Category: Minimalism

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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….

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….

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…

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,…

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…

The Cloakroom Comes Home

My husband and I struggle with hall closet storage in our apartment; our coat/shoe closet won’t stay closed, for jackets and footwear spilling out. Our 3-shelf closet organizer has no room for more shoes when people visit. My small collection…