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Makeover to maximize space in a 1,200 sq. ft. townhouse

With a baby comes a lot more than a little bundle of joy! Our associate home editor Julia Black shows us how she maximized space and style to make her 1,200-square-foot townhouse work for a family of three (plus a dog named Parker!)
By Virginie Martocq
Makeover to maximize space in a 1,200 sq. ft. townhouse

Photo by Roberto Caruso

Room to grow

Place big baskets near the front door

Entering your home (with or without a baby!), you've usually got your hands full. Julia made a resting station inside her foyer with a streamlined console table, two large baskets and a couple of coat hooks. That way there's somewhere to toss everyday essentials immediately, until there's quieter moments in the day to tidy them away.

Makeover to maximize space in a 1,200 sq. ft. townhousePhoto by Roberto Caruso

Draw the eye with a statement piece

A large feather headdress and modern sconces make a statement in the small space.

Get this look: Indoor wall paint, White Collar, Para. Sconces, Restoration Hardware. Feather headdress, Snob Stuff. Console, Love The Design. Construction, Black General Contracting.

Makeover to maximize space in a 1,200 sq. ft. townhousePhoto by Roberto Caruso
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Give the illusion of space with a glass railing

A glass railing on the stairs helps the room feel wider.

Get this look: Glass railing, Adanac Glass.

Makeover to maximize space in a 1,200 sq. ft. townhousePhoto by Roberto Caruso

Mount cupboards on the wall

By hanging glossy white cabinets on her walls, Julia created a floating credenza in her dining room and a minimalist entertainment unit in her den. These pieces hold all her household items and blend in seamlessly. 

Get this look: Art, Love The Design. Purple vase, Elte. Credenza, CB2. Cushion fabric, Designer Fabrics.

Makeover to maximize space in a 1,200 sq. ft. townhousePhoto by Roberto Caruso

Add pops of colour

In this video, Julia talks about her design inspiration for the family room. Watch here!

Get this look: Vintage ruler, Love The Design. Sofa, Ikea. Ottoman, Elte. Rug, Y&Co Carpet & Textile. Art, Art Interiors. Stacking book bracket, Design Within Reach. Media hutch, CB2.

Makeover to maximize space in a 1,200 sq. ft. townhousePhoto by Roberto Caruso
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Hang floor-to-ceiling drapes in small rooms

Julia made her tiny window and tight space appear much larger and grander with oversized silk drapes. She took inspiration from the masculine leather sofa, keeping the colour scheme in her living room dark and dramatic.

Get this look: Drapery fabric, Robert Allen Design. Mirror, sofa, Camilla House. Chair, Frontier Sales. Chair fabric, Designer Fabrics. Rug, Reznick Carpets. Upholstering, JVM Interiors, 905-475-7008.

living room modern, Camilla House sofaPhoto by Roberto Caruso

Choose open shelves instead of upper cabinets

To create a feeling of openness in her narrow 150-square-foot galley kitchen, Julia removed the cupboards along one wall and installed easy-access industrial shelves. A slim butcher block island underneath provides extra counter space, and a small table sits snugly against the wall, perfect for casual meals.

Get this look: White accessories, ceramic berry dish, Love The Design

Makeover to maximize space in a 1,200 sq. ft. townhousePhoto by Roberto Caruso

Combine your living areas to make a 'studio'

On the open concept first floor, Julia created a loft-style feel by installing dark hardwood flooring throughout. A seamless transition between the dining and lounge areas allows the eye to travel uninterrupted, making the space feel larger and more contemporary.

Get this look: Lamp, Lamp Cage. White plates, Ikea. Tea lights, Home Sense. Table, Camilla House. Chairs, Elte. Chair cushions, Restoration Hardware.

Makeover to maximize space in a 1,200 sq. ft. townhousePhoto by Roberto Caruso
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Make your headboard from reclaimed wood

Julia's small master bedroom called for a headboard that would anchor the bed without overwhelming the space. Reclaimed wood painted with a semi-gloss version of the wall colour did the trick. Tiny wire swing-arm sconces and delicate tables on either side create the perfect balance.

Get this look: Drapery fabric, Lady Rosedale. Headboard, Smash. Bedding, Restoration Hardware. Blanket, HBC. Hide rug, Love The Design.

Makeover to maximize space in a 1,200 sq. ft. townhousePhoto by Roberto Caruso

Re-embrace a traditional dresser

Living in an older house, Julia was faced with a lack of closet space. Instead of investing in expensive built-ins, she chose neutral free-standing pieces that will work in different rooms as her home and family evolve. In their bedroom a whitewashed wooden dresser holds her accessories, jewellery and makeup (and her husband's ties, too!). 

Get this look: Wall paint, Dreaming In Clouds, Para. Dresser, West Elm.

Makeover to maximize space in a 1,200 sq. ft. townhousePhoto by Roberto Caruso

Label drawers of toys with chalk

Rolling stackable crates in the nursery keep stuffed animals and onesies tidy and close to hand. In this video, Julia share her tips on creating soft ambiance for a baby room.

Get this look: Wall paint, Shoreline, Para. Glider, Moms To Be And More.

Makeover to maximize space in a 1,200 sq. ft. townhousePhoto by Roberto Caruso

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