Who: J+B, young working professionals with a baby on the way.
What: Heritage apartment building in the heart of downtown Edmonton.
Years lived in: Less than one.
Our clients loved their tiny love nest, small in scale coming in at less than 600 square feet. What it lacked in size it made up for in character and location. In a beautiful century old building and located in the centre of downtown it was the dream space for this care free couple.
The dilemma was that the space wasn't working that well for two people, and their family was growing by 1 with the arrival of their first baby in Spring. You read that right, a less than 600 square foot bachelor condo and a baby on the way!
Small open spaces can be challenging, I have a few rules of thumb:
1 - Divide the space up into zones - we made sure they had a clear bedroom, living room, dining area, kitchen and living room
2 - Don't buy everything tiny - buying pint size furniture is usually the first reaction to small spaces but you end up with a space that feels like a doll house. We fit a full size dining table to fit 6 in our "dining area"
3 - What do you really need? Really think about it. If you haven't worn that sweater that your great aunt gave you it is time to give it away and fondly remember it. In less than 600 square feet there is no room for things that aren't functional.
We really got lucky with these clients, they were completely open to our ideas and we were starting from scratch. With only two pieces staying we could find the absolute best pieces for the space. Here is a little look at what we started with.
Where were we going to put the baby? Well logically the nursery had to be in the old closet. Right?
We tore out the old closet and bumped the opening up. It was the perfect niche for a crib, change table and supplies.
We had a wall built to divide the living from the sleeping area and tucked a ikea Pax wardrobe in the wall as their new closet. We got the tallest unit we could to max out space and left space on top for baskets and bulky items.
The bed lifts up and has tons of storage underneath. The floating bedside tables, made locally by Tomnuk are beautiful didn't take up any extra space. We also wall mounted the reading lights so as not to take up any table top space.
Amy Dixon, a local artist, painted the beautiful painting over the bed for our clients.
This may be an open plan home but I advocated for investing in black out curtains in the bedroom. Not only do they block noise and drafts from the original windows but I swear that I have NEVER had a client come back to me and complain that they regret putting black out curtains in their bedroom. Blackout = better sleep. With a new baby you need to sleep when you can.
The Living Space
Our colour scheme in the entire space started with the Antique Heriz Rug. We pulled the rich navy, plum, deep red, cream all from this 125 year old rug. It was the perfect match for a building as old.
The floors - when we first saw the space they were hidden under terrible cherry coloured laminate floors. After tearing them up they looked like concrete, but closer inspection revealed that they were the original terrazzo floors. Hours of grinding them down and patching left us with a beautiful foundation for the space.
I know the living space is small but I wanted them to have space to have people over, play with the baby and work from home if needed. We extended the kitchen cabinets and counters into the dining room. They can use the surface for a TV, work station or a bar if they are hosting people. The ikea cupboards have tons of storage to hide away baby toys, books etc.
The sofa we chose from Crate & Barrel packs a punch, it pulls out to a twin size bed! The antique chair was an existing piece that we repaired and had a custom seat made for it.
Originally our clients asked for a U shaped kitchen with a counter for bar stools. I fought hard for our open concept kitchen. Not only does the space feel more open but I think a dining tables is so important. It's where you eat family dinners, do your taxes, celebrate birthdays or have the tough talks. Bar stools are not a substitution.
This table was made custom for the space, the table top is made of old rail way box car floors.
To make everything fit we did go with smaller scaled appliances. They have a fully functioning kitchen, dishwasher, oven, stove top, fridge, but we chose space saving appliances.
We went with the classics in this kitchen, subway tile, dark grout, brass and black metal details.
No upper cabinets kept the space feeling light and open, instead had custom shelves made for a cleaner look.
This pint sized bathroom needed to work a lot harder than it was! We started with great bones, the floors were beautiful. The tub needed to be replaced and we got rid of the shower curtain for a glass partition. Pulling the tub out ruined the tile around it so we went with a contrasting black tile.
We weren't moving the plumbing but the pedestal sink offered no counter space. We designed a custom vanity with a floating look out of the same wood we used in the kitchen. We were working within a budget so we asked our counter supplier for an off cut. These are a huge price savings! The problem was that it was too shallow, so we attached a beautiful wood backplate to the cabinet. Ta-dah! Problem solved and budget saved.
We used one coat of American Clay Enjarre paint from Carbon Boutique in the space as it's great for moisture, and has a nice industrial look.
We LOVE this round mirror we used in the space! A gorgeous 36", rubber edged piece from Umbra.
Originally our clients had a washing machine in the bathroom, but we sourced a washer/dryer combo unit. Installed shelving above and a rod to dry clothes.
Although we made minor changes here, they were important. We integrated a tall pantry into the kitchen for their broom and vaccuum, which meant the front closet was for coats and shoes only. We added a shelf and double hooks. Painting it out white kept a fresh and clean look.
Our clients love having a home full of greenery, so we couldn't resist giving them this beautiful succulent arrangement from Fringe & Flora.
All the construction and custom cabinetry was done by the amazing team at McCormick General Construction.
Curtains, custom pillows, upholstery, antique rug - Plum Home
Sofa - Crate & Barrel
Backsplash - Tile & Stone Source
Kitchen cabinets, Pax wardrobe, bed - Ikea
Appliances - Coast Appliances
Mirror in bathroom, faucet, bathroom lighting - Wayfair
Dining Table - Custom by Underground Furniture
Photography Jillian Schecher