How a 43-year-old interior designer lives in 450 square feet

How a 43-year-old interior designer lives in 450 square feet

Hina Bayg, 43

Interior designer

Where: Etobicoke
How much: $200,000
How big: 450 square feet

Five years ago, when Hina Bayg bought a small, plain studio apartment steps away from the Sherway Gardens shopping centre, the first thing she did was throw out the design rulebook. “People always say dark colours make a space look smaller, but I actually think they make spaces feel cozier,” she says.

Rather than pushing her bed into a corner, she bought one with small headboards and footboards so it could operate as a chaise lounge in the centre of the space. She converted the pantry at the end of the kitchen into a walk-in closet, complete with a chair and a small table. Her desk becomes a dining table for lunch and dinner. Many of her furniture pieces have lush textures that contrast with their own sleek design, upping the luxurious feel of the space without sacrificing comfort.

“It’s a warm, cozy feeling in this unit,” Hina says. “I don’t feel like I’m living in a low-end space.”

To take advantage of the narrow floor plan, Hina’s console and bed are parallel to the long side of the apartment instead of perpendicular. In a pinch, the console works as extra seating:


Hina managed to create a walk-in closet, despite the lack of space. “Living in smaller spaces, one needs to be extremely organized,” she says. “You cannot accumulate clutter and you have to buy judiciously, which creates discipline.”


The kitchen is compact, but it has a decent amount of storage:


The bathroom’s colour scheme matches the rest of the unit:


A small desk and an armchair transform a corner of the space into an office:


The unit is on the ground floor, and it has a patio:

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