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Why I love my bathroom

I want to write a love letter to my WC.  I’ve been away from home this summer, using different bathrooms and I came to realize all the things I truly love about my bathroom. I realized how perfectly it fit our needs, and how easy it is to keep clean and bright. And if you are planning to remodel or build a new powder room maybe you can use some of the solutions we found for our severe lack of space.

We all want the bathroom of our dreams. Some of us dream big;
BathLuxurySome of us have more modest dreams:

Bathmodest

But as you can imagine, for our laneway home we had to make some sacrifices.  Because our bathroom is eensy, weensy, teensy.  Seriously, check out the plans.

PlansLower

The bathroom is less than 8 feet wide.  So it took some planning to get everything we wanted into the room. But we did!

One of the features that we appreciate so much is the radiant floor heating.  We moved into our place in winter, and we couldn’t believe the difference it makes to your comfort.

In our planning with the designer we ditched the tub.  We prefer a shower so it would be a waste of precious, precious space to put in a tub.  Then we decided to keep everything square and linear.  We wanted subway tiles to line the shower, nothing fancy that dates so quickly, just the classics.  Honeycomb tiles on the floor of the shower to help make it less slippery.

BathTiil

Nice and clean looking.  Plus the clear glass doors make it look as if the shower is part of the whole room, there’s no visual separation.  And we have a handy niche to hold our shower needs.

BathNicheBetter

There are those honeycomb tiles again.  Having that little shelf seems like such a no-brainer, but DH’s shower in our old condo didn’t have one.  It makes a huge difference.  You’ll also note that we empty our shampoo, conditioner, and body wash into little bottles (from the dollar store) which keeps the space looking less cluttered.

The shower itself delivers what we really want — comfort.  We have a rain-shower head — one of the first things to go on our list of features we wanted. We also have a shower wand for when we want to pretend it’s a microphone. C’mon who doesn’t do that when they’re singing in the shower?

BathRain

The controls let us set the most comfortable temperature, and turn it on immediately without fussing and fidgeting.

BathControl

Square shape again — see?  It keeps the look uncluttered.

The toilet also has features we want — clean lines right down to the floor, and the seat closes with a gentle movement (the first days of my holiday were spent apologizing for noisily dropping the toilet seat cover, I was so used to it dropping softly onto the seat at home).   Yes, it’s a little thing, as is the feature that the whole seat lifts off the toilet for super-easy cleaning — but it’s just one of the things I love about our bathroom.

While we were on the Heritage Foundation’s laneway house tour two years ago, we saw the IKEA Godmorgen system.  We loved it at first sight — clean lines, storage space, and it floats above the floor to give the illusion of more space.  We also solved the problem of having no room for sconces beside the bathroom mirror with a great mirror with the lights built right in.

Bathsink

Again, square towel and toilet roll holders.  Square faucet and tap.  There’s also something in our bathroom that I never thought I needed — a clock.  The light/fan switch has a little digital clock to control the fan for ventilation purposes, and it’s so handy!  Up in the middle of the night — check out how long you can sleep before the alarm goes off.  Getting ready for work?  You can schedule your makeup/hair time and NEVER BE LATE AGAIN!

In this shot you can see the little square tiles on the floor — they are quite slip proof when wet, another safety feature as we age in place in this space.

Storage is always at a premium in any bathroom — so our designer, Laurel, found a great way to increase ours.  There’s an inset in the wall the bathroom shares with the washer/dryer closet.  And into it, Laurel placed two IKEA Lillangen cabinets with mirror doors.

BathCabinet

As well as giving us lots of storage space, the cabinets give us a full length mirror.  There’s practically no other space for a big mirror, so this is really appreciated.  Plus it reflects the light and brightens the whole room.

We bought all white towels for the new bath — gave away all our multi-coloured towels to keep things beautifully clean and white.  Plus if one gets stained it’s easily replaced — white always goes with white.

There’s also something Laurel suggested that we had never heard of — lockable valve boxes set into the wall for storage.

Bathboxes

We can lock our prescription drugs away for when the little ones are around.  They’re also handy for holding our jewellery when we’re not wearing it.

