How to Make the Most of Small Space Living

Living in small spaces is increasingly becoming the norm for Canadians in urban centres like Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal. As cities become denser and real estate prices increase, square footages often shrink.

Not that this is always a bad thing: small spaces can mean less to clean, less opportunity for clutter, and a cozier home.

But they do require additional creativity and strategic planning. The following ideas offer starting points for small space owners:

Think up and down: Working vertically will maximize your storage space and give it pizzazz. Slide dust-free boxes with bedclothes or clothing under beds for extra storage and place decorative items on shelves above doorways.

Double-duty: Think about rooms and furniture as serving two or more purposes. A living room with a pull-out couch turns into a guest room; some coffee tables transform into dining tables.

Less stuff, more style: A small space means paring down what you own, from clothing to books to knick-knacks. Concentrate not on volume, but on effect. One great piece of art can have more impact than 10 smaller ones.

Mirrors: This old trick is still around for a reason: It works. Strategically placed mirrors help a space feel much larger. Play around with positioning to see where your mirrors have the greatest effect.

Go light and airy: Light colours open up a room; dark colours box it in. Acrylic and glass will add to that airy feeling. Separate rooms or hide storage behind a light-coloured curtain, panel, or screen.