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Micro-condos: the smart new design for downtown living

Two smart design ideas that take small-living to a new, creative and spacious level

SMART HOUSE  (2 of 10)

Smart Storage Design

Small-spaced downtown living is nothing new, but there’s a recent craze that’s taking the design world by storm. It’s all about maximizing tiny spaces by using built-in-storage- even for your bed. They’re called micro-condos, so micro that some measure just 288 square feet. With limited space, the idea is to design a home that looks sleek and clutter free by combining multiple rooms into one in a unique and compact way.

Developer Urban Capital designs condos across Canada called Smart House. David Wex, Urban Capital partner says, “Our vision was to create small condominium residences sensitive to downtown premiums and a starter home budget, designed with relentless attention to detail, and created for maximum impact with minimal space.” Smart House uses features like transforming furniture that make a living space easily convert into a bedroom (we love the sofa and cabinet that unfolds into a bed).


Photo, Urban Capital

Kitchens are streamline with everything placed behind cabinet doors. A smaller dishwasher is tucked away in a bottom drawer, and the kitchen island pulls out into a dining room table.

Cubing It

At this year’s Interior Design Show (IDS) in Toronto, Urban Capital and Nichetto Studio unveiled their experimental project Cubitat, a 10’x10’x10’ cube that makes any space instantly livable. The cube would be ordered online, customized to your living space, and once delivered, act as a functioning home that just needs to be plugged in.


Photo, Urban Capital

Each side of the cube works as a room- there’s a kitchen, bathroom, storage, laundry area and living room that converts into a bedroom. The bed slides out from a drawer underneath the television, and rolling bookshelves extend out from closed cabinets.

Though not yet in production, Cubitat would be a new way of living in small spaces. Cubitat pulls ideas from the design of Smart House into one compact place that can move with you, be that another condo or a platform you build in the middle of the woods.

Check out Chatelaine’s 21 tips to maximize a house using smart space-saving solutions.