It’s so indicative of the comfort and ease we find in our home that our bathroom (is it still a bathroom without a bath) is so perfect for us.  Hope you can find a couple of good ideas to incorporate in yours!

A long, hard slog, another moving experience

The good news is that our parents’ condo in Nelson has been sold.  The subjects have been removed and in mid-October a new owner will be moving in.

The bad news, of course, is that they want to move into an empty condo.  Everything had to be removed, all the furniture, all the boxes, all the pictures, everything.

Happily my sister had gone through the place in the Spring, tossing and re-packing, and had handled most of the heavy lifting.  But there was still a lot to do, so last weekend she and I climbed into a big, honking rented SUV filled with empty boxes and drove up to Nelson from Vancouver and we started sorting.  Everything that we put into our hands had to be either given away, thrown away, or packed to be brought back to our place. All I wanted were the photos, a quilt, an afghan, and the cutlery.  My son and his wife wanted a chair and ottoman.  A local charity was taking the rest of the furniture.

I don’t have to tell you how horrible it is to move.  Tossing away boxes and boxes of opened food, half-full bottles of cleaning supplies.  Added to that there was the mental strain of decision fatigue.  The emotional wrench every time we ran across a piece of paper with our mother’s writing, a card signed by our father.  We fell into our beds, exhausted, every night.  And rose to face it all again, chaos and mess and piles of things.

To save our sanity we took time for walks around town and even had facials.  To prevent the foolish choices that come from decision fatigue we quit at supper time, and spent the evenings relaxing as much as we could before early bed-times (we were pretty pooped after shifting boxes and bags all day, neither of us is in our first bloom of youth).

When we left after a last farewell tour of the now-empty condo we were relieved, but not comforted.  We were so fortunate that we could do it together, my sister lives on the other side of the country and it was just luck that she was on the West Coast to attend a course and could take some holidays, because it would be exponentially more difficult for one person (hauling a huge old TV to the recyclers was definitely a two-person job). And we could help each other winnow through the collections of chotchkes.

One job I will be undertaking right now! is the labelling of the photos and slides I brought home.  I have to identify all the faces I recognise and scan and email the ones I don’t to relatives (while they are still around) so we can catalogue them all.  Note:  pencilling “Dad” on the back of a photo with no date is not going to help someone trying to identify it 70 years later.

So it’s good-bye to Nelson, a beautiful city but one that we have seen frequently over the past 40 years.  Now we will take trips to other equally-lovely corners of this fantastic province.

Heritage homes — lovely and livable

We were very, very lucky on our trip to the United Kingdom, not just in the fabulous weather, but because we could stay with our lovely relatives — and they live in lovely homes.

It’s rare to be able to step foot inside one actual home when visiting a foreign country, and we were able to see lots of them.  We also toured some “stately homes” with the rest of the tourists, but it was the privilege of sitting and taking tea in a real Georgian sitting room, or sleeping in a true Edwardian bedroom, or enjoying the garden of an old English cottage that made the trip even more special.

The first home we stayed in was that of our first-cousin-once-removed in Edinburgh.  Naomi’s was the oldest home we stayed in, built before 1800.  The building had once been a brewery with the bottom two floors for commerce and the third floor, where Naomi’s flat is located, made into a comfortable home for the proprietors.  At one point the one apartment was made into 3, sometime in the 19th century, but it’s been re-converted to one unit.  So some of the features were changed plus a modern kitchen and bathroom were added.  But a lot of the original Georgian decor remains.

NOutside2

Here’s me standing outside the front door to the building.  The stairs are located just behind this wall, stone stairs to the third floor, then concrete ones up to the more-recently modernized fourth floor.  Naomi’s is on the third floor.

NOTE:  We were staying in a private home.  The place wasn’t staged for photographs, it was set up for living (and Naomi lives a very active life).  So I won’t be showing whole rooms, just snippets of the features that made the rooms truly Georgian.

Here’s a Googled photo that illustrates what you can expect to see in a Georgian Room.

