Canada's Condominium Magazine

Designing for trendy “location-over-size” micro apartments: living in 250-450 square feet can be more than enough

Location over size is the current trend in urban living for singles. The condominium market seems to be adjusting to various niches. Two of the most important are becoming:

  • Micro condos for singles who would rather walk to work and are willing to give up size to gain location
  • Larger family-sized condos for families who want urban life but are priced out of the detached home market.


An all-in-one room micro Bachelor-ette pad that would make almost any urban dweller happy.


Designing for Micro Apartments

Many urban lifestyle singles (or couples) actually prefer Micro, not just because of location. Micro apartments have become increasingly popular due to their coziness and low maintenance. There’s also less to design, decorate and clean. On the other hand, you have to really optimize.


Optimize, optimize. Convertible built ins can really change the room dynamic. Here, a combination couch, shelf, murphy bed.


If you own or are considering owning a micro apartment, you may be wondering how to decorate in such limited space. It is true that they have far less square footage than most condos. In fact, they can be smaller than the average master bedroom. However, with a little ingenuity, they have plenty of potential.

Here’s one cardinal rule:

When designing for a small space, use premium materials and the best-quality finishes you can afford. Even tiny spaces look amazing with luxury finishes.


A tiny bathroom (wide angle view) comes to life with high-end finishes. Don’t cheap out when you have a small space. Think five star resort. Even a small hotel room can be wonderful if it’s sumptuous in materials and furniture.


Here’s how beautiful a micro apartment can be:



Make use of vertical space

When horizontal space is limited, it can be beneficial to make use of the allotted vertical space — literally every inch at least on one wall or one corner.  This can be done in a variety of ways. Lining a wall with cabinets, shelves, etc. can provide a great deal of extra space for displaying your prized memorabilia, tchotchkes, and décor; storing clothing and other items; etc. The great thing about micro apartments is that they are perfect for people who do not place much emphasis on materialism. No matter how minimalistic you are and how little you possess, you still need a place for your clothing, hygiene products, and any items that may hold sentimental value.


Another tiny apartment that carries a feeling spaciousness with good furniture placement.Notice the tiny eating table that is enhanced with striking chairs, the judicious use of design elements such as “white brick” and a discrete planter.


Custom lofts

If you have some height (or even if you don’t, but you don’t mind ducking), you can also add some square footage to your micro apartment by designing and building a custom loft to fit your bed without taking up space that could be used for other purposes. For instance, the main area could be used for living, dining, and entertaining. The loft could be built as a bedroom and home office. You could even create a loft that also acts as a closet, storage, entertainment center, shelving, and more. With some creativity and imagination, the possibilities are endless.


Commercially available loft bed. You can also design your own. Here, the loft bed has low clearance, but is good for storage or guests.


Trundle beds are in

Trundle and murphy beds are also beneficial for increasing space. Simply pull a trundle bed out when it is needed and then slide it back in when you are finished. Murphy beds pull down from the wall, and you can push them back up to conceal them so they do not take up space. Trundle beds can be part of other beds or be hidden beneath storage units, entertainment centers, and more.


Convertible sofas aren’t you’re parent’s fold out. Splurge a little on designer convertible furniture.


Fold-able everything: furniture, walls, everything

Invest in foldable furniture and storage units that can be converted for additional use. A single unit that can transform into two or more can save a tremendous amount of space without limiting the types of rooms you can have in your home. The right kind of unit can act as a closet, bedroom, dining room, living room, office, and more. They can also contain hidden compartments where pets can eat, sleep, play, and explore. You can purchase one from a number of online retailers, or you can create a custom unit yourself and design it according to your specific needs and space.


Small bathrooms come to life with high-end finishes.



Auberge on the Park-Tridel


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