Ergonomic solutions for your shrinking living space - The Storey Team : Toronto Real Estate

The Storey Team : Toronto Real Estate

Ergonomic solutions for your shrinking living space

02 October 2017
Cam Woolfrey

It’s no secret that in Toronto, living spaces continue to get smaller and smaller. One consistent conversation I like to have with my clients is about the increasing cost of development land within the city  - which in my mind, forces developers of high rise residential to make a decision:

“Do we build smaller, or build shittier product to hit our margins?!”

The answer seems obvious when you phrase it like that, and as time goes on it will become clear that the developers that have chosen to build smaller without compromising quality are the projects that will stand the test of time.  This eventuality (Which in my mind will definitely become more and more of an issue as time goes on) brings up another problem for the average person.

If my living space is going to shrink, how the hell am I going to fit all of my stuff?!

Enter the expanding market of ergonomic, condo specific items.

As is tradition with great ideas, there are some companies who execute, and there are some companies who are completely missing the point. The picture below serves as a pretty good example, plus I just wanted to include something hilarious before I get into it.

So Close....

At “The Storeyteam” we strive to help you sift through the haze of all things real estate. So today, will be Part #1 of  Cam’s “Things you should buy/utilize to make the most out of your living space” List (It’s a working title, don’t put too much thought into it). I’ve put together a list of 4 products in various price ranges that would be a welcome addition to any home/condo that needs to make the most out of your space.

1) The Rosenblum Floating Desk $249.99 + Tax

For those of you who don’t have the luxury of den space, finding room for any kind of office setup can be a challenge. Red Barrel Studio has a decently built solution made of Birch that is as attractive of an option as you can find for furniture that is largely meant to be functional (When it’s closed up it actually looks similar to a dart-board). It's not the sexiest option when open, but as mentioned - sometimes you need to take the utilitarian approach.

https://www.wayfair.ca/Red-Barrel-Studio-Rosenblum-Floating-Desk-UT2217.html

2) Bowflex SelectTech Weights: Price $449 + Tax

So, let’s say you’re not such a morning person and you can’t handle waiting for machines at the gym at 4-8PM. Or maybe the fact that Jeff from Goodlife tends to sweat up the benches as if he greased up for the Mr. Universe competition. Regardless of your reason for wanting to get a quick workout in at home, Bowflex came up with the perfect solution about a decade ago and the SelectTech weight system was born. Sure they’re expensive at $449 + Tax, but if you think about it, if you bought a full dumbbell set from 5-55 Pounds it would cost way more than that price, and it fits nicely in any living space. Just don’t plan on dropping them from any kind of distance if you want them to last. Otherwise, it’s a fantastic product.

https://www.amazon.ca/Bowflex-SelectTech-Adjustable-Dumbbells-Pair/dp/B001ARYU58/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506970203&sr=8-1&keywords=bowflex+select

3) The Murphy Desk-Bed : Price: $500 - $10,000

Talk about a man who was way ahead of his time. William Lawrence Murphy applied for the first “Murphy Bed” patents in the early 1900’s after his opera singing salary only got him a tiny 1 room apartment in San Francisco. Since then, the “Hidden Bed” was born, and throughout time there have been some relatively stylish and comfortable advancements in the idea. Take this Wayfair option for example which even includes a “Desk by Day, Bed by Night” option! It's worth noting that Murphy beds are traditionally not nearly as comfortable as traditional beds, so it's worth spending the extra money on a setup that can support a good mattress.

https://www.wayfair.ca/Wallbeds-Modern-Birch-Murphy-Bed-WLB1166.html?piid=20357206

4) “The Separator” – Price: $50 – $1,000

Sometimes all you need is the illusion of more space. It’s the same concept as the visual effect of a condo unit with 10’ ceilings making a 500-sq. ft. condo seem completely livable. Enter a simple solution for those sub 500 sq. ft. studio condos that don’t have a defined bedroom. A simple separation, regardless of how you end up doing it ends up defining the space and creating a more liveable environment. The same concept can be applied to the kitchen where a glass divider can separate kitchen from living (I personally wouldn’t do this, but it does look good if that’s what you want!)

At the end of the day, innovation is key and there are thousands of design ideas that can improve space. Chances are if you're exploring the world of effecient design, you have very limited space. Customization and situation specific examples require some research, but with a little bit of creativity can be turned into an awesome living space in a world that keeps getting smaller and smaller.