Francisco. With Toronto’s first micro condo already sold out, and similar units steadily on this rise in Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary, we can only expect this trend to continue.
How can you turn a small apartment into a functional and cozy living space? We found some tips and tricks that will help turn your tight quarters into an urban oasis.
Use All of the Lights
From statement chandeliers, to vintage-style Edison bulbs, to metallic pendants and industrial lamps, lighting is truly in the spotlight when it comes to condo decor. For those living in a 300-square-foot space, this could not have come at a better time. Any designer will tell you that the oldest trick in the book to making a space seem bigger is through the power of light.
The key is lighting up the corners where the walls meet, either at the ceiling or floor, so you create the illusion of depth and space. Make use of multiple light sources such as floor lamps or track lighting, and consider mounting lights to the wall so every part of the room is well-lit.
And don’t forget to make the most of vertical space, especially if you have high ceilings. Hang a long pendant from the ceiling to draw the eye up and down, emphasizing the room’s height rather than the floor space. With plenty of lighting options to choose from, there is no doubt that you can make your boutique-sized space feel like a luxury-sized one.
Establish Zones in Your Micro Condo
In a house, each room has its function. In a condo, rooms serve multiple purposes all at the same time. To avoid clutter and dysfunction, create zones with strategic placement of furniture, rugs, textures or colors. For example, if your office is in the same space as the living room, a bold, dark wall color behind the desk can really anchor the desk to the space — creating the illusion of a designated office.
Create Sight Lines
Sight lines can help a space feel much larger than it is. When possible, remove doors or dividers to create a more open space. Use open bookshelves to divide a room. Lift furnishings off the floor. Select couches with legs, see-through coffee tables and floating shelves to help open up the space. Even while it’s elevated off the ground, ensure the furniture doesn’t interrupt your eyesight and visual flow from one room to the next.
Keep Your Anchor Pieces Neutral
Choose anchor pieces in neutrals or light colors. For example, in the living room a sofa has a large impact, so choose a nice neutral color, then spice things up with a fun accent chair or throw pillows. In the kitchen, play it safe with neutral cabinets and have fun with colorful accessories.
Micro Condos & Multi-Functional Furniture
Living in a condo allows you to select carefully curated pieces, and even allows you to spend a bit more on key pieces because you don’t need many of them. When possible, choose furniture that has multiple functions — pieces that have storage or extra services. Sleeper sofas, adjustable stools that can work at varying heights and moveable kitchen islands are ideal pieces that serve numerous functions.
Always Think Vertically
One of the best ways to make the most out of your space is to spend a bit of money on custom closets so you can enjoy floor-to-ceiling shelving. Vertical storage options take up a small footprint but remove overall clutter and create uniformity. Custom cabinets and pull-outs below bed frames, or around toilets or washer and dryers will help ensure documents, electronics, vacuums and holiday decorations — everything in your condo — has a designated home.
Be Bold in Your Design
In a smaller micro condo space you can push the limits of design in a way that’s not typical. Unique hanging bike storage, a Murphy Bed that will make others wonder where you sleep, a purple velvet sofa – these things work in small spaces. Think about sculptural lamps, chandeliers, vibrant accent walls and bold metals that might be overwhelming in a larger space – they could look incredible in your micro condo and really pop in your small footprint. really pop in smaller footprints.
Condo Amenities as an Extension of Your Suite
If you’re looking for a new condo to purchase, pay special attention to the amenities offered. At some pre-construction condos in Toronto, developers are putting a lot of time into designing the perfect amenity space that includes workout facilities, shared workspace and entertaining rooms that can serve your guests when you have them, or act as a second part of your condo.
The Saint Condos that recently launched has some of the best amenities we’ve seen lately – the co-working space can be your home office, the gym is massive, you’ll have a spin studio a few floors away, and you’ll have all of the entertaining space needed to impress any guest you have over.
Looking for more ways to make small condo living a reality? Drop us your name and email by filling out our form – we’ll connect with you to show you some of our top pre-construction condos that could work for small downtown living. Or if you’re ready to make your move now, we can share some of our favourite listings that would work for your budget.