Design experts Helen Youn, Jamie Banfield and Wanda Weston are making a big deal about small spaces. All three will be sharing trade secrets at the Calgary Fall Home Show next week (September 19-22), but we’ve got a preview of tips and tricks to live large in your cozy digs.

For Your Bitty Bedroom

Helen Youn, one of Calgary’s first Certified KonMari consultants, sparks big joy in small spaces. Catch her on the mainstage at the Calgary Fall Home Show on Friday, September 20 at 5:00 p.m. and Saturday, September 21 at 6:00 p.m. Until then, here are three of her top bedroom organization tips.

1. Let’s Get Vertical

When you aren’t exactly drowning in closet space, KonMari folding can be a lifesaver. You can store your clothes in drawers vertically to save space,” says Youn. “It helps to reduce volume and maximize the amount you can store.” Folding vertically also helps you see exactly what you have, so you don’t find yourself elbow deep in your t-shirts drawer. Youn says this method can also be used to fold scarves, linen, bedding, shopping bags, laundry nets and more.

2. Bin There Done That

No drawers? No problem. “You can use bins on shelves to create drawer-like storage,” Youn says, “and if you have large drawers, you can use smaller boxes to create compartments.” Youn herself likes using clear shoe boxes for storage (they’re see-through, stackable, and can be labeled: an organizational triple-threat). 

3. Get Hooked

“Hooks are great for adding storage without adding furniture,” says Youn. If you’re tired of feeling like a surgeon every time you want to get something out of your jewelry box, hooks might just be your saving grace. “They are also great by the entrance for keys, jackets, and bags, in the linen closet for holding up ironing boards, brooms, and mops and even in the kitchen for aprons and potholders. You can also attach them inside closet doors for some extra sneaky space.

For Your Compact Kitchen

“When most think of a small kitchen, they assume you can do less with a smaller space,” says Vancouver designer Jamie Banfield. “And this is so not true.” Right now, he’s working on the Kompakt kitchen, a six-foot wide kitchen that combines a fridge, wall oven, cooktop, fan, sink and dishwasher. He’ll be on the Calgary Fall Home Show’s mainstage on Friday, September 20th at 3 p.m. and Saturday, September 21 at 12:00 p.m. presenting more of his designer kitchen hacks.

1. Simple Plan

Banfield stresses simplicity, but not at the price of personality. “When crafting any space, always incorporate texture,” he says. “Texture will help a space feel curated, layered and more sophisticated.” He suggests taking three different colours and patterns (making sure they have the same hue and base colour) and layering them together. Wrapping the kitchen countertop and backsplash in the same material is a simple space saver: “The space feels larger, as your eye will not be pulled directly to the seam between the countertop and backsplash,” says Banfield.

2. Box Sweet Box

“Make sure everything has home,” says Banfield. He believes the key to keeping organized and clean is making sure everything has a space. He suggests using storage containers like the Brogrund Box from Ikea to store things like spices, bar supplies, and vitamins.

3. Sink About It

Sink size vs. counter space can feel like a delicate balance, but it doesn’t have to be. Banfield loves products that maximize space and functionality like the Prolific Under-Mount Stainless-Steel sink by Kohler, which works as a sink, drying rack, strainer, and cutting board all in one. “Do not compromise on the size of the sink because of countertop surface,” 

For Your Little Living Room

Downsizing dynamo Wanda Weston of WW Design Studio gives small spaces big personality. She is the designer of the Calgary Fall Home Show’s new home feature,  “Small Space€”Maximum Style.” Love your living space with the help of her teeny-tiny tips.

1. All Hail Scale

“Small spaces do not necessarily mean small-scaled furniture,” says Weston. “In this example, an oversized sofa and ottoman in the same fabric are paired together to create the look of a sectional.” The ottoman ca be used as extra seating or as a coffee table in a pinch. Weston paired other oversized features with the sofa, like the hanging light fixture and the glass coffee table, in order to balance out the room.

2. One of a Kind

Weston suggests treating yourself to custom storage€”and your space to extra floor room. Custom storage maximizes your living space and blends in seamlessly with its surroundings, she says. This particular custom unit houses a wine rack, display case, make-up area, shoe and coat storage and more.

3. Blueprint Bliss

“A furniture plan will help to determine not only the optimal size for furniture being placed, but also that there is sufficient room to move around comfortably,” says Weston. The more thought you put in to your space, the more you’ll get out of it€”literally.