Tag: Small Apartment

6 Truths about Online Interior Design

E-Design
Function
Goods

6 Truths about Online Interior Design

Online interior design

Source: Coal Harbour, A Cozy Home

Have you looked at your home lately and wanted to change the way it looks, or even how it makes you feel? Do you feel overwhelmed with how to start? Then online interior design (also known as e-design) may be the next step for you. 

Through virtual connection, interior designers can help you create a beautiful space that connects your personal style with your lifestyle…and all without stepping a foot into your home. Wonder how that’s even possible? Then here are 6 truths about online interior design you may not have known:

1. An e-designer doesn’t have to be in your home to design 

How online interior design works

Source: Unsplash

With online interior design, we never step a foot into your home. Instead, we set up virtual meetings to review the details of your home and discuss the goals and aspirations of your place. 

Photographs, accurate measurements & good conversation is what support us in creating your space without physically being in it. With this information, e-designers can think spatially and help you envision what your new space will look like through diagrams, images, mood boards and floor plans. 

2. Online interior design is more accessible 

Unlike those interior design shows on TV, e-design is accessible to everyone, and where you live won’t affect your access to professional support and guidance. This works great for those living in remote communities, or are unable to be home for in-person meetings. 

E-designers can also work around your busy schedule by having our design consultations over the phone or video chat conferencing while you’re at home or work. As a result, the meetings move quickly and commuting time is cut out of the equation. You could even have the meeting in your pyjamas and no one would be the wiser!

3. E-design is more affordable

We believe everyone should have a home they love living in, and e-design can help make that happen at a fraction of the cost of full-service interior design.  Through online systems, virtual meetings and collaboration between the interior designer and client, a great design is within reach for more people than ever before.

Our e-design service package is a set-price, with no hidden fees. We have a payment schedule after your initial deposit, to equalize the payments over the design process. Additionally, Good Space Plans offers a money-back guarantee if you choose to cancel your Good Space Plan before our first designer meeting.

4. E-design removes any risk you make on DIY renovation

Have you ever bought a new piece of furniture, then discovered it didn’t fit in your building elevator? Or, have you ever brought home a new decor item, then realized it didn’t work in your room at all? Have you ever spent thousands of dollars on new flooring or countertops that didn’t actually serve your needs?

The truth is, planning is the biggest, most important part of renovating a home. It minimizes risk and better manages your budget. 

With online interior design, planning and risk management is done early on in the project. We provide accurate dimensions of your space and the furniture we select so everything fits to how you envision it. We also plan around your budget and share links to every item we recommend to meet your style preference.

And with our expert eye, we can help save you from making the wrong choice when purchasing items for your home (like purchasing furniture that won’t fit into your home). 

5. Online interior design can help change the way you feel about your space

Often homeowners will engage an online interior designer when they fall out of love with their space or if it no longer serves their functional needs. A successful design project is marked by falling in love with space again. It’s about changing the way you feel when you’re in your own home or office. 

To reach that goal, we create a collaborative e-design process where YOU become the centre of it all. Through our design process, we get to know your personal style and lifestyle to make your home or office reflect your own needs. The end result is a plan that’s perfectly suited to who you are and help you fall in love with your space again. 

6. E-Design gives you control of your project 

Online Interior Design

Source: Coal Harbour, A Cozy Home.

We often cringe at those home shows on TV where the designer does one consultation and sends the homeowners away until the big reveal. The homeowners lose the benefits of collaboration and lose control of the project. 

However, with online interior design, YOU are the driver. We provide our expert consultation and explain the “why” behind every choice we recommend. You are engaged in every decision and ultimately decide on how much you spend and how you want the designs implemented. 

Through this type of collaboration, we get to see the sense of pride every homeowner experiences at the end of their project because they were part of the process from beginning to end. 

Getting started with Online Interior Design

We can simplify the online interior design process into 3 steps: 

  1. Together, we collaborate
  2. Then, our design team creates
  3. And, you make it come to life

At Good Space Plans Online, we address 5 key elements into every design: Function, Surfaces, Light, Goods, and You! “You” is at the centre of everything we do because your style and needs will be reflected in the items we recommend and the space around you. 

