Small Space Solutions


Living in 502 square feet of space is no easy feet, but I was definitely up to the challenge when I purchased my loft 3 years ago! My parents still like to say that I live in a shoebox, but my place is home to me. Earlier this week, I shared my home tour with you all, and today I'm sharing some of my favourite small space solutions that have helped make my place feel like home.

1. Don't leave any dead space unused: As much as I prefer to have a clean kitchen space, with minimal things left out on the counter, there was this thin strip of counter space that was fairly useless along the side wall. Don't get my wrong, I'm thrilled to have this awesome kitchen layout with tons of counter space (because when I cook...I tend to spread out), but there's not much you can really do on a 6-inch wide strip. So I lined that space with jars of sugar, flour, coffee, etc. No, it's not all hidden, but that freed up lots of space in my pantry, and overall looks cohesive blending right into my little coffee nook and mug display! (I used this tutorial for making my mug display)

Take home message: In a small space, every inch counts, so use dead space wisely!

2. Open concept/airy pieces make your space seem bigger and brighter: Originally I had a set of bookcases by the windows, which was great because I have a TON of books, but they were dark wood and kind of sucked some of the natural light away. I eventually moved them to my little dressing area, which gets no natural light at all, and so is dark anyways. In their place, I DIY-ed some pipe shelving to house some colorful books on that wall space.I love these pipe shelves for 2 reasons: 1) They go with the rustic, warehouse vibe of my place (which has exposed piping on the ceiling), and 2) I can DIY any shape and design I want, and so can add more up that wall later if I want! I paired them with my origami crane artwork (which I made myself!) and a couple of photos, to keep the space light and airy.

Take home message: Dark pieces of furniture suck light away, and open concept pieces will make your space feel bigger. Also, white walls!

3. Go up!: My unit didn't come with a front entryway closet of any kind, and with our Canadian winters, I have no shortage of winter coats and scarves. So I created my own "closet"! I installed a bunch of hooks on this otherwise unused wall (again, making use of dead space), and I can hang several coats, scarves and hats.

Another space I went up in was with the bed. The original floorplan calls for the bed going in what I've now created into a dressing room. With a queen-sized bed, that leaves about 2 feet of clearance around it in that small space. So instead, I lofted my bed onto the ceiling of the bathroom! Sure I have climb a ladder to get to bed, and I can't stand up up there, but I think it's cool! Really all I'm going to do is either sit in bed and read, or sleep.

Take home message: Use wall space wisely, and go up!

4. Use furniture that fits with the scale of your apartment: The one thing I hate most about my space is that there is no guest bedroom, and I don't have a pullout couch. I really wish I had a space for friends to stay over. But by having only a loveseat style sofa (which was my parents couch in their first home, 30+ years old, and soooooooooo comfy for napping on. I can never ever get rid of this thing!) and other smaller pieces of furniture, it gives the sense of a bigger space. Cramming a giant sofa into a tiny living room is the worst idea ever. I also use my ottoman (which has hidden storage inside) as a coffee table, to avoid extra furniture. My kitchen table only has 2 chairs, but a long bench on the other, which makes it feel more open. And the table also folds down, so I can easily move it out of the way if ever I needed to create additional space if I'm having people over, etc.

Take home message: Think about your furniture choices wisely. Large pieces may overwhelm a small space, and even though something may have more storage, it could look clunky. Also, multi-purpose furniture rocks!

5. Living with your life on display: Living in a small space inevitably means that your life is constantly on display. So make sure you fill your space with things you love! I have little stacks of colorful books everywhere, but they don't seem like clutter because they meld with my decor. I also built a clothing rack on the half wall above, which makes laundry 100 times easier, doesn't look out of place with the rest of my decor either.
Take home message: In a small space, your life is constantly on display. So make sure it's filled with things you love, and if you don't like the look of something, change it!

What are your best small space tips?

Don't forget to check out my House Call on Apartment Therapy! And if you like my place, vote for it in this year's Small Cool Spaces!


