Here’s how the design team at California Closets helped maximize a small space.

When California Closets designer Ilona Beed collaborated recently with clients Bill and Bev Smith, who were moving from their 3,000-square-foot family home to a two-bedroom condominium, she encountered a scenario that’s common when it comes to downsizing. The condo’s second bedroom would have to act as so much more, from a guest bedroom to den to home office to storage space.From a design perspective, such a room presents a unique challenge: how to have a small area be multifunctional without being cluttered, make it practical and comfortable yet stylish and inviting?That’s exactly that kind of conundrum that designers like Beed love. With extensive experience in transforming all sorts of small spaces, Beed started with the homeowners’ initial wish: a Murphy bed wall unit, so that they’d have a place for their two granddaughters to sleep but also plenty of space for their desk, computer, and printer as well as the ability to display knickknacks like Bill’s prized Coca-Cola pieces.Meeting in their new home, Beed started designing on the spot with a 3D computer-aided design (CAD) software program, showing the couple many different ideas and configurations in real time. They were able to visualize exactly how the room might look and got a better sense of what they liked and didn’t like.“What we do isn’t just about taking measurements,” Beed says. “We spend time with people in the consultation process understanding who our clients are and what their needs are.”Once the pair had decided on the right Murphy bed wall unit, other possibilities came up. Beed helped make a reach-in closet far more functional by replacing existing wire racks with a suspended system, allowing for usable floor space, with attractive, solid, adjustable melamine shelves. This means the Smiths have room to store larger items like their vacuum cleaner and ironing board out of sight while having the option to reconfigure their closets if their storage needs change over time.Then there’s the focal point of the couple’s living room. After meeting with the Smiths in the California Closets showroom, Beed took what was initially a bare wall and transformed it into a gorgeous media centre, complete with exclusive Italian glass details and a warm, two-toned finish. On an empty wall, she incorporated an electric fireplace, something that the Smiths would have missed from having had one for decades in their previous residence.For all of the options that California Closets offers when it comes to custom designs, what also sets the company apart is the relationships its team develops with clients. These interpersonal connections build trust, resulting in spaces people love and that align perfectly with their style, wish list, and budget.“In this case, the clients had traditional tastes but are living in a modern condo,” Beed says. “We keep in mind who they are as people and blend that with where they’re now living.“I’m thinking about them at the centre of everything,” she adds. “You have to understand who people are to produce the right thing for them. This project morphed into a lot more than the second bedroom, and we had a lot of fun.”California Closets specializes in more than custom-designed closets; the company transforms dens, offices, bedrooms, garages, and other areas in a completely personalized experience. In-house experts provide professional installation of products that are all proudly made in Canada.To book a complimentary consultation, please visit