When you’re ready for us to get to know YOU, check out our custom Good Space Plans and choose the plan that meets your needs or contact us if you’d like to chat with one of our team members today. 

Essential spring/summer moving tips for 2020

E-Design
Function
Goods
Small Spaces

Essential Spring Moving Tips for 2020

Spring-Moving

Now that things are starting to open up again after the COVID-19 quarantine, many homeowners are considering moving this summer. If you are planning to move into a new home this spring or summer, now is the time to start preparing. Moving can be a challenging time with so much to do, so many vendors to coordinate, and so much cleaning and packing involved. 

Which is why we are going to share a few tips to make your spring move easier and avoid any costly moving mistakes while staying safe during COVID:

Worried about new furniture fitting when moving? Get your very own free delivery guide and make sure you never have to sweat moving again.  

Tip #1: Start decluttering now

Even if you move later in the Spring or Summer, a good tip is to start decluttering and tidying right now as to not overwhelm yourself later. If you’re also selling your current home, your realtor is going to ask you to do this too – less stuff in the space shows off the great things about your home!  

Start decluttering and packing away items you don’t need now, so you can do it without the pressure of time leaning on you. 

Once you’ve cleaned, what do you do with everything you no longer need or want?

  • Recycle it: Take it to a recycling center to be safely recycled.
  • Upcycle it: Can you give that dresser a new coat of paint, or turn those old tires into garden planters instead of throwing them away? (hint: Pinterest is a great place to get upcycling inspiration).
  • Give it away: If your niece has been eyeing up that family heirloom and if you no longer have room for it consider giving it to her
  • Donate it: There are many organizations that will gladly accept donations of used clothing, furniture, and household items. Hint: there are many organizations out there that are seeking donations for vulnerable people during COVID-19. 
  • Have a garage sale: Host a garage sale to get rid of unwanted stuff, make a little extra cash, and not have to worry about transporting it. Make sure to wear personal protective equipment and ensure things are being sanitized properly. 
  • Call a junk removal company: If you have lots of stuff that really can’t be given a new home, put it all together and call a junk removal company who can safely get rid of your unwanted item. 

Once you’ve decluttered, start deep cleaning your home. You can do it yourself, or hire a cleaning company that specializes in full-house cleans for moves. 

For more tips on decluttering and tidying of your home, check out this post full of spring cleaning and decluttering tips

Tip #2: Hire a moving company early

Now that things are starting to open up again, the competition to get a moving company is going to be tight. And unless you’ve got lots of kind friends with big trucks, we suggest always hiring a moving company soon! They can transport all your stuff much more efficiently and safely than your buddies…and in less time!

Hiring a moving company has great value and here are some ways to manage your costs:

  • Book a weekday move: weekends are the busiest for moving companies so if you can take a day or two off work mid-week your cheque book will thank you. 
  • Book mid-month: Most people take possession of their homes at the beginning/end of the month, so that’s when moving companies are in high demand and often raise their prices. Move mid-month to save money. 
  • Move in Spring: Spring is considered the off-season – this may work to your advantage.  so there are more deals to be had than summertime moves. 

Tip #3: Be cautious of changing spring/summer weather

Spring on the west coast of Canada is so beautiful, but it can also be unpredictable. It’s entirely possible for it to rain on your moving day! Be prepared with covers and wraps for any furniture or household items that you don’t want wet. 

Tip #4: Plan your Interior Design and Decor themes before your spring move

Spring-Moving-Iona-Drive

Good Space Plans Online – Iona Drive

Moving into a new home is a great time to elevate your new decor. Consider the style of your new home, the neighbourhood, and your personal style preferences. 

How do you elevate your decor for your home? First pick your general style (casual, formal, traditional, contemporary, minimalist…etc). Then build a Pinterest board that really inspires you. An example would be from one of our clients, Elaine Fairey, who planned her own dream living room from Pinterest. If you have a particular love for a specific geographical region or culture, then you can use it as inspiration too.

