Decorating & Design

October 10, 2017

How One Designer Lived In 425 Square Feet — And Loved It!

After years of living in larger quarters, designer Lindsay Konior, of design firm Qanūk, downsized to a compact Toronto rental unit. The move forced her to re-examine the old chestnuts of small-space decorating. “I didn’t adhere to the recommended distance between the coffee table and the sofa, for example,” she says. Lindsay also discovered that the condo-size-only rule was one she could work around, making room for her queen bed and a chunky marble coffee table — a survivor of the ’80s, when bigger was most certainly better. Lindsay’s since moved on to her next project, but her perspective on the “rules” and stuff that really matters is forever changed. Get her small space decorating tips and see inside her home below.

House & Home: What attracted you to this space?

Lindsay Konior: I’d seen approximately 15 to 20 places in the city, but as soon as I stepped inside this place, I knew it was perfect. The finishes, such as the engineered oak floor, were high-end and classic for such a reasonably priced apartment, and the layout was simple. It had a narrow floor plan, but it still felt open because of the full windows and balcony.

H&H: What’s the most important aspect of designing for small spaces?

LK: Don’t rush into making final decisions unless you’ve lived in a space for a period of time — your patterns will dictate where pieces end up. I talk to clients about every function: what they do on a daily basis, where they eat dinner, how they use the kitchen. Habits influence how you create an environment. Also, in a small space, you need to consider how objects look next to one another. For example, everything in my apartment was visible at all times, so it all had to work cohesively.

H&H: What lessons have you learned from downsizing?

LK: I had a lot of things out on display in the 1,200-square-foot apartment I lived in before downsizing. A smaller space requires you to curate the objects that make you happy. I thought, ‘OK, either I live in an apartment that’s cluttered all the time, or I take an edited approach.’ I purged school documents and personal items you tend to hold onto but don’t look at for years.

H&H: What was your favorite thing about living here?

LK: I like that it forced me to live more simply. I’m not a slave to my stuff anymore.

Author: Wendy Jacob

Alex Lukey


Lindsay Konior