How to Get the Most Out of Your Condo Square Footage: The Power of Space Planning & Multifunctional Furniture
Purchasing a condo is one of the most exciting decisions you will ever make. You do your research, choose a knowledgeable realtor who specializes in condos, make an offer and sign on the dotted line, work with lenders to fund the most important investment of your life and then, on closing day, you get the key to your new home. You insert this tiny piece of cut metal into the lock of your new property and open the door to endless possibilities in living, working and entertaining. But what happens when you can’t visualize how to use your new 900 square foot space? What happens when you can’t determine how to make room for your dinning area and your home office? Do you resolve to rest your dinner plates next to your laptop for the rest of your life? And how come some condo owners seem to make such good use out of a 600 square foot condo that they can airily accommodate a nursery, a walk in closet, a bar area and a reading nook?
Recently, I asked Sacha Nizami, a veteran and in-demand interior designer from Toronto, Ontario for her tips on condo design and decorating. Specifically, I ask her how condo owners can get the most space out of their condos. She offered enlightening design answers and solutions, which helped me understand how some condo owners achieve the feel of 1200 square feet in half the size. Nizami says it all comes down to “ Space planning and expertly chosen furniture and interior design fixings.”
According to Nizami, when condo owners purchase a new space they must first and foremost think about space planning. “Space planning is essentially thinking about how each space will function. To do this, you have to consider the intended purpose of each space.” Nizami writes to me from her expertly planned home office which doubles as her own personal retreat. “You have to ask yourself, do you need the guest bedroom or the dining area to double as a home office? Space planning is the key to successful condo design.”
Essentially, Nizami is saying to get the most out of your condo space, plan to use the areas in it, in multipurpose ways. Many of us, less skilled in the art of interior design, might assume such space planning will lead to the above noted conundrum; Eating with our office supplies. According to Nizami, this could not be further from the truth. With some strategic space planning and clever condo furniture purchases, you can entertain, eat and work in spacious style. “Condos are often short on square footage but that doesn’t mean they have to be short on function or style. Once the function of each space is determined and the optimal layout is achieved, then multi-purpose, versatile furniture can be chosen.” Nizami says.
It is exactly at this juncture, choosing furniture pieces for a mix-use condo space, which are multi-purpose, versatile and stylish, where many of us would reach out to a design expert like Nizami. As I mention this to her, she offers that the design process for a condo can be very straightforward and decisions can be ironed out in one or two meetings so her condo clients are usually very satisfied with the speed and ease of her consulting and design work. However, she also encourages me that condo owners can choose multi-functional furniture for their spaces themselves simply by asking an important question when they encounter a piece of furniture they like; “Can this piece multi-task?
Nizami explains what it means for a piece of furniture to “multi-task” by giving a couple great examples, “A table placed on the back of a sofa can give a visual break from one space to another. It can be a landing surface for food or drink in the dining area. It can also create an opportunity for a table-scape or decorative vignette and even act as a desk for a laptop. Moreover, there are many ottomans or coffee tables now have features where the top is hinged and deploys to be used as additional dining surfaces - think a modern day version of the 1950’s TV tray!”
While it is important to choose functional, multi-use furniture for condo spaces, Nizami also notes that such furniture should, “Not only suit the practical needs of the home owner, but the style and aesthetic needs as well.” She offers that, “Once the functional is achieved, style can be expressed through use of colorful accents and art work.” Nizami believes that it is these personal touches, which bring together a well-planned condo home. For more on Nizami’s ideas to personalize your condo home, please come back and read on next week. In the meantime, find your perfect dream home condo with a trusted and experienced realtor and take the time to space plan and find multi-functional furniture, which will make your 600 square foot condo space feel like a 1200 square foot space. This way, the lifestyle, entertaining and workspace possibilities for your condo home really can be endless.
Lara Watson is a writer and Real Estate Aficionado living in Toronto.