If part of your decor plan includes painting, do it before you move all your belongings and furniture in the house. Why? Because 1) it’s much easier to do it when your house isn’t full of stuff that you need to work around and cover with drop sheets, and 2) because if you don’t do it now, you’re less likely to do it later. 

Above all, remember to consider your lifestyle and how you live – pets your schedules – in your home decor plan. For example, if you choose a white, clean, and minimalistic design, will you be able to maintain it? 

Tip #5 Plan your spaces before you move 

What home decor theme(s) have you picked for your new home? We recommend creating a furniture space plan ahead of time to plan where your furniture will be best placed. It’s possible that your current furniture won’t fit the space or the vision you have for your new home. 

To help you decide whether or not to keep your existing furniture, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Do you still like it? If it’s a piece of furniture you’ve fallen out of love with, now is the best time to find it a new home (aka donate, recycle, or toss). If you still like it, can you make it work as-is or through upcycling?
  2. Does the style work with your new decor and design vision? Often the style of your current furniture doesn’t really work with your vision for your new home. For example, you may be moving into a heritage home, and have modern pieces that would look odd in your new home. If it doesn’t fit with your new vision, consider not bringing them to your new house.
  3. Does the item actually fit in your home? Consider not just the space it will take in your house, but whether it will even fit through the door! Thankfully we’ve got a free furniture moving guide that can help you figure that out. 

Have Fun!

Moving into a new home in Spring is such an amazing time! Planning a spring or summer move? Then there are many things you can start prepping now so it’s not all left to the last minute. Start by decluttering your home. Then prepare and packing what you don’t need now. Finally, start to plan your new home decor.

If you need help to redesign and reimagine your new home spaces, contact us to book a Good Space Plan Online.

How to Create a Sacred Home Space

Function
Light
Small Spaces
Creating-Sacred-Spaces-Home

Angus – Traditional Living Room, Vancouver

How to Create a Sacred Home Space

Everyone should have a small space at home to be their sacred space. A place to help you decompress from a long day of activity and to aid in your rejuvenation towards the next day. Whether it is for reflection, meditation, prayer, or rest and stretching, a sacred space is a place to be kind to yourself and practise self-love. 

At Good Space, we compiled the most important elements in creating a safe space at home. 

Space to Breathe

Sacred-Space-Office

Nicola Street project – quiet space

Choose a space that is at least large enough to place a yoga mat in, 68 inches long and 24inches wide. While your studio apartment may be tight on space, you can get creative by using a hallway or space next to your bed.

Space for Peace

When you choose your space, take into consideration the level of noise around it and nearby. Is there a lot of foot traffic and are you nearby populated areas, such as the kitchen or front door. Whether this can be modified or not, consider how you can make your space more peaceful, whether choosing a quiet corner in a room or wearing noise-cancelling headphones or playing ambient music to create peace. 

Declutter Your Space

Source: Sarah Brown on Unsplash

Is your space filled with knick-knacks? Minimize the number of things in your space to help you focus on yourself and less of the outside world. Clean up and clear out papers, objects, clothes and media, and begin focusing on what sacred spaces mean to you. 

Add Meaningful Items

Once you have cleaned your space, begin decorating it with what’s most meaningful to you. That may be candles, photos of loved ones, a few plants or a beautiful painting. Add pillows to create comfort and blankets for warmth. An indoor flowering plant such as an orchid, lavender or rosemary not only is visually appealing but they emit scents that can refresh and uplift you.

Dim the Lights 

Living-Room-Sacred-Space

Dundas Street Contemporary Living Room, Vancouver

The right lighting can create a relaxing atmosphere, so turn the lights down low and bring in lamps or candles that are calming for you. If your space has a window, you can let in the natural light during the day to energize your morning or cover up them up with heavy drapes to darken the space and reduce the amount of noise outside.

