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Condo Living

Condo living can make you feel so smug, no shoveling snow, no worries about the roof leaking and all that cozy, draft-free warmth while the weather rages outside!

One of the important things about condo life is to move in without all the clutter that you ‘can’t do without’! Another important thing is to furnish and decorate your condo in a way that maximizes spaciousness. An experienced interior design consultant knows all the tricks, but here are a few to get you started.

Let’s start with the outside; although the balcony or patio is part of the ‘common element’ of the complex, it is for your exclusive use, (unlike the hallways which are for common use). You are not responsible for its upkeep, but you can stack as many rattan chairs and barbeques and pot plants as you want on it! Overflowing onto the patio or balcony is a temptation that must be resisted!

It is far more spacious and relaxing to look out of your windows onto a clear balcony affording a clear view. One way to do this is to buy chairs that are stackable and a table that folds down. Choose a small model of barbeque, or a table top version that can be stood on top of a small cupboard that also houses the coals, fire starter, tools etc.

If you love your flowers, then group a few plants together with the taller ones at the back and matching pots would be great! Keep your furniture off to one side in the summer months and fold some of it down in the winter.

Now we come inside. If the walls are all one colour, for example, cream or a very pale pastel, the separate areas will not be chopped up so much. This will create a feeling of having more space than there actually is in the condo. Blinds or shades can be the same colour as the walls, so that the windows will not break up the feeling of colour continuity.

Of course, it is often the case that we have to fit in the furnishings we have already bought. In case you have the chance to buy new, here are some pointers to consider. A three seater sofa takes up a long space and how many times have you seen anyone perched uncomfortably in the middle? Not often! So opt for a two seater love seat – and you will optimize your floor plan.

Assuming that you had to bring some of your clutter with you – you will need a place to keep it! This is where it is handy to buy end tables that actually have cupboards underneath. These can still have the look of fine furniture if you choose carefully.

The same rule applies to the coffee table: look for a style with storage space under. Buying furniture that can have a dual purpose is very beneficial in a smaller space.

Another option is to buy a coffee table with a glass top, so that the floor can still be seen. Of course, this will depend on how much you need the storage space that you will have to forgo!

If you have a narrow wall, a large mirror can really enlarge your room and reflect extra sunlight. Never underestimate the power of mirrors in small spaces!

Sometimes a narrow wall encloses the front entrance, in which case a small console is adequate space to drop your keys and bag. It is functional to keep the front entrance as roomy as possible as you may often be welcoming four people at one time.

Shop around for pieces that will fit your home. There are more choices today then before and get advice from local business owners, as they are helping people just like you every day! DYH

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