The Loft: My Home Tour


Today's post is probably well overdue, considering my loft is behind the name of my blog! I had decided I would start blogging when I purchased my loft just outside of downtown Montreal, as a way to document the process. I knew I wanted to DIY a lot of the interior, and I was really into "home blogs" at the time (understandable since that is the phase I was going through!). So I purchased my domain name, moved in, and then did absolutely nothing. I guess talking about rearranging furniture wasn't really inspiring me. Long story short: I didn't end up blogging about my loft at all (save for the occasional DIY post here and there), but after 3 years in this space, never has it felt more like home.

So after being featured as an Apartment Therapy House Call this past weekend, I wanted to share my space with all of you as well! I'm also nominated for one of this year's Small Cool spaces in the International category, so make sure you go give my space some love!

Montreal's condo scene is starting to boom, with buildings going up everywhere you look. To be able to say that I live in a 100 year old building is something I'm really proud of! My loft is in a renovated tobacco factory, nestled in the St-Henri neighbourhood. My area is full of interesting restaurants and cafes, a short metro ride (or a really nice walk on a summer day) from downtown, and is close to lots of green space (like the canal!).

Most, if not all, of the units in my building are less than 1000 square feet, and I'm in one of the teeny-tiniest of the bunch, coming in at 502 square feet. Small space living definitely has it's challenges, but I've learned to be creative with my space. One of the best ideas I had was to loft the bed onto the "roof" of the bathroom. Sure I may not be able to stand up up there, but all I really do there is sleep anyways. Plus, it makes it super cozy. It also freed up all of the space intended for the bed, which I've turned into my "dressing room" of sorts (basically where all the big, bulky, but necessary furniture goes, like bookcases and dressers). 

Before I started thinking of moving out, I never would have thought I'd be someone to own "real art". I always thought it was silly to spend that amount of money on art. But I must say, I am pretty enamoured with my UP! art gallery wall! The lithograph on the far left was a graduation gift from my folks, the original sketches were a house warming gift from them and my sister, and the limited edition painting in the middle is my first piece of art I've purchased myself!

Also, shout out to Alison from La Reserve Design, for making the coziest, chunky wool blanket ever!

These aerial views really do the place justice, in that they show off just how small it actually is! Sitting on my bed, I can literally see the entire place (except for the bathroom). I often get asked if climbing the ladder gets annoying, and I don't think it does. I sleep like the dead, so getting down in the middle of the night is never an issue for me. Making the bed hunched over is a challenge though!

Later this week I'm going to share some of my best tips for small space living!


(p.s. I would attempt to link up sources for my stuff...but even the thought of that sounds is giving me a headache. If you want to know where anything is from, just leave me a comment down below!)

The Weekend Edit Vol. 67


Another Sunday, and just like that we're at the end of April...Where has the time gone?!? For once I'm not complaining about it being Sunday, and the end of the weekend/back to work tomorrow, because tonight marks the return of Game of Thrones! Anyone else stoked?

This week looks pretty uneventful so far, but I'm off on my first trip/business trip of the year next week, so I do have that to look forward to :).

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, and here are a couple of links to check out:

Tracking down the saddest sounding places on Google come so many seem to be in Canada??

Alex from To Vogue Or Bust has some great tips on posing for outfit photos!

Loving this NYC studio apartment makeover. Small space makeovers are my favourite because you often have to be so creative.

While I'm not the biggest fan of her new hair, loved Taylor's 73 questions with Vogue.

The most googled makeup questions answered!

And in case you've missed any recent posts here on Love. Loft. Life.:
Glossier Phase 2 // This Is Ground Tech Dopp Kit 4 Ways // Morning Skincare // Evening Skincare


[Updated] Evening Skincare Routine


Since I shared my updated morning skincare routine earlier this week, I figured I'd also share my updated evening routine as well! There are two new stars in this line up, so keep reading below!

