Tiny homes may be trending in 2021, but the idea of living small—especially in forever-overpriced Vancouver—has had appeal for decades. Back in 2001, we ran a feature on a trio of sub-1,000-square-foot lots (bottom right), with homeowners who managed to squeeze Japanese sculptures, chandeliers and, heck, even a kid into spaces that looked far roomier than the floor plan would have you think.

tiny home
Credit: Martin Tessler/Western Living September 2001

In the ensuing years, Western Canadian architects and designers only further honed their gift for thinking big with a small footprint as laneway homes increased in popularity. Take this asymmetrical, open-concept stunner from Campos Studio, with clever storage and a flood of daylight, clocking in at just 592 square feet and punching far above its weight: it’s a pocket-sized dream home that inspires us all to rethink what it means to live large.

campos laneway
Credit: Ema Peter/Western Living Condo Fall/Winter 2016
campos laneway
Credit: Ema Peter/Western Living Condo Fall/Winter 2016

The best small spaces offer flexibility. In the Campos Studio–designed laneway, custom-cut upholstered foam turns built-in millwork cabinets into a cozy L-shaped sofa by day, but remove the back cushions and you’ve got a guest bed for the grandkids.

campos laneway
Credit: Ema Peter/Western Living Condo Fall/Winter 2016
campos laneway
Credit: Ema Peter/Western Living Condo Fall/Winter 2016

To read about more great people, designs, homes and innovations that shaped Western Living, click here.