 

Turn on Your Favourite Music 

Choose a playlist that allows you to chill and close your eyes. Whether it’s classical, jazz o, choose songs that focus on instrumental to let your mind concentrate on yourself and less of the outside world. 

 

Soothing Scents

Vancouver-Candle-Company-Good-Space-Plans

Source: Vancouver Candle Company

If you enjoy adding scents to your sacred space, consider essential oils that calm your senses and induce meditation. You can use a diffuser or add a few drops of oil to lotion, then dab it on your wrists and breathe in the scent. Some of the best oils to create a soothing space are: 

  • Frankincense essential oil for brain stimulation, 
  • Rose oil for building confidence, 
  • Lavender oil for relaxation, 
  • Ylang ylang for reducing tension, 
  • Sandalwood to reduce tension, 
  • Peppermint oil to reduce inflammation and muscle recovery,
  • Orange essential oil for energy,
  • Cedarwood oil for grounding.

Meditate

Once you have created a sacred space, you will have the opportunity to use it for meditation and reflection. Overall, meditation is about connecting your mind with your body. Begin with the basics: 

  • Sit in a comfortable posture, whether cross-legged or on your calves. For extra comfort, place bolster, foam block or folded towel underneath you.
  • Use an object to focus on. You can place a crystal or rock in front of you or light a candle. 
  • Pay attention to your posture. Lift your spine up and roll your shoulders back, lift your chin slightly and place your palms facing down on your knees for grounding, or facing up for the energy of the room. Let your eyes close partially and soften your gaze. 
  • Pay attention to your breath. Let yourself inhale deeply for five counts, hold for two before breathing out for 6. Carry on with this sequence to let thoughts go.

Meditation does not need to take long for your body to begin feeling the positive effects of slowing down. Your tension, stress, anxiety will decrease over time the longer you practice. Start with 10 minutes either early morning or before bed. Eventually, you may enjoy meditating for longer. 

Soak

Source: Vancouver Candle Co

If you lack the room for a sacred space but do have a bathtub, why not make your toilette your retreat room?  One of the first documented medicinal uses of a bath was when Hippocrates talked to other healers encouraging them to get their patients to soak in seawater to relieve their symptoms. Not only will a good soak do wonders for your skin but adding Epsom salts will also help reduce muscle pain and promote sleep and stress reduction. 

Epsom salt formulations are similar to natural hot springs or mineral waters evoking the same healing properties. Add your favourite natural oil to the salts like lavender or citrus and you can help elevate your mood or alleviate stress. Close the shower curtain or the bathroom door to take advantage of the steam and try to stay in for longer than 10 minutes.

Feel Inspired 

Visit our Pinterest Board on Sacred Spaces to view photos of some of our favourite sacred spaces to begin creating your own!

5 Expert tips for Designing Small Spaces

Light
Small Spaces
You

Ready for some great news? Buying furniture and designing your small spaces is now easier than ever! More and more people are embracing apartment living. The home decor industry has answered our cries with so many great ideas to help you with designing small spaces.

Here are our 5 expert tips for designing small spaces in your home:

Tip #1: Extendable Dining Tables

 

Formal dining rooms are not as popular anymore, especially in smaller homes. But it’s also hard to host a larger dinner party in an apartment around a 4 person table. This is why we recommend extendable dining tables so you can keep it small for everyday use, and extend it for the company.

Ok, so this isn’t exactly a new concept. It’s been around for ages, but it’s still worth mentioning because they’ve made some significant design upgrades to make them much more convenient and functional. 

You may have remembered digging around in closets and under the bed for those heavy wood “leafs” to extend your dining room table. Somehow we always left it to the last minute (or was that just us)? Today, dining tables come with convenient leaf storage under the table. Now you always know, assuming you put it away properly, where that leaf is. 

Tip #2: Versatile Chairs

When designing small spaces, you want to get the biggest bang for your buck. This is why we recommend choosing chairs that can be used at the dining table, your desk, and even as extra seating in the living room. This way you can easily move your chairs around where you need them. 

