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, windowless room inside our unit.

This being new to me, I at first regarded it as a negative. But very soon I came to see it as a huge positive.

Two art stations in a small space, one a table and one an easel of sorts, let’s more than one kid use this tiny room at the same time.

Owning next to nothing (at least for a household of seven people), we had practically nothing to store. We removed a couple shelving units that came with the storage unit, leaving only one along the back wall to serve mostly pantry, wifi printer home, and random memory box storage.

We pinned a curtain across the front of the shelf to keep the kid’ curiousity at bay, as well as to protect some items from paint splashes.

We also bought a small kids table and bench off Craigslist for about $40 and it just happened to wedge perfectly into an alcove in the storage area. Some other small touches like a rack to hold drawing paper, cups to hold markers, and a easel with paper roll to provide another arts station (besides the table) completed the room.


Our art room, on a clean day. Those canvases are due to be used next…

The walls of the art room are now replete with the kids’ creations, sometimes growing to three deep between culling. It often does double duty as a quiet place to do homework , practice magic tricks or wire up random scraps of electronics.

From a parental perspective, we don’t have to worry about mess when the kids are in the Art Room. I remember a time I opened the door to find my two daughters naked and covered head to toe in red paint. They were thrilled. That’d be somewhat harder to permit in the rest of the condo.

And as if all that wasn’t benefit enough, the functionality of that space has prevented us from carelessly filling it with junk. It makes our tight, multifunctional space even more so – which helps us maintain our commitment to living minimally and only bringing into our condo what we absolutely need.

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Adrian Crook is a father of five living in beautiful downtown Vancouver, Canada. He's an advocate for rental housing and public transit.