Getting married, having babies, and growing careers can often lead people out of city life, in search of bigger spaces, larger yards and the community vibe of the suburbs. For my husband Herb and I, we felt that pull six years ago. So we sold our house in Vancouver, British Columbia and headed to — what we hoped were — greener pastures in the burbs about an hour drive from the city.
Not so much. We quickly realized we missed city-living. So, we put the house up for sale, which took almost a year to find a buyer. To top things off, we were also in the midst of a very heated Vancouver real estate market with bidding wars and multiple offers. Not giving up, the house finally sold and we found a new home in the trendy Main Street area of Vancouver. But getting back to city life didn’t come without its fair share of sacrifices: like trading our three-story 4,100-square-foot home for a small bungalow with around 900 square feet of living space on the main floor for us and two daughters, Isabella and Presley. After a major session of clearing out our stuff, garage sales, and continuous editing, we created a personal and welcoming home for our family of four.
“We both grew up in large homes and found we would escape to the basement to hide from our families while growing up,” says my husband Herb, Director at Covenant House. “What I love is that there is no escaping for our kids. We are together as a family, like it or not.”
Our long-term plan is to build a second level, but we didn’t want to wait on crafting a space we love. With a mix of items ranging from stores like IKEA and West Elm, to vintage finds and hand-me-downs from grandmothers, we now know we can function with beauty at any size. This house is a lesson in letting our personality show through our home while thinking outside of the box in functionality and small-space solutions. —Karla