If 2011 is the year of the Rabbit, then 2010 was the year of the “Shrinking Condo”! The last quarter brought many new projects to the market and with it came the realization that our living space expectations are changing. The condos of yesterday (think The Esplande or any of the units at Harbour Square) offered much larger layouts with a more spacious design. Today the norm is glass clad buildings to give the illusion of more space paired with the ever popular “open concept” design. Now we’re seeing 2 bedrooms being built in the same size as former one beds. The demand for a great downtown location is at an all time high, and with the price of land also increasing, developers are building as many units as they can in much smaller condos! This is the new reality of realty, and to argue or complain about the shift is a much of a waste of time as the Toronto Land Transfer tax is to our pockets!
I’ve noticed a lot of new projects incorporating a “study” into their spaces instead of a den. Studies don’t have much of a dedicated space and are often looked at as a waste! It’s similar to the trend of cutting out the second bedroom and making it a den. I’ve walked into a countless number of resale units that feature this awkward space with no real sense of definition. I don’t blame the sellers for not making better use as many condo showrooms don’t use the “study” layouts in their display. A few simple (and cost effective) changes is all that’s needed to bring the space back to life!
During the holidays I was at my colleague, Chris Molders place over at Minto Skyy. He had purchased a one bedroom and study layout a few years back and recently took possession of it. Instead of leaving the space empty, he transformed it into something both functional and aesthetically pleasing!
A few strips of wallpaper was all that was needed to give the study a separation from the rest of the unit.
No ceiling light? No problem! Under-lighting from Ikea was mounted below the shelf to free up valuable space on the desk. Often times studies don’t come with a ceiling outlet so a creative solution like this is a must!
Here’s another view of the study from his living space. The art on the wall picks up the from the wallpaper and helps to connect the two spaces together! As hip as it is, he’s still working on a few minor things like tying up the wires from the lights and adding storage underneath! Add a Barcelona Chair to the mix and you’ve got yourself one cool and affordable study.
As units sizes continue to shrink, I hope that this inspires you to think big and make full use of whatever space you have! If you’re looking to get a place of your own, be it preconstuction or resale, give me a call…I’d love to help!