GeorgianRoom

The Georgian builders and decorators revered symmetry, so the fireplace is centred on one wall.  The windows are very wide and high, coming within inches of the ceiling and set deep into the thick walls.  The panels at each side of the windows are actually shutters which can be closed over the windows at night (although most homes don’t use the shutters any more and have draperies instead).

All the rooms are beautifully proportioned, with high ceilings and a feeling of spaciousness.

Naomi’s apartment is split very nicely by a wide corridor, with transoms above the doors allowing some light in from the rooms on either side. Since the flat takes up the whole of the third floor, she has windows on three sides and a lot of light flooding in.

NTransom

Here’s one of the transoms — a work of art by itself.  And the beautiful plaster crown moulding along the top of the walls.  The Georgians also tried to bring sculpture into their homes, and that is reflected in the ornate plasterwork you see here on this arch in the apartment.

Arch2

 

Imagine living in all this beauty all the time!  We were so lucky to spend just a few days in this wonderful Georgian home.

Keeping it cool old school

Being part of the design process for your home means making decisions — and compromises.

DH and I had a bit of a struggle over air conditioning.  Neither of us can handle the heat in the summer — we tend to wilt around 25° C. And as for sleeping in a hot, humid room – well, it ain’t gonna happen.

Fan

DH wanted air conditioning for the laneway.  I did not.  I think we can keep the space cool through the summer using what we have, and not use more energy cooling off the place.

On his side of the discussion — summer.

On my side — windows on all four sides of the house, so we’re sure of getting a cross breeze, upstairs and down (our ex-condo had windows on one side of the building — north — so no chance of a cross breeze). Plus the house is built facing full south, but the sun does not hit the windows after 5 pm (this far in the year) so we don’t get the hot rays of the setting sun streaming in. We can close the blinds on the south and east sides of the upstairs to keep the hottest sun of the day out.  Plus we have fans to blow cooling breezes (when available) throughout the house, and we can move them from room to room as we need them.

So the weight of words won the day and we did not install air conditioning.  We have high hopes that we will survive without it.

Since the bedroom is tucked into the slope of the lot, with a small north-facing window, we can keep it lovely and cool. Last year  we were thrilled to find how cool and dark the bedroom was in the basement suite we rented during the build, and how easy it was to get a good sleep compared to the hot, stuffy master bedroom of our ex-condo.  We expect our open-and-screened bedroom window will provide enough cool air for the bedroom fan to circulate and keep us comfortable.

And we can always step onto our deck if we start to swoon from the heat upstairs.  Delightfully we could even watch TV through the window from the deck, so we’ll always have a cool place to go if it gets too warm in the sitting room.

Right now the sitting room is wonderfully comfortable, with a couple of windows open at the top (tilt and turn windows — great idea)

WindowTilt

windowturn

It tilts!  It turns!  It slices, dices, and juliennes (not exactly as shown) plus it gives our cats the illusion that they can escape if they can just discover how they work.

There’s no shortage of fresh air.  We will put the screens on our windows this weekend, so we can keep the bugs out (and the cats in) when we open the windows nice and wide.

We also expect the extra insulation of the living roof will provide an extra layer of comfort.

We will have to live and learn to see if our plans work as well as we hope they will to keep us really cool in the heat of summer.

In short:

  1. Windows on at least 3 sides of the building to catch all the breezes.
  2. Blinds to keep out the most intense rays of the sun.
  3. Sleeping on the lowest level of the house (a basement if you can).
  4. Getting outside if the heat is too much inside.
  5. Fans.  We are fans of fans.

We are ready for the summer.

Because summer is coming. Keep cool.

Springing ahead

Well, despite what good old nurturing Mother Nature is doing to various parts of the country, here in Vancouver it is definitely spring.

Last weekend I did my spring planting.  And I also checked out out shrubs to make sure there were little buds on their bare limbs ready to turn into leaves.

But what about inside?  What’s springing up there to make us think the season has finally changed?

Cushion covers for our sofa — nice green with dots.

Our cozy corner

Our cozy corner

Plus a little round tray for setting your coffee upon (ottoman doubles as a coffee table).

