How Families Can Add Space to Small Apartments

With the average cost of single-detached homes and townhomes skyrocketing throughout Canada and the United States, more and more young families are being forced to remain in condos and apartments longer and longer. At first blush, that means raising your little rapscallions without the benefit of a dedicated play area or separate rooms for each child. Sorry, Dad—it also probably means saying goodbye to the Man Cave.

Sound like a nightmare? It doesn’t have to. You just have to get creative with your space and think outside the box.

Raising kids in condos certainly presents a space issue. Mom, dad, the kiddos, and maybe even a cat and a dog all need room to live and play and breathe. But with a little bit of careful planning and some savvy interior design choices, you can make condo life more preferable than breaking the bank (or your financial future) on a single-detached home or townhome. (Can you say “lower mortgage payments”?)  

But raising a family in a condo or apartment is no easy feat. The two biggest issues are 1) lack of storage space and 2) lack of living space. Depending on your condo and how many kids you have, a close third might be a lack of bedrooms.

The most effective way to free up more space and add more storage is to dramatically rethink the number one space taker-uppers in your home, the beds. They’re soft and they’re cushy and the best place to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon, but they’re space killers—plain and simple. They often take up an entire room and, because of this, we end up using bedrooms for little more sleep.

How do you turn bed-space into a 2-for-1 combination of extra living space and extra storage space?

Consider installing a Murphy bed or two, depending on your needs. Murphy beds let you turn otherwise unusable daytime space into valuable everyday square footage in your home. They also offer varying degrees of added built-in storage, so you can empty out those overflowing closets and over-crammed drawers.

A Murphy bed installed in a child’s room, for instance, turns the entire space into a wide-open playroom once the bed is folded up and out of the way. In mom and dad’s room, fold up the bed and voila—you’ve got plenty of room for that at-home yoga session.

If you’re in this position now—or expect to be in this position in the next few years—start by reconsidering the space you have. How can you make it work for each of your family members? How many kids do you have now? How many do you plan to have within the next few years?

A few savvy choices can make raising a family in a condo or apartment not only a financially sound choice, but also an opportunity to flex your creative interior design muscles. Try our Build-A-Bed app to test a few designs for your space—the design possibilities are endless!

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