Decorating & Design

September 14, 2020

See How An Open-Concept Layout Makes This Small Space Feel Grand

Making the gutsy decision to open up your entire main floor takes time — no matter how small it is. For Matthew and Caroline Watson, it took more than a decade of living in their 1,300-square-foot Leaside, Toronto, home before they were ready to break up with its closed-off layout. Adding two kids, Stella, 9, and Gavin, 7, to the picture also put things into perspective. They found designer Orsi Panos on Instagram. While they admired the designer’s modern yet livable style, it was her space-planning chops that really won the Watsons over.

With total trust established, they eliminated or shortened walls for optimal light flow, and enlarged a door and window to capitalize on coveted south-facing sunlight. Expanding the former galley kitchen into the dining room ensured plenty of room for an island, pantry and built-in banquette. “I wanted to dispel the myth that you can’t entertain in a small place,” says Orsi.

Having a carefully thought-out space plan was an important focus for the designer as she worked with limited elbow room, and the family of four couldn’t be happier. “Our house is so open and inviting now,” says Caroline. “The only time I feel like we live in a small space is when our kids are running around with their friends.”

Scroll down to tour this entertaining-friendly family hub!

Author: Emily Evans

Alex Lukey


House & Home September 2020


Orsi Panos