In Alison and Trevor’s home, there is only room for what’s truly important — literally. The couple, who welcomed their first child Theo into the world in 2013, live within 600 humble square feet. Their condo in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighborhood has been home for over six years, and although many urged them to find a place that offered more space when they became pregnant with their son, Alison and Trevor couldn’t imagine leaving. “Instead, we decided to stay and make our small space that we love work for us,” Alison explains; a journey which she documented on her blog, 600 Square Feet and a Baby.
Knowing they were welcoming a third family member was a bit daunting, but what began as a trial turned into the shift in perspective that forever changed their outlook. “I was so nervous to try…” Alison begins, “[but] to our surprise, what began as an experiment has changed into a way of life and we are loving living small in the city with a toddler.” Instead of focusing on what they don’t have, they instead view the entire city as their backyard. Steps from cute shops, restaurants, great coffee, breweries and parks, their space boasts high ceilings, large windows and an open floor plan. Although they couldn’t imagine being anywhere else, the family did undergo some renovations to make the home more livable as Theo grows. Alison shares, “When [he] was about 6 months old, we invested in a Wall Bed that we installed in a nook in our living room and gave up our bedroom to him.” The couple also removed the butcher block kitchen island and replaced it with an extendable dining table to function better at regular meal times and when hosting friends and family. These changes — combined with Alison’s heavily-curated furniture pieces — keep the apartment feeling spacious, bright, comfortable and uncluttered. “A benefit of owning less things is that we can make sure we really love the things we do have,” Alison says. “Every chair, lamp or book takes on a special meaning when you only have a little space.”
Their space continues to be a work in progress and they are constantly evaluating their belongings and asking questions such as “Do I love this piece?”, “Do I find it useful and beautiful?”, “If I was shopping for this today, would I still buy this same one?” Despite furniture and things being called into question constantly, there are some permanent changes they wish they could make, namely the addition of clothing storage. With 11-foot ceilings and four seasons in Vancouver, Alison says, “I would love to extend our closets with custom doors to take advantage of all the overhead storage space [as] we end up with a lot of coats, shoes and gear.”
For the family, it’s all about being happy with less. “Living in our home keeps our priorities in check,” Alison shares. “We love that there is only room for what’s most important,” and at the heart of that is family which, as it turns out, is growing. The couple is happy and excited to announce that they are expecting their second child this summer, and when asked if they plan to stay in their humble abode, Alison replied, “Yes… I am excited for the challenge of changing our home again to accommodate two little ones. I hope it will be an [exercise] in what is really important, and l hope we can do it with beauty and grace!” –Sabrina