The past year has seen us spending more time at home than ever before. While our daily routines were previously split across offices, gyms and restaurants, now our homes are required to perform a whole host of new duties – all under one roof.
For people living in condos, this has posed an even greater challenge. Unfortunately, many of the vibrant shared amenity spaces that multiply your living space have been closed, and the lean open-concept life may suddenly feel a little cramped for all you need your home to do.
But there are always creative ways to get your condo to work for you. And luckily, you own the place, so there’s no telling what a few strokes of paint or updates can do. Here are some tips on how you can reinvent the space you’re in and create a sanctuary that works with your routine.
Split Your Home into Different Zones
Whether you’re getting your degree or have a 9-5, many of us are working remotely. One of the best things you can do in this situation is create different zones for working and relaxing. Maintaining separation between the two is imperative for a healthy home and headspace.
Creating a dedicated work area will help prevent your work from spilling everywhere and taking over your home. Without a defined space, you’ll end up working from places like your bed or the couch and will have difficulty relaxing in these same spaces later in the day.
If you know you have a lot of video calls, make sure your workspace has a neutral background that is easy to maintain. When you look professional, you’ll feel professional. Home offices and guest rooms are ideal for this, but you can create separation with something as simple as an area rug if you don’t have an extra room.
Maintaining your work-free zones is just as important. You need areas that have zero traces of work to fully relax. Whether this is a bedroom or a living room, make sure it’s devoid of all clutter. Even if you’re forced to work from your dining table, create a separate drawer or storage space and clear your documents, wires and computer at the end of each workday. Healthy work-life boundaries will make you feel so much more at ease.
Clear Out the Clutter
Once you start spending more time at home, you’ll probably begin to realize just how much stuff you actually have. Even worse, you’ll probably also realize how much of it you don’t use.
Take advantage of this time at home by doing a thorough spring clean. Go through your clutter and sort it into piles to sell, for donation or to throw away. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, this process can be really cathartic, and when all the clutter is gone, you’ll feel much more at ease.
This process may also open up new space in your home and give you a little more breathing room, or space to serve a new function (like a home gym!).
Fake Some Space
Condos are incredible because they offer a luxurious, turn-key experience that’s close to all the action. They’re great for living streamlined and maintenance-free. That being said, living through lockdowns can also emphasize their smaller floor plans. However, there are plenty of ways to make the illusion of more space.
When it comes to condos, mirrors are your best friend. A well-placed mirror will trick the eye into seeing a bigger space and add light to any room. Placing larger artwork on walls can also help a space feel more open. Opt for one large piece instead of multiple small ones to open your place up.
Swapping out heavy furniture is another great way to fake space. If you have bookshelves or cabinetry, swap them out for floating shelves, or if you have large dining or coffee tables, consider exchanging them for glass options.
Lastly, keep your walls neutral and light. Colour can be amazing, but when you’re living somewhere 24/7, you’ll want something less bold. With so much time at home, it’s also the perfect opportunity to try a home project — so think about how a few coats or a little retail therapy might refresh your space!
Engage Your Senses
It’s incredible how much certain scents or sounds can affect your mood.
With scent, consider investing in some luxe candles for indoor date nights. If you’re trying to de-stress after a long workday, diffusers and aromatherapy can help you unwind. Fresh flowers or plants can also help revive the air in your condo and make you feel more invigorated.
Something as simple as sound can also transform your space. If you love music, consider investing in a great sound system or purchase an old-school record player. These little details can have a huge impact on your mood at home.
Your home is your sanctuary and with a few small changes, your condo can turn into a flexible space that works with your lifestyle and routine. Whether you’re painting walls or simply burning a new candle, these tips will help you create a sense of calm and order in these unprecedented times.