- Step 1: Cleanse -
The one thing I hate the most is having to use both a makeup remover and a cleanser, which is why I prefer either a cleansing balm or cleansing oil. The Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser does double duty as both a makeup remover and a cleanser in one. It's super gentle, smells great, and you can read more about it here. After cleansing, I'll use Bioderma to remove any residual makeup.
Other cleansing balms & oils I love: Clinique, Boscia

- Step 2: Tone -
I've actually been using the Bioderma as my sole toner at night, because it rebalances my skin nicely after cleansing.
Other toners I love: Kiehl's

- Step 3: Oil -
I use a combo of two oils in the evening as my layers of both moisture and treatment. The first layer is the Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Oil, which is fantastic! It's got a pretty hefty price tag, but I typically only use it every second night, and you only need a couple of drops. Don't let the blue colour scare you, it's packed full of retinol which is great for both anti-aging and keeping acne prone skin in check! Absolutely love this stuff. After the Luna Oil, I'll apply a couple drops of my beloved Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I've been using this stuff consistently for almost 3 years now after Ariane recommended it to me (Thanks Ariane!). It was like my gateway drug into facial oils.
Other face oils I love: Josie Maran

- Step 5: Eye Cream -
I finish off my nighttime routine with the Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment & some Glossier Balm Dotcom.

My evening routine is all about nourishing and rebalancing my skin. Are any of these products in your routine as well? Any suggestions for me?


p.s. If you want 20% off your first Glossier order, don't forget to use this code.

[Updated] Morning Skincare Routine


Around this time last year, I shared both my skin story and my morning and evening skincare routines with you. While the majority of my routine has stayed the same, I've added in some pretty fab products over the last year that I definitely wanted to share with you! So keep reading for my updated morning skincare routine.

- Step 1: Cleanse -
I am still so in love with the GLAMGLOW Super Cleanse Daily Clearing Cleanser that it's remained my primary morning cleanser (I may use something a little gentler on the weekend occasionally). I love how it starts off as a mud treatment, then foams up with the addition of water. Best used in the shower because it can be a bit messy. I like to apply a layer of this when I get in the shower, let it sit as a mask while I wash my hair, and then add water to foam it up and complete the cleansing.
Other cleansers I love: Clinique // Kiehl's

- Step 2: Tone - 
I used to use heavy alcohol toners for ages, but now my skin just can't handle it. This Kate Somerville Clarifying Treatment Toner helps keep blemishes at bay and is gentle on my skin. As another "toning" step, I've recently added in the Kiehl's Iris Extract Activating Essence, which is lighter than a serum, but heavier than a toner, and has been a great additional layer of moisture through the winter months.
Other toners I love: Kiehl's

- Step 3: Treat -
My serum is where I've made a switch to the Boscia Clear Complexion Treatment. It keeps acne at bay, without being overly drying on my skin. Acne isn't a huge concern for me these days, but I like the added security of having a light layer against it in my routine.
Other serums I love: Clinique

- Step 4: Moisturize -
I'm still using two moisturizing products for my dehydrated skin. I still have "oily" but despite that it is somewhat dehydrated. Yes, it's possible to have oily, dehydrated skin. I start with 1 pump of the Kiehl's Hydro-Plumping Serum and then add a layer of the Glossier Priming Moisturizer. As the weather gets warmer and heads into summer, I'll drop the Kiehl's serum again like I did last summer, and stick to my beloved Glossier tube only.
Other moisturizers I love: Kiehl's // Clinique

- Step 5: Eye Cream & Lip Balm - 
I've stuck to my fave Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment With Avocado for over 12 months now, and I think it's definitely here to stay. It's super moisturizing, yet holds up well under makeup. I finish off my skincare with a generous helping of Glossier Balm Dotcom on my lips, cuticles, and anywhere else my skin needs some extra love.
Other eye creams I love: Bobbi Brown

I'm really happy with this current routine, and it may seem like a lot of steps, but it keeps my skin happy and takes less than 5 minutes. If you're trying to establish your own skincare routine, see my tips here.

Any product recommendations for me? Did you see any of your faves here?

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