When it comes to smaller houses and condos, low square footage can still deliver high-quality style and livability. Courtesy Rosalyn Lazaruk, Wicket Blue Interiors

Diminutive design

Making the most of a small living space

Visitors to this year’s Calgary Fall Home Show might have come across a feature area called Small Space Living.

Designed by Rosalyn Lazaruk, owner of Wicket Blue Interiors, the 1,000-square-foot display showcased ways to optimize a smaller living space.

Lazaruk says people downsizing into a smaller house or condominium don’t have to give up style and livability just because they have less square footage.

“Sometimes it means being a little more organized and creative with the pieces you bring into your home, but living in a smaller space can be equally, or even more, enjoyable than an oversized one,” she said.

Lazaruk says when designing for small spaces, you really need to pay close attention to the design principles of proportion and scale, so as not to overwhelm the space.

That doesn’t mean all your furniture should be small scale, but if you have a larger sofa that you like, you might have to forgo an accent chair or side table to keep it from taking over the space.

Lazaruk says organization and multifunctional pieces are key when you live in a smaller home.

“Make sure that your closets and cabinets are being used to their full potential by adding additional shelving and racking,” she said. “Multifunctional furniture can help eliminate an overcrowded space.

“Sometimes it means being a little more organized and creative with the pieces you bring into your home, but living in a smaller space can be equally, or even more, enjoyable than an oversized one.” – Rosalyn Lazaruk, Wicket Blue Interiors

Think about beds with built in storage, small dressers instead of nightstands, and kitchen banquettes with a hinged seat for seasonal storage.

“Maximize storage space that is out of reach. Make sure kitchen cabinets go right up to the ceiling. It is a great place to store the bowls and dishes you may only use when company comes over.”

She says even appliances can provide space savings.

“I love the new, smaller-scale washer and dryer combos,” she said. “Rather than allocating square footage to a laundry room, these stackable sets can be plumbed into a walk-in closet or tucked into a cabinet in your ensuite.”

Decorating and design decisions can also help optimize a smaller living space.

“It really comes down to how you want your space to feel,” said Lazaruk. “I still love adding some depth to the colour palette regardless of the size of the space.

“Often, smaller spaces are quite open, so feature walls in rich, deep hues or with a graphic wallpaper can help to define spaces.”

She adds that abundant natural light is great for making a space seem larger.

“It not only allows the light to brighten the space but the view through the windows makes us feel like the spaces continues on.”

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