We also recommend when choosing chairs for smaller spaces, to choose ones with lower backs. This will keep them from taking up too much visual space in your room.

The style and design of the chair are also important when you plan to repurpose your chairs around your home. Choose a more natural design so it fits easily with any room decor. Also, if you plan to move them frequently, avoid ones that are too bulky or heavy as they’ll be a pain in your back, literally, to move around. Keep in mind that even if a chair looks trendy in the showroom or in the magazine, it doesn’t mean it’s a great option for your home. 

Remember, chairs don’t have to be huge to be comfortable.

Tip #3: Side Tables

Even in small spaces you’re gonna want somewhere to put your drink down or place a snack bowl or a good book (if you can put a good book down). When designing small spaces, consider where people would put their drink down when they sit and make sure there is a suitable side table for each seat. 

A small coffee table in the middle of a family room can provide a good spot for beverages, but also consider adding smaller narrow side tables next to chairs where it isn’t as easy to put a drink down. If you are tight on space, consider nesting side tables so you can store them when you don’t have extra company over.

Tip #4: Let in the Light!

 

You can easily and inexpensively make your small rooms look much bigger with a few lighting tricks. 

  • Open the blinds: Brighter spaces help make a room feel so much bigger and come with so many added health benefits. Natural light is known to increase endorphins and serotonin and help to balance your hormones. When you get enough natural light during the day you are more likely to sleep better at night. We also know that the sun boosts your energy too so open those curtains and let in the light!
  • Paint it light: When painting your small spaces, consider using lighter paint colours. Dark colours will make a room appear smaller. If you are compelled to paint a darker more bold colour, consider doing it as an accent wall instead. 
  • Add functional lighting: Consider how you will be using each area of the room. If it’s an area you will be working at a computer or reading a book, consider a smaller reading lamp on the table or attached to the wall. If it’s an area you simply pass through (like a hallway or foyer) look for more general lighting options like pot lights and lamps to light the space. In the bathrooms, you’ll want lighting directed over the sink and counter area most. 

Hang a mirror: A large mirror in the room bounces the light around better, making your space appear larger. Also, the right mirror can make the room look 2x as big as you see a “second” room in the reflection. 

Tip #5: Sneaky Storage

Storage is often one of the biggest struggles our clients in smaller homes and apartments have. To avoid cluttered rooms, we need storage options. But when your room is small, we can’t always put in big bulky storage cabinets (they become an eyesore).Instead, we suggest looking for sneaky ways to store your stuff out of sight. For example, some furniture comes with hidden storage. It’s common to find beds and sofas with large storage spaces underneath.  Also, look for storage that can be hung on a wall or behind a door. Over-the-door hangers are great for shoes and closet items. Floating side tables affixed to the walls (ie without feet touching the ground) also help make the room feel less cluttered while still providing a functional space to store belongings.

What if your space already has great storage closets? You can maximize these spaces by investing in a closet storage system or clear bins that can be stacked to maximize your space and control clutter and mess.

What’s next for your home?

Source: Good Space Plans Online Seymour Street

There are so many products and design secrets you can use to make any small space more functional and feel larger. Above all the tips, it’s important to practice mindfulness about what you are bringing into your home.  We know how exciting it can be to walk through a furniture store or flip through the latest seasonal catalogue. You may feel compelled to buy up the whole store, without thinking of how it will actually work or be used in your home.

Before you buy a piece of furniture:

  • Make sure it’s something that will physically fit in your home (measure and measure again to be sure)
  • Consider its style with the rest of the theme in your home (you probably don’t want your home to look like a mismatched thrift store)
  • Is it something that will be used often, and if not, can it be folded away or stored easily (think the dining tables and nesting side tables), and 
  • Is it something that’s comfortable to use. If it’s not comfortable to sit on or use as intended it will end up going unused and wasting precious space.

Of course, having a professional interior designer help you with this is the best idea! An interior designer will work with you, taking your ideas and making them real by creating a plan for you.  

If you want to start designing your plan right now, check out the custom designing small space packages we have for you.