Planning is everything
Planning is everything. That's never more true than in the case of downsizing, says Chatelaine interior design expert Kimberley Seldon, who learned that first-hand when she and her husband traded in their five-bedroom home for a compact two-bedroom condo. Buying from floor plans, they could see their new small place had everything they wanted — except storage. So Kimberley got down to business, organizing every nook and cranny to maximize space.
First design challenge: the kitchen. "When it comes to entertaining, we usually have hors d'oeuvres or do takeout," she says. "There's so much great food in the neighbourhood. I knew this wouldn't be a kitchen. I'd spend a lot of time cooking in." So she adjusted the floor plan accordingly: Instead of large, space-hogging appliances, she tucked bare necessities like the cooktop, oven, fridge and coffee maker behind louvred doors and opted for a small sink. The trick opened up enough space to fit a multi-purpose island turned dining table (complete with ample storage) into the main living area.
She then installed built-ins in almost every other room. "I use them as my guidelines for when it's time to purge. Once they're full, they're full," she says. The condo is now a model of brilliantly thought-out efficiency. With sleek dark walls to play up the expansive view, it's dramatic yet friendly and cozy. Perfect for a charismatic personality like Kimberley's!