Small room Couches

Located in an "up and coming" area on the west side of Toronto, Ally (who also happens to be the Store Merchandising Manager in our UO Toronto store!) was initially drawn to her home and the area because of its cozy neighborhood surroundings — big trees, lots of locally-owned shops in the area, and prime waterfront views.

What's your design philosophy?

Minimal but meaningful. I am inspired by Scandinavian design aesthetic with modern elements and minimal orientation with a focus on light. The big windows in my apartment are one of the main reasons I was drawn to the space. They let in so much light which makes the apartment feel so much bigger. I love modern clean lines and pops of color here and there, which help add interest and variation. Some vintage pieces and lots of plants help warm up any room and add another dimension to the space. Quirky meaningful objects tell stories throughout our apartment of places and memories we want to remember.

Can you share some of your top tips for storage and making the most of a small space?

My tiny bedroom holds more than it seems with hidden storage in unexpected places. I think it's all about creating storage that integrates into the space without it being overly obvious. I like multi-functional pieces that can add to the overall design of a space while still allowing for storage.

Making the most of a small space is all about careful decisions with furniture and trial and error. With small spaces I find sometimes you need to get it home and see how it feels with everything else you own before deciding.

What are some of your favorite objects you own?

I love them all! Everything either serves a purpose or has meaning for me. Some of my favorite objects are handmade one-of-a-kind or vintage pieces. I have two little cast iron bunnies from the late 1800s that I purchased at an estate sale with my dad a few years ago. We love to go treasure hunting and can usually find some really cool things. My 90-year-old grandfather made me a side table using logs and branches which currently sits beside my bed. It's dainty and perfect for the space. Everyone asks about it and it's fun being able to say that my grandfather made it. I also love my woodland creature ceramics made by Sarah Burwash that I planted succulents in. I also have the cutest tiny ceramic toast coaster from London based artist Charlotte Mei.

Even the stick above my bed is attached to a great memory. A few summers ago we were drinking beers in a canoe floating around a lake and I decided I wanted to bring home a stick (at the time I didn't really know why or where it was going to end up but I did know I wanted one). Although I got soaked trying to grab it from the was worth it.

How do you keep your space feeling new or interesting despite the size limitations?

I have a gallery wall in my living room that tends to feature current special favorites. It's easy to add and remove to gallery walls and when it's time for a refresh you can add a new print, or little treasure on the floating shelf.

Rugs, pillows and textiles are also great for changing up a space. I usually buy new pillows for my couch every season which can make it feel totally different. Bedding is something else that is fun to play with. I love buying new duvet covers or blankets and having a rotation of these which makes it feel updated and new every time.

Fresh flowers are also fun for adding to a table or surface and can contribute to the overall mood of a space. I have about ten unique vases I like to use for different flowers.

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