Canada's Condominium Magazine
Living in tight spaces can make you feel a bit cramped, especially if you have a big family and a lot of stuff. Organization can go a long way, and sometimes it helps to get a little creative. The following space-saving tips will help you get the most out of your square footage.
Loft Beds and Offices
If you have more height than width, then you may consider taking advantage of that with taller shelves and appliances. If you are renovating, consider adding a loft above your kitchen in order to create more space. The loft can serve as an extra bedroom, a play area for the kids, a home office, or food and emergency prep storage. Take advantage of whatever space you have. Additional lofts can be placed in bedrooms for extra storage, play areas, or other needs. This will give you much more space for decorating, entertaining, and playdates or sleepovers for the little ones.
Build a loft to take advantage of height to add more space. Credit: Tiny House Swoon
If you do not have a pantry or linen closet, then use cabinets instead. Cabinets with glass doors can be used for storing linens and hygiene items in the bathroom, as well as storing food in the kitchen. Plus, it looks a lot better than a closet.
If you are renovating, you may consider cutting out part of the wall to build yourself a recessed pantry. This type of customization could also be expanded for other uses as well… recessed bookshelves, desks, and more… assuming you have the space inside your walls and are permitted to do work as extensive as this. Be sure to consult a contractor ahead of time to get a professional opinion and an estimate.
This recessed pantry adds functionality without taking up space that could otherwise
be used for other purposes. Credit: DIY Network
If you are adding a loft, then consider getting even more use out of it by using stairs that also double as shelves for books, décor, food storage (if the loft is built over the kitchen), and more.
Stairs with shelves and storage space make the most of the space they take up. Credit: Arch Zine
Get Creative with Your Furniture
Multi-purpose furniture is extremely helpful. Using one object for multiple needs can help save space by reducing the number of items you actually need. Coffee tables with storage baskets underneath, benches and sofas with hidden storage, and furniture that expands or otherwise transforms can be a godsend when you are working with limited space… especially if you love to entertain. Consider, for instance, a dining table that opens up to reveal a pool table (or air hockey, or any number of other games) underneath.
This combination pool/dining table is a great space saver that combines everyday function with fun
and entertainment for those weekend get-togethers. Credit: Aramith on Amazon
Some companies have created large pieces of multi-purpose furniture that are designed specifically for tight spaces. One cabinet could be an entire bedroom, closet office, pantry, and dining room all-in-one.
Multipurpose furniture that transforms, combining multiple rooms and needs into one efficient space.
Credit: Home Designing
Another seriously creative idea is a shelf with extra space between sections for chairs and tables. When not in use, the chairs and tables can be hidden, making the ordinary white shelf a bit more colourful. These are perfect for kids’ rooms, dorms, or small condos.
Space-saving shelf hides tables and chairs when not in use. Credit: Orla Reynolds
Wall-Mounted Barbecue (if allowed)
If you love grilling but do not want to take up a ton of space on your balcony, then consider installing a wall-mounted barbecue that opens and closes — assuming your condominium bylaws allow barbecues (many do not. See this story>>). As with all barbecues, however, you will want to get it approved by your condo board and management prior to installing, as many condos prohibit barbecues of any kind due to fire hazards.
If your condo permits barbecues on balconies, then consider the wall-mounted variety,
which opens and closes for your convenience. Credit: Focus Creation
Infant and Personal Care
If you have a baby, you know how much they need and how hard it can be to fit everything into one small space. The struggle to fit everything and meet everyone’s needs has led to some pretty nifty ideas, such as this innovative storage compartment that serves as a shelf for hygiene products (soap, baby powder, wipes, sanitizer, etc.) but also opens to reveal a changing table.
Combination changing table/shelf. Credit: BYBO Design
Separate Spaces for Roommates
If you are sharing your space with roommates, especially if there are more than two of you, then you may end up doubling up in bedrooms. If this is the case, then add a curtain around your bed to give yourself some much-needed privacy. If done correctly with your bed in the corner of the room, then it can also reduce the amount of light entering your personal space, which means you can still sleep peacefully even when your roommate is up late studying. This also works well for siblings who share a room and need their own, personal space and privacy.
Adding a curtain to your bed can give you a sense of privacy,
even in shared bedrooms. Credit: Siopboston2010.com
If your master bedroom is small, then you may find it difficult to fit your bed and other furniture without restricting access to the bathroom. If this is the case, then consider a sliding door for the entrance to your bathroom. This will give you more space for your furniture, while still giving you space to walk around. Sliding doors can also be used for other rooms around the condo, as well as closets and the balcony.
Give yourself extra walking room by installing a sliding door for your bathroom,
as well as other areas where space is limited. Credit: Mike Altman
Whatever your needs, there are sure to be some work-arounds and creative ideas to maximize space without overcrowding your condo. It just takes a little ingenuity and organization.