Condos can offer a very secure lifestyle and convenient locations, but almost all of them offer less square footage than single family homes. However, don’t despair! There are many ways to maximize useable living space in a condo.
The best way to think when furnishing a smaller space is “double duty.” Can your living room table double as storage space with drawers beneath? Not only will you have more storage, but nothing makes a space look smaller than clutter so keeping things out of sight will add to the feeling of spaciousness in your condo. Storage is almost always an issue in small spaces, but it doesn’t need to be. When trying to maximize storage space in your condo, do this: look up and look down. Could seasonal clothing be stored in containers that slide beneath your bed? Is there a spot high on the wall, where a storage cabinet could go? If you paint it the same colour as the wall, it would likely be unnoticeable.
Another way to optimize space is to buy items that fold up. A Murphy bed that folds up into the wall is a great guest bed option. A table that you can attach to the wall and fold down as needed (known as a peninsula table) makes a great place to have meals, but then you can put it away to optimize your kitchen space. If you’re tight for space in your living room, but you like to entertain, try opting for minimalist Scandinavian style furniture (yes, I mean IKEA).
The best way to avoid accumulating clutter is to regularly have a hard look at your possessions and ask yourself, do I really need this wok, or fondu set? You get the picture. If the answer is no, get rid of it! It can be very liberating. You will not only create more space, you will also create the illusion of space and airiness which will make your condo seem even bigger.
Lastly, you can create the illusion of space when you decorate. Choosing a light colour scheme for your condo will make a rooms appear larger. Also, using a similar colour theme in a room makes any room seem larger. An example would be a bathroom with the same colour of walls, shower curtain, towels, etc. This goes back to the clutter idea; the use of one colour everywhere eliminates the feeling of disorderliness.
Don’t let the fear of downsizing prevent you from making a move to a condo. Free yourself from unnecessary possessions and make some smart décor choices and you will never look back!
Bob Fraser is a sales representative with Remax Metro-City Realty Ltd., Brokerage, an experienced Ottawa real estate agent, and co-founder of the Ottawa Condo Guide, a resource for buyers and sellers of condominium properties in Ottawa. Our goal is to help educate buyers and sellers in the Ottawa real estate market, and provide professional advice when helping them buy and sell properties.