Category: Minimalism

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Do I Force This Lifestyle on My Kids?

An interesting thing happened last week. Perhaps a milestone in notoriety for this site, or merely a part of its evolution. I’m still deciding which. CTV, one of Canada’s national broadcasters, airs “The Social,” one of those midday panel chat…

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Adrian on CBC TV, a Podcast and YouTube

Apologies for the extended absence. It was a busy summer, as parents the world over understand. We managed to do some car-free camping on Saltspring Island and the kids attended three different summer camps concurrently, walking and aqua-busing their own…

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Open House: A Video Tour of the Condo

Just last week the Georgia Straight – the main weekly arts and culture paper here in Vancouver – did a video interview with me as part of their “Open House” series. Open House is a new feature aimed at looking inside…

The youngest, finding some quiet space on my settee to check out a book during the day.

Compact Living Breeds Empathy in Kids

Today I was sitting at my dining room table working from home as I often do. The house was quiet except for some light music, the sun streamed in along with muted city sounds below and I was thoroughly engrossed in…

The offending wall - way too blank, it needed to be fixed pronto!

I Filled an Empty Space By Making My Own Art

This is the second article in my Life Redesign 2016 series. Last time I wrote about how the kids are learning to cook family dinners (we’ve got another lesson starting in 40 minutes, as I write this). In upcoming articles, I’ll detail more tweaks…

How My Kids Learned To Cook Dinner

The demise of a long term relationship is always a great time to take stock of how you’re embracing life. Even notwithstanding that, I was long overdue for a hard look at how I was living versus how I wanted to…

The lower bunk on the girls' bed converts to a table and bench combo during the day.

10 Purchases to Make Condo Kid Life Easy

If you know me at all, you know that I’m a bit of a minimalist. It’s this sense of minimalism that might make you think I’ve been robbed if you come over and check out my place. But despite my minimalism, I…

The kids in front of the Modo minivan we book every couple weeks or so. Just $8 an hour!

Don’t Pay for 95%

Your car sits idle over 95% of the time. Your guest bedroom is occupied one week out of every 52. Your kids use the yard less than 40 minutes a week. Yet we consumers love to envision the maximum usage for…

Folding chairs store away in the closet when the bed is out.

Square-Foot Hours: Designing 24-Hour Spaces

Michael Mortensen, a Vancouver-based urban planner and developer, wrote an excellent blog post last week entitled “Making Apartments Work Harder: the Third-Bedroom Challenge.” He gives us a great look at how good design can uncover a third bedroom in most two-bedroom condos, simply…

The kids proudly display their Compass cards (transit passes) on our first official day of car-free living.

Car-Free and Carefree in Vancity

I’ve got five kids, and in today’s one-kid society this means I get a lot of unsolicited advice that starts with “You’ve got five kids! You can’t possibly do [fill in the blank].” This is especially true when it comes…

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Access The Good Life, Don’t Own It

The concept of renting something versus owning is so heretical to some, especially those of my parents’ generation, that it’s frequently labeled as “throwing money away.” The freedom of using an item anytime you wish, for “free,” is very compelling….

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The Surface That Serves 5 Kids

Finding the right dining table for a small space with a large brood is an ongoing evolution for us. The goal is to have something that scales to seat 7-10 people, without using up an inordinate amount of floor space….

In years past, Vancouver condo owners have been hit with rain screening bills in the tens of thousands.

Reader Mail: Owning Your House vs Renting

Hi, I saw your article and it was a pleasant read. I just have one question for you. I agree with you completely with renting a house being cheaper (saving more money) than buying. But everybody I speak with thinks…

The art room is another highly utilized area when kids want to get some of their own space to create.

Crafting an Art Space from In-Suite Storage

When we first moved into this condo, one of the more curious aspects was that it had “in-suite storage.” So instead of storing all our unused junk in a chicken wire-surrounded, padlocked area on P1 or P2, we got a small,…

Kids birthday party

How To Rent a Family Friendly Condo

I’m always eager to help people find a new place to live, in part because I’ve done it so often myself that I feel compelled to re-use this expertise somehow. So in the midst of doing my latest impression of…