Designing for Small Spaces

Lara Young September 10, 2019 Blog, Design, Home, Decor

Maybe it’s a brand new home which these days they keep building smaller and smaller, or it’s a century house that for some reason comes with closets that can’t even fit a clothes hanger. Designing for a small space is something that continues to stress people out. Let me lend some insight by delving into this sweet and petite Toronto home. 

With the cost of real estate in the city, every inch counts and this house was ripped to the studs to get the most out of the space.

Designing for a Small Space - Lara Young for Nesting Story

If the project allows it you will want to maximize the main areas, and a proper space plan goes a long way. This old house was once broken up into many rooms and doorways. By breaking down the walls and making this an open concept living space it immediately felt so much bigger. This double sided partition doesn’t only divide the space and create areas but also acts as the media wall/fireplace for both the dining and living rooms. This is a great example of how you don’t need full walls to create zones.

Designing for a Small Space - Lara Young for Nesting Story

Pick items for the scale of the home. With only a small space for a main floor powder room this area had to be done right. The bathroom size is the right fit with a small scale sink just big enough for washing up and a smart barn door that doesn’t encroach into the hallway.

Designing for a Small Space - Lara Young for Nesting Story

When you don’t have a ton of area to work with make points of visual interest wherever you can. This could have easily become a forgotten wall above the stairway. Instead it becomes an area of interest with a great wall detail and a beautiful light fixture that plays with texture and shadow.

Designing for a Small Space - Lara Young for Nesting Story

Planning ahead can make all the difference. For the 100 years before this renovation this master bedroom had flat 8’ ceilings. By investigating what was above the drywall this room gained vaulted ceiling and feels like it has doubled in size. Not only has it gained space but also so much character. This may seem like a big undertaking (which it can be) but keep in mind the ROI as it will also boost the property value. 

This room is also packed with smart details like storage under the bay window and sconce lights above the bedside tables to maximize a smaller furniture footprint. 

Whatever the challenge may be remember that small scale homes often give opportunity to create character and interesting details. Make sure to think it through before a renovation so there are no missed opportunities. 

Lara Young is the Principal of Lara Young Design, and also a new mom. Like many of us Lara is trying to find that quintessential work/life balance. Being her own boss is bringing Lara one-step closer to her dream. You can read Lara’s full bio, or contact her to help with your next design project here.

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