The benefit of downsizing | Vancouver Sun

Moving to a smaller space offers unique bonuses

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Location, location, location is what real estate experts say is the most important consideration when choosing a property to buy. Unsurprisingly, when it comes to downsizing, one of the biggest benefits of going smaller is moving to a more desirable location.


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While a townhouse or condo clearly offers more convenience, less upkeep, and possibly more money in the bank, moving to a good neighborhood is what Danny and Sandra Dee Chan’s clients rave about.

The husband and wife interior design duo at Happy Home Design focus almost exclusively on designing small spaces. While many of their clients are downsizing, they’ve found that moving to an area that allows walking and proximity to amenities improves their lifestyle.

“They had to take their car to do their shopping whereas now they could walk”, explains Dee Chan.

For Jorge Cordoba and his wife, the departure of their sons for college was the signal for them to downsize and the location was critical to them in choosing the new Parkside development in Lynn in North Vancouver, located at proximity to amenities and nature.


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“When we visited the Lynn Home store, we immediately knew this was the one for us. The Lynn Valley location, size, unit layout and fantastic amenities were all perfect. and corresponded to what we were looking for,” recalls Cordoba.

This condo, designed by Happy Home Design, shows how the right furniture and layout can make a small space functional and feel spacious.
This condo, designed by Happy Home Design, shows how the right furniture and layout can make a small space functional and feel spacious. Photo by Happy Home Design /PNG

He also thinks the new house will be a good investment for their future.

With their old 2,500 square foot home and new 1,160 square foot, there will inevitably be an adjustment in interior design, and this provides an opportunity to redefine personal style or update furnishings. when the old parts don’t work in the new space.

The Chans have clients who seek help before moving into a smaller space because they want a fresh start, and others who tune in once they’ve moved in with all their old furniture that doesn’t. don’t seem to fit. Whatever the scenario, their process is to determine exactly how the owner wants to live in the space to make it both functional and beautiful.


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“We’ve done many designs that don’t have a formal dining room because they don’t use it,” Chan says. For example, for a client’s 600 square foot condo, they added a coffee table that doubles as a dining table.

“The whole space just becomes a living room,” he says.

“If you have a smaller room, you can choose higher quality rooms for the same budget,” says Dee Chan. “You can make a big impact instead of spreading your money around and buying cheaper things.” Since you don’t have to fill a lot of rooms with furniture, it’s a matter of quality rather than quantity, she adds.

Cordoba says their “personal style for interiors has changed to match the modern design of the [new] residence. We’ve actually found that many of the modern pieces of furniture we plan to buy fit better in small spaces these days.


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He describes the condo’s open-plan layout, encompassing the living room, dining room and kitchen, as making the space cozier and warmer compared to their former residence. “We’re excited to have an open layout and really play up the warmth and comfort of home.”

The Chans not only work with small spaces, but also live in a compact space. They share a 1,600 square foot townhouse with their three children and a golden retriever. The advice they give clients for furniture placement, use of color, and maximizing storage (think vertical) all come into play in their own residence.

The couple passionately believe that small spaces create closer family relationships because people aren’t so scattered and separated.

“We want to show people that you don’t need big spaces to raise a family,” Chan says.

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