With the price of real estate in Vancouver, urban dwelling families are adapting to living in more compact spaces. The suburban model of living with multiple bathrooms, single occupancy bedrooms and two car garages is not the norm. The challenge with small space living is figuring out how to have a family friendly environment with room for the kids to play, and storage for everything, while maintaining your sanity.
My husband and I live with our two children in a Vancouver character home, single level, suite. We are constantly asking ourselves how to make small space living work and recently went on a major purge of furniture, accessories and toys (don’t tell the kids). In their place we have been incorporating a new aesthetic into our home: clean and functional, hidden storage, and scaled down furniture. As I have poured over Craigslist, and wandered through furniture stores I realized this aesthetic has a name, Mid-Century Modern.
Mid-Century Modern in a Nut Shell
Mid-century modern is a style of furniture design, product design and architecture that originated after World War II and continued into the 1960s. This style is characterized by simplicity, clean lines, and organic forms. In the book Mid-Century Modern by Cara Greenberg the author states, “Multipurpose became a catchphrase,” and addressed the needs of modern life. “This new furniture stacked, folded and bent; it was rearrangeable and interchangeable; it nested and flexed. Chairs were designed to be pressed into service for a dozen different reasons. Tables were nonspecific, for eating, writing, or playing cards.” Danish design played a major role in the mid-century modern aesthetic and still has an influence today.
While we prefer to scour through Craigslist, typing in key words like mid-century furniture or Danish design, there are also many stores in Vancouver that carry original mid-century modern pieces or new furniture inspired by the aesthetic. These shops are a great resource when it comes to small space living. Below is our neighbourhood guide to some of the best places to shop for mid-century modern furnishings in Vancouver.
Guide to Shopping For Mid-Century Modern Design in Vancouver
1. Bombast Furniture | Chinatown | New and Vintage furnishings | www.bombastfurniture.com | 604 251 2092
2. Resource Furniture | Gastown | New Furnishings, Space Solutions | www.resourcefurniture.com | 604 681 0104
3. Style Garage | Gastown | New Furnishings | www.stylegarage.com | 604.558.4343
4. By Design Modern | Mount Pleasant | Vintage furnishings | www.bydesignmodern.com | 604-876-5215
5. Refind Home Furnishings | Mount Pleasant| Vintage furnishings | www.refindhomefurnishings.com | 778-855-0969
6. Wow Interiors | Mount Pleasant | New and Vintage Furnishings, Consignment | www.wowinteriors.ca | 604 801 6744
7. Full House Consign | Armoury District | New and Vintage furnishings | www.fullhousedesign.com | 604 733 7789
As my husband and I incorporate the mid-century modern aesthetic in our home we are finding that our living space has opened up dramatically. For example, we sold our dining set realizing that our table had become a drop spot for junk and replaced it with a beautiful, sleek credenza for additional storage. We now stick to eating in our kitchen nook. When we have a party we get cozy in the living room, eating off our laps and using a carefully placed coffee table for resting cups, plates (and sometimes feet). The credenza also functions as a buffet for food. It’s a whole new take on small space living
As our space opens up, we can even imagine adding a third child to the mix…to be continued.
This post was sponsored by the BC Home + Garden Show, running February 20-24, 2013 at BC Place. Be sure to check out Family Day on Thursday, February 21. You can get two-for-one regular adult admission that day using the code VancouverMom. There will be lots of fun for your kids, plus lots of inspiration and ideas for small space living.