Name: Alison, Trevor & Theodore
Location: Vancouver, BC Mount Pleasant
Size: 600 square feet
Years lived in: 6 years; Owned
I stumbled upon Alison's Instagram not so long ago and fell in love with her blog 600SQFTANDABABY. For the past 5 years, Alison and Trevor made it work in their small apartment, but when baby Theodore came along, it was time to re-evaluate their living situation. Friends and family warned them of the difficulties of raising a child in a small space, but the growing family decided to stay put. With some clever re-arranging and some simple sacrifices, this family has truly made a beautiful place to call home.
Vancouver offers so much— mountains, ocean, forests, amazing coffee, great food—really everything you need and want, but you have to be willing to pay for it. In order to accommodate young Theodore, they needed to find a place with another room, and they would have to pay almost double to find it. While searching, they found it hard to find something with all the things they loved about their place… 15-foot ceilings, big windows, outdoor green space and a white kitchen. For them, living in the city was so important, so they needed to figure out how to live with less, while adding a baby to their life.
Alison mentioned, "We decided on a wall bed and gave our room to Theo. It was the best decision we have ever made in our small space. As Theodore grows we are constantly assessing our space and deciding what needs to change to allow us to stay. Most importantly, our 600 square-foot apartment is not tiny to our little guy. He thinks it is HUGE with tons to discover and learn in it. And it is home to him, where we love him best and he is safest. And having him in it, even if it means less space for us is the best thing that ever happened to our home." Alison and Trevor's way of living was greatly influenced by Graham Hill's 2011 TED Talk and was just recently featured on Life Edited.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Somewhere in between Dwell and Kinfolk, modern, clean and white with lots of wood for warmth.
Inspiration: Lately, beautiful Scandinavian Home Design Blogs and Instagrammers.
Favorite Element: Our new favourite is our extending dining table and dining chairs. Trevor and I have never had a proper dining table in our many years of living together, but as Theo is quickly growing we realized that sitting down to meals together was something we were missing as a family. We replaced our kitchen island (and lost valuable storage and prep space!) to gain time together as a family. An unexpected benefit, Theo's issue with throwing food during dinner is (almost) gone! We picked an extending table to host dinner parties which is exciting after years of friends balancing plates on their laps.
Biggest Challenge: Living in 600 square feet with a busy toddler can be challenging. The toughest part is keeping clutter under control. We use the "one in one out rule" and try to practice "a place for everything" which is usually a bin or basket for easy clean up.
What Friends Say: Friends say it feels bigger than 600 square feet, we think it's because of the high ceilings and big windows… and I like to think all the white helps.
Biggest Embarrassment: Our bed is technically in our living room, so we don't get very many overnight guests as the only spot to sleep is on our couch which is uncomfortably close (awkward).
Proudest DIY: I made the pendant light for our bedroom years ago and it's now in Theo's room. I'm pretty fickle so the fact that I still like it is a good thing.
Biggest Indulgence: Without a doubt, our wall bed was our biggest investment but it saved us from almost doubling our mortgage to get a 2nd bedroom or moving out of the city we love. It has been the best decision we made to allow us to live comfortably in our small space with a baby.
Best Advice: We have been really focusing on living by the quote by William Morris "have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." Our recent furniture purchases have been more thoughtful, multi-use pieces that we really love and hope to have for a long time.
Dream Sources: Anything from Hay, Ferm Living, Jasper Morrison, everything from Much and Little or Vancouver Special on our street. I dream of a String Shelf System in our hallway and a beautiful rug under our dining table once Theo's dinners stay on his plate.
Resources of Note:
PAINT & COLORS
- Pratt and Lambert - Designer White
- Couches: Scan Design
- Rug: Rugsusa.com (they sent me the wrong colour! but I am trying to make it work)
- Teak Nesting Tables : Refind Vancouver
- Teak Sideboard : Refind Vancouver
- Stump : home store in Cannon Beach
- Shattered Wood Side Table : Brent Comber
- Lamp : Ikea Base, Walnut Veneer Shade was a gift
- Triangle Pillow : Bookhou
- Dash Pillow : Vancouver Special
- Hanging Planter : Poppytalk
- Air Plant Cage : Paxton Gate San Francisco
- Surfboard : DIY wedding gift by Alison's Dad
- Extending Dining Table white oak : Craigslist (such a lucky find!!)
- Vintage White Chairs : Craigslist
- White Dining Chair : Hay About a Chair : Inform Interiors
- High Chair : Phil and Ted's Lobster
- Crib : Babyletto Grayson : Ovestock.com (similar)
- Rug : Union Rug by Pattern Society
- Shelves : Ikea
- Baby Chair : Nuna Leaf
- Pendant : DIY
- Clouds : Bookhou
- Mounted Stuffies : DIY
- Framed Forest Photo : Blue Window Creative, the sky above our wedding
- Curtains : Ikea with DIY added Fabric
- Whale Print : Kyu Hwang
Thanks, Alison & Trevor!
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Re-edited from a tour originally published in 2015 - AB