Small Home Tour: Rosa, Husband and Baby in 850 square feet
I love peeking into other’s apartments and seeing a moment of their lives, but more importantly I’m looking at their layout, light fixtures, and art, always gathering ideas. I find dusk the perfect time to go for an evening walk and peek in apartments. Often people haven’t drawn their curtains or blinds yet so you can see in. We’ve taken to walking to our local library an evening each week and Trevor often teases me as I’m looking into apartments and homes. Anyway I think that’s why I love these Home Tours so much. We get a glimpse into someone’s home without being a creep! They invited us!
Today we have Rosa in Vancouver with this lovely 850 square foot apartment that is a portion of a home. I truly wish more single family homes were zoned for multi-family residences. I think Vancouver is moving in that direction but it’s not fast enough for me. I just think of all the environmental and social benefits. Anyway I’ll leave you with Rosa and her lovely, calm space.
Hi, I’m Rosa. I grew up on Vancouver Island but I’ve lived in Vancouver for over 15 years so this city really feels like home. You can find me on Instagram @rosameyer.
How big is your home and what is the layout?
We live on the top floor of a house and our living area is about 850sqft. We have two teeny tiny bedrooms, a small bathroom, and a good-sized open-plan kitchen, dining room and living area. The open floor plan, combined with the high ceilings make our space feel a lot bigger than it is.
Who lives there?
My husband and I along with our 1-year-old daughter Jane and our beagle mix Arthur.
Tell me about your choice to live small. Was it a conscious decision or did it just evolve?
As with many of us in cities, it’s been a bit of necessity mixed with my personal desire to keep our space and belongings simple and manageable.
I feel like I’m on quite a journey with living small. I’m very sensitive to clutter and disorganization in my environment. I try to be such a good minimalist but, honestly, it’s hard! Especially with a baby. I feel like I spend so much time going through our belongings (particularly baby items) organizing, storing, editing and re-organizing. It’s exhausting and I feel like I’m probably doing it wrong because Isn’t that the whole point? Isn’t staying organized supposed to feel effortless now because I’ve already put energy into pairing everything down and making it simple and aesthetically pleasing?!
Anyway, It’s a goal I keep working towards because I actually just can’t imagine another way. I’m very drawn to a paired-down space and lifestyle and, when I do manage to achieve that (even in a small way), I feel a real sense of peace and well-being around it.
All this to say that I do feel proud of my home. It’s a cozy and (generally) peaceful space for me and my family, However, it still feels like quite a bit of work to keep it feeling/looking like that.
How would you describe your home style? ex) modern, minimal, bohemian, vintage?
I am a lover of vintage (particularly modernist pieces) and I also love minimalism so it’s a constant give-and-take between the two. It’s hard to appreciate vintage and not become something of a collector (hoarder?). That said, buying used or buying vintage has made it possible for me to buy much better quality in a lot of cases than I would have gotten purchasing new. I think this works to my advantage as I get pieces that I love and cherish for years rather than more disposable-feeling pieces that I’ll want to replace much sooner.
Is there a piece of furniture or accessory that you couldn't live without that makes living in your space easier?
Living small with a baby would be much harder without a white noise machine! I also really love the little Ikea wardrobe that I put into Jane’s room. We left the legs off of it to keep it at a lower height. It works as a change table and will be great when she’s just a bit older and can start to pick her own things out at her level. I also love that it's not "kid furniture" per se. I can use it as extra storage in any future bedroom (kid's or adult's) or I could even see it in an office down the road.
What is something you love about living small?
I love that having a limited footprint makes it that much more attainable to live only with the things that we really love. We don’t need to fill up a big space, in fact, we need to get really honest about what is important enough to take up real estate in our home and in our lives. I love that.
What is something you hate?
My husband would say that he hates having our laundry in the main living area. This surprisingly doesn’t really bother me. That said, we stayed in an Airbnb recently with a little laundry room off the kitchen and I have to say it was quite a delight closing the door and not having laundry to look at.
Honestly, in spite of my complaining about having to organize all the baby stuff, I don’t think this would be better if I had more space. I would probably just hold onto more and feel more overwhelmed by all of it. I actually think that our current setup is the perfect amount of space for our family as it exists right now. I do see challenges down the road as we would love to have another baby. It’s certainly doable in our current home but the size of the bedrooms will make it more interesting. There is also zero privacy but that isn’t really a thing with toddlers anyway.
I think Small Space-ers need to stick together and share all their best tricks. Do you have any storage or organizational tips you want to share?
My best “trick” by far has been to find a color pallet that works for us and to stick to it pretty religiously. This is obviously true for our entire home (as you can see in the photos) but I apply it to my closet and even to my daughter’s clothing and belongings. More than anything else I’ve done, sticking to a tonal color scheme just keeps things feeling calm for me. It truly brings me peace and sparks joy (haha). Even when things are a bit messy, I find it’s more of a “beautiful mess” when there aren’t a lot of clashing colors.
It should be said that my commitment to raising my daughter in a “colorless world” has become fodder for more than a few jokes from my family and friends. I also just discovered the Instagram @sadbeigetoys and it's basically a satire account directed at my life choices. It’s hilarious. I love it. I have chosen a pretty neutral scheme that certainly isn’t for everyone. For what it’s worth, I do think the same principle would absolutely work with more vivid colors.