To finish the look, a bowl with the same green for fresh fruit and matching linens.

What other ideas can we provide for freshening your decor?

Well, you can start small with placemats and napkins. Here’s a set from Style at Home’s website.

Spring napkins

Those would brighten your table — and look great with your winter-white china.

To change out a whole room in one go you could paint an accent wall or follow SAH’s advice and apply a wall decal.

Spring decal

Centsational Girl added some coral cushions to the cool grey of her front room, then created some artwork to match!

Spring sofa

She painted that simple botanical above the seat, and some colour-matched abstracts to pull the colour into other areas of the room.

Spring abstracts

Apartment Therapy reminds us that rain also means rainbows. In accessories.

Spring cushion

 

And art:

Spring art

 

If you’ve been living with winter for a while be sure to start your re-newal with a good spring cleaning, open the windows, bring in some greenery and celebrate.

It’s Spring!

You’ll flip for these ideas!

Due to my keen hearing and pathological interest in the other people who work in my office, I discovered that one of my co-workers has purchased an old beat-up home in their neighbourhood which they are fixing up to resell.

homeforsale

This is not just a fresh coat of paint and a swipe at the front yard then selling it for a premium, the walls have been stripped back to the studs, there is new mechanical and insulation, an open feel and landscaped property. They are now in the process of getting the new property staged for selling — and it promises to go fast (an updated heritage property in a good neighbourhood?  Catnip for buyers).

But what if you just want to get your home ready to sell?  Sure you know enough to clear out the family photos and personal chatchkes, but what are the best investments to get your place sold fast?

According to Style at Home, these are the top 10 ideas to get the most bling for your buck.

1 Kitchen
state-of-the-art kitchen is one of the most popular renovations for earning back most, if not all, of its investment. Even if you don’t fully gut and renovate, certain upgrades –granite counters, hardwood or high-end tile floors, premium appliances (especially stainless steel), islands and undermount sinks — attract attention and can increase value.

2 Hardwood floors

Especially on the main floor, hardwood is perennially popular with buyers. If your floors are refinished but worn, have them lightly sanded and resealed. If they’re very beaten up consider replacing them.

3 Premium broadloom
Broadloom is popular too (especially for bedrooms), but only if in top condition. If it’s worn, soiled or out of fashion, replace it with something more contemporary. Neutral, lightly textured weaves such as wool “sisal” are fashionable right now.

4 Master ensuite

If your ensuite is a bit tired, it’s worth upgrading, especially if you can afford a few luxuries such as a whirlpool or air jet tub, separate shower with a rainshower head, double sinks and/or heated floors. If you don’t have an ensuite, perhaps you can install one by stealing space from the master bedroomor a room next to it.

5 Radiator covers
It’s a simple carpentry job, but makes almost any older home seem more gracious.

6 Upgraded lighting
Old-fashioned  “can” track lighting can be easily replaced with more contemporary styles such as smaller cans or halogen track lights. Replace dingy overhead lighting with chandeliers (vintage or modern), or install them in rooms that don’t have any.

7 A finished basement
After kitchens and bathrooms, a stylishly finished basement is high on many buyers’ wish lists. If the ceiling is low and you can afford the investment, consider digging down to increase ceiling height. If you can’t, levelling the floor and installing broadloom will help make it more comfortable.

8 Landscaping
A well-maintained garden with attractive plantings, hardscaping such as brick or flagstone, and features such as urns or paths, add an elegant look to even a smaller home.

9 Front porch

Two or three decades ago, tearing off front porches became fashionable in some Canadian cities, but now they’re back in a big way. If you can, add a full front porch (or replace/repair the one you have if it isn’t in top condition); if not, a portico (a smaller porch that shelters the front door) can be a worthy substitute. Or add a deck in the back.

10 Adding a bedroom
A four-bedroom house will command a higher price than a three-bedroom, even if they’re both the same size. Consider dividing a large bedroom into two small ones (as long as they’re not too small, or it can have the opposite effect), or alternatively, consider converting an upstairs den or sitting room.

