By making the right organization and interior design decisions, your new condo can reach its full potential.  

While for a downsizer or first-time buyer, the square footage of their new condo may be ideal, there’s a lot to like about the illusion of feeling more spacious.

This can be achieved with colour, says Tricha Hamstra, senior interior designer for Shane Multi-Family, the developer behind award-winning northwest Calgary condo development The Mark 101 in Sage Hill.

“Keeping your wall paint lighter is going to help because it will make the space feel brighter and more open,” she adds. “If you choose a darker paint colour, it will automatically make the space feel smaller.

“You can still add dark accents but I would suggest you make sure there are a lot of lighter finishes to make the space feel bigger.”

And it doesn’t have to be light tones throughout. It’s easy to inject pops of texture and colour in other ways, such as the vanity backsplash, artwork, or the condo’s décor.

“You can definitely go with, for example, a darker cabinet colour,” says Hamstra. “Just don’t go with dark cabinets, a dark backsplash, and dark colours. Make sure it contrasts with something lighter.”

Moving from a home measuring 2,000 square feet or larger to something 950 square feet or less, will mean a shift in how the condo owner uses their space.

One of the keys, says Hamstra, is to not over-furnish.

“Do a bit of space planning – and plan ahead,” she says, adding it can be tricky to pivot your furniture choices after everything is moved in.

In an open-concept space, versatile furniture is useful. While you may not need or want a table for six or more on a daily basis due to the space it eats — some pieces can extend to meet the needs of larger gatherings — and contract once guests have left.

“There are a lot of places that have furniture tailored to condos,” says Hamstra. “So, they’ll have smaller sofa and smaller dining tables.”

Think about the types of gatherings you typically have in your home. Who visits regularly?

“While you may have six people come over, you might not be able to have a sofa that seats six — but maybe you have a couple of smaller ottomans that you can be dual purpose.”

Dual purpose furniture also helps crack down on clutter — not just serving as a place to sit, but providing a solution for tucking things away, as well.

Another method for clutter control is a high-end closet.

“You can upgrade and add a shoe rack or a sweater (storage) tower, just so you have places for everything” she says.

This sort of upgrade is available for people who buy a condo through Shane Multi-Family.