Modern living: how to make a small space bigger

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If spending a lot of time in your condo makes you feel like you’re living in a club, you’re not alone. But there are plenty of ways to easily inject new life into your space.

“A lot of good things have also come out of the pandemic when it comes to how people see their spaces and how they want them to be more functional and more personalized,” says Marie Girolamo, director of design at MOD Developments. His projects include the Massey Tower on Yonge Street, the Aqueduct on Richmond Street West and the Taylor on Spadina Avenue.

Consider these design strategies:

Choose a neutral palette To create the impression of a large, continuous space, opt for a single color palette and incorporate it throughout your home. “It’s a misconception that every room in your home should have a different personality. The opposite is true, ”says Girolamo. “Each piece must be an extension of the last. It makes a small space feel like a lot bigger because you don’t feel like you’re living in a collection of small spaces. She recommends using rugs and furniture arrangements to define spaces in larger spaces.

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Use the volume of space People often forget that the size of their condo is not just the square footage of their floor plan, but the “volume” of their space, which takes into account floor to ceiling. Taking advantage of the volume of your condo for storage, for example, will give the impression that your space will be larger because you get rid of things that clutter the floor.

Maximizing the volume of your space also creates a balance. “If everything in your room exists at ground level, it looks unbalanced from a volume standpoint,” says Girolamo. Hanging a window treatment from the ceiling guides the eye upwards and expands your space while creating visual balance from top to bottom.

Create a characteristic wall with wood panels that allows you to hang works of art.
Create a characteristic wall with wood panels that allow you to hang works of art. Photo by Photo Lux Interior Design

Layer lighting Create a deeper dimension in your space by layering various light sources. Installing multiple light sources around your room allows you to tailor your space to suit your mood or reflect the time, day, and season. “Along with volume, you can use lighting to create floor-to-ceiling visual interest, like hanging a pendant lamp next to your bedside table instead of having a lamp,” Girolamo explains.

Isabelle Boba, director of Lux Interior Design, recommends three sources of lighting: ceiling lights such as ceiling lights, a characteristic light like a fixture suspended above a table to create a glow and a center of vision, and lamps. of table. “Having light coming from several layers and not just from above creates a pleasant atmosphere,” she says.

Create a dimension So that your space is not flat, create a sense of depth by floating some furniture away from the walls, even a few inches. “A lot of people push their furniture against the wall because they want to create as much floor space as possible, but it creates a feeling of ‘visual tightness’,” says Girolamo. “Everything seems so tight that the space is smaller.”

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Turn your balcony into another living room this spring.  This balcony features beach pastels.
Turn your balcony into another living room this spring. This balcony features beach pastels. Photo by Photo Lux Interior Design

Choose furniture to scale One of the most important strategies in small spaces is choosing the right scale furniture. “Just because you can cram a 10-foot sofa into a living room doesn’t mean you should,” Girolamo says. “Furniture that is too large will visually overwhelm a room and make it appear much smaller.”

If a piece of furniture can serve two or more purposes, it should. “This is becoming more and more true with everyone working from home. We don’t want our dining table to be cluttered with work items. We want functional furniture that allows us to store our work materials at the end of the day, so we have a certain separation and work-life balance, says Girolamo. Consider, for example, a coffee table that doubles as an ottoman to store extra blankets and also has an adjustable height to transform into a desk.

Adios Media Center The TV is often the focal point of the living room, but as the need for cable boxes, DVDs and CDs evaporates, there’s really no need for a media center, says Bobas. Instead, install a panel system so that your TV is recessed. “Put a small desk under the television where you can work. Instead of an office chair, choose one that can double as an accent chair in your living room, ”she says.

Create a coastal ambiance

When it comes to color, neutrals still dominate, says Isabelle Boba, director of Lux Interior Design Inc. She brought down The Condo Quickie – a set that includes everything from creating a floor plan that illustrates placement from furniture to furniture sourcing – and says it’s their most popular design offering.

“However, we’re introducing pastel colors that you’ll find in clays like mint green and blush pink. When you step into the space and see those soft pops of color, it makes you smile. This coastal and seaside atmosphere is pleasant. People can’t go on vacation, so why not make your home an oasis? “

Creating a feature wall is another way to update a tired space. “It’s not just about painting the walls or putting up wallpaper, although those things are still popular,” Boba says. “We do a lot of artistic walls. In one condo, we paneled a wall with wood slats and it really adds interest in a unique way.

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