Ready for more ideas?  According to Forbes, these are the best ideas to give you a superior return on your investment.

1 Entry Door Replacement (Steel), Average Job Cost: $1,218 Average Resale Value: $1,243 Cost Recouped: 102%

2 Mid-Range Garage Door Replacement, Average Job Cost: $1,291 Average Resale Value: $1,083 Cost Recouped: 84%

3 Fiber-Cement Siding Replacement, Average Job Cost: $13,382 Average Resale Value: $10,707 Cost Recouped: 80%

4 Minor Kitchen Remodeling, Average Job Cost: $21,695 Average Resale Value: $15,790 Cost Recouped: 73%

5 Wood Deck Addition, Average Job Cost: $10,973 Average Resale Value: $7,986 Cost Recouped: 73%

6 Vinyl or Foam-Backed Vinyl Siding Replacement, Average Job Cost: $11,357 / 13,973 Average Resale Value: $8,223   10,119 Cost Recouped: 72%

7 Mid-Range Wood Window Replacement, Average Job Cost: $12,027 Average Resale Value: $8,707 Cost Recouped: 72%

8 Attic Bedroom Addition, Average Job Cost: $51,428 Average Resale Value: $37,142 Cost Recouped: 72%

9 Mid-Range Vinyl Window Replacement, Average Job Cost: $11,066 Average Resale Value: $7,920 Cost Recouped: 72%

10 Basement Remodel, Average Job Cost: $64,519 Average Resale Value: $45,186 Cost Recouped: 70%

And according to Bankrate, these are the best investments to get the most money when you resell;

 Top 5 ‘good payback’ projects. According to the NAR/Remodeling magazine’s 2005 Cost vs. Value report, the projects that will pay back the most at resale are:

5 projects to boost home value
1. Upscale siding (new fiber cement) replacement
2. Midrange bathroom remodel
3. Minor kitchen remodel
4. Midrange siding replacement
5. Attic bedroom remodel

The thing we learned when we sold our condo last year is this:  when you sell your place your competitors are not the other 20-year-old condos in your neighbourhood — they are the top-of-the-line modern suites with the latest conveniences and features.  Anything you can do to get your place sold is a good idea.

 

Itty bitty bedrooms

Our builder is back today, finishing up (we hope) the last bit of work before the room is absolutely complete (no pix till it’s perfect).  The bedroom is definitely the smallest one I’ve ever had in a home — just wide enough for our queen size bed plus one small chair.  But I think it’s the perfect size for us — we love it. And we’ve even included some kitschy 50s-style touches to make it completely our own.

I’ve always known that other people have small bedrooms, and I’ve wondered how they managed.  So off to Apartment Therapy to look at what others have done with their tiny sleeping rooms.

First, some parameters, I was interested in areas that could sleep two adults — I know you can tuck a child’s crib into any corner, but that wasn’t going to help me.  Plus, it had to be set off from the main living space in some way, not just part of a studio apartment.  And I found some real winners — and inspiration.

Bedroom-Swedish

 

This all-white room still manages to get that punch of colour with the wall-papered back wall.  And the kitchen cupboards set high bring in more storage while not intruding.

Bedroom-European

 

This all-white room grounds itself with the darker bedskirt — and brings texture in with that lovely heirloom coverlet.

Bedroom-French

 

This room is really tiny, but the high ceiling could make you think you’re sleeping in the bottom of a box!  It’s the light walls and minimal textures (just the brick wall) that make it a comfortable space.

 

 

Bedroom-tiny

 

By keeping the accessories in this room light and bright it manages to look cute but not cluttered.  And the shelf beside the bed means no need for a nightstand (spoiler alert–that’s what we did in our room).

But just because a bedroom is eensy doesn’t mean it can’t be dark and dramatic.

Bedroom-bright

 

This narrow room has the bed pushed against one wall as we’ve seen in some of the other rooms, and thus has gained space for an unobtrusive night table.  But it’s that bright pop of wall colour repeated in the coverlet and that dramatic light fixture that makes it special.

Bedroom-dark

 

The dark colours in the wall really bring the drama to this small bedroom.  Very clever use of colour, see how the ombre wood of the bed is picked up in the mustard tones of the wall-sized painting?  Plus the little punch around the white pillow also picked up in the quilt hanging over the foot of the bed.  Even the window trim is that same tone.  Very clever.

And as we have seen, even the smallest spaces can be dramatic.

Bedroom-Niche1

 

This home is basically a studio apartment, but the owner has taken what might have been left as storage space and managed to fit a bed into it.  what makes it a bed ROOM is the dark blue wall colour, so different from the light tones of the rest of the space.  Here’s another look at it:

BedroomNiche2

 

Glossy wall paint reflects the overhead bulb and the wall-mounted bed lamp.

Lots of ideas that show that clever always trumps large when it comes to decorating — and small is beautiful.

Organizing? Or ?

We are still in the process of a) getting rid of stuff, and b) finding places for the stuff that we need.  We want to downsize our rented storage space this month with the goal firmly in place of getting to the point where we don’t need any exterior storage space at all.

So I am doing my part by sitting down with a cup of coffee and my laptop and perusing stories on organizing.  Thanks to Apartment Therapy for giving me “101 Organizational Helpers” with “stylish storage options”  and tips like

Even when your contents are stored and labeled, it means nothing if they’re not accessible. Stacking a group of boxes and storing them on wheels is a great way to utilize the back corner of a closet. When you need a particular box, out rolls your storage cart for easy access.

That is a good idea.  Also

consider repurposing a few things from the kitchen to help you straighten up your sleeping space. Silverware and ice cube trays can be used to sort jewelry and dresser drawers,

But then I ran across another article that reminded me of what it is all about.

Life Edited asked the musical question “Is Organization A Sham?

The article quotes The Minimalists Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus from their book “Everything That Remains” 

Discussing how to get rid of our stuff answers only the what side of the equation, but not the why; the action, but not the purpose; the how-to, but not the significantly more important why-to. In other words, the what is relatively easy. We all know instinctually how to declutter–how to get “organized.” But that’s just one part of the larger issue. Instead of “get organized,” I’ve decided I need to start thinking of organizing as a dirty word, a sneaky little profanity who keeps us from really simplifying our lives.

You see, our televisions would have us believe there’s a battle being fought on the consumption continuum, a battle between messy hoarders on one side and spruce organizers on the other. And from our couches it’s hard to see who’s winning. I’d like to posit, however, that these two sides are actually working together, colluding to achieve the same thing: the accumulation of more stuff. One side–the hoarders–does so overtly, leaving everything out in the open, making them easy targets to sneer at. Face it, we all laugh and point and say “I’m sure glad my house doesn’t look like that,” every time we see them on TV. But the other side–the sneaky organizers–are the more covert, more systematic, when it comes to the accumulation of stuff. Truthfully, most organizing is nothing more than well-planned hoarding.

Who among us has not glanced at one of those hoarding shows, shocked and yet fascinated, like staring into the abyss that our lives could spiral into if we weren’t ever vigilant.  Those hoarders, those poor, pathetic people, don’t think they are hoarding.  They know that they might need that thing, that old magazine with that article, that pair of shoes that just needs new soles, that pot that might come in handy.

All around us we see constant reminders that we NEED MORE STUFF.  The answer is not to find more places, more attractive containers and more efficient ways to hang onto it.

It’s important to see that the final goal is not to find places for everything we own, it’s to get rid of everything that doesn’t fit into our lives any more.  That will give us more time and energy to concentrate on what is really important.

New idea? Old idea! Micro-apartments

As cities throughout the globe find that micro-apartments are a great way to create housing for one-person households, we look back at ways teensy apartments fit into the housing mix decades, even centuries ago.

Often these smaller quarters were built that size, but sometimes they were made from larger ones, splitting one apartment into two.  Or in this case, making an apartment out of an old porter’s office and washroom.

But these are not new ideas.  People have been building apartments for centuries.  This complex in the Yemen desert looks quite modern.

DesertCity1

But a closer look reveals it is made of mud walls.

DesertCity2
Good protection from marauders as well as an efficient use of space.

Or this micro-apartment from 12th century China:

ChinaApartment1

Quite a popular idea back then.

ChinaApartment2

Maybe it’s these ancient micro-suites that inspired a modern-day architecture student in China to design this 75 square-foot home:

ChinaAprtment4

See more at this link.

Affordability? It’s a relative thing.

The news this week is that Vancouver housing prices are the 2nd most unaffordable in the world.  The prices are not necessarily the 2nd most expensive in the world, just when compared to what you could earn if you move here from another large city.  We are hit with the double whammy of pricey real estate and lower wages.  Or, as Tsur Somerville of the Sauder School of Business at UBC says,

“Places that have a lot of amenities and are places that people really want to live, pushes up house prices, but also lowers wages, and employers are paying people less who are willing to take a lower paying job to be there. So you get a higher price-to-income ratio.”

I don’t ski on the local mountains in the winter, I don’t wake board in the local waters in summer.  I live in Vancouver because my family is here.  So I’m paying for those amenities that draw people to the area even if I don’t use them.  But we have found a way to live in a comfortable home — our laneway house.  It’s the smallest place we’ve ever lived in, but for us it’s a perfect solution to the dilemna.

I don’t expect you to wander the streets until you find a nice yard and ask the people if you can build a laneway house in their garden — laneway living is one solution, it’s not the only solution to the housing squeeze in the Metro Vancouver area.

The sad truth is that if you move to Vancouver you are going to be paying more — maybe a lot more — for housing than you would in another city, which means you will probably have to downsize (one bedroom to studio, etc.).  But there are still ways to make an attractive and comfortable home with less space.

Today we have a few ideas for living comfortably in a studio apartment.  They are sometimes called bachelor suites — another term for a separate dwelling with its own bathroom and kitchen facilities, but no separate bedroom.

If you’ve some funds, you can get some swell built-ins to add to your space. From Life Edited, here’s a suite in Warsaw, Poland for a mother, her son, and a dog. It’s just 237 square feet.

Small-apartment-Warsaw-living_1

Small-apartment-Warsaw-closet

the suite has “normal” height walls, it’s great to see someone doing something up high in that limited space.

In Barcelona, this bachelor completely built-in his life into this 258 square foot suite:

With bachelor suites you may not want to hide your bed away, but rather make it a focal point:

ManhattanBachelor

See the rest of this sweet suite at Apartment Therapy.

But Isabelle LaRue completely transformed her studio space with some clever hacks:

Isabelle is loaded with talent that way — check our her blog at Engineer Your Space.  But you could incorporate a lot of her ideas into your studio even if you are not as handy (maybe you have a few handy friends?).

Here’s another way people divided their space to get a private bedroom:

how-to-divide-living-room-into-bedroom-1

There’s more ideas on fitting a bedroom into a living room here.

The lesson I’m trying to jam down your throat here is that even if living smaller is not by choice (if, for example you have to live in a city with a tight housing market — I’m talking to you Hong Kong!) — you can still find a way to live comfortably in less space.

As I repeat — Small is the new Black.

My Pain, My Life, My Struggles, My Fight

Come walk with me, Down My Dark & Stormy Journey BUSINESS INQUIRIES & CONTACT EMAIL : GODSCHILD4048@GMAIL.COM

ANNOTATED AUDREY BLOG

Artist and Desert Dweller with Big City Style.

Im ashamed to die until i have won some victory for humanity.

Domenic Garisto / LIFE IS NOT A REHERSAL,SO LIVE IT..if you can't be the poet, be the poem..havau22.com

The Lady Who Lives Down the Lane

Lane Way Housing for the Nervous Novice

Apartment Therapy| Saving the world, one room at a time

Lane Way Housing for the Nervous Novice

Slightly Snug House

building a home that's not too big and not too small

Vancouverandy

Funny thoughts from a nut like me.

The World is a Halidom

Simple Northern Life Publication

Small House Bliss

Small house designs with big impact

WeeHavyn

Lane Way Housing for the Nervous Novice

Small Housing

Lane Way Housing for the Nervous Novice

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