How a yoga instructor lives in 470 square feet

How a yoga instructor lives in 470 square feet

Melissa Lesic, 32

Owner of Exhale Yoga

Where: Queen West
How big: 472 square feet
How much: $273,500

When Melissa Lesic decided to leave her marketing job, she knew mortgage brokers wouldn’t be quite as chuffed as she was about her career change. “A traditional career looks better to lenders than a job as a freelance yoga teacher,” she says. To avoid having her loan application declined, she decided to put a down payment on a condo before quitting the nine to five.

Over the next few weeks, Lesic went to viewing after viewing. The condos she saw were uninspiring: they had terrible views with equally terrible floor plans. Most of them were so small they seemed like they could barely accommodate couches. “I needed to be able to put a yoga mat down,” she says.

Finally, she fell in love with a tiny one-bedroom condo, with a den just big enough for her to host one-on-one classes in. Because of that, she decided the place was worth exceeding her original $260,000 budget.

After closing for a mere $500 under asking (the seller was having none of her lowballing) in May 2016, she turned to Bunz, the Toronto-based trading app, to help get rid of possessions that wouldn’t fit in her new space. “I got so many TTC tokens and bottles of wine,” she says.

Lesic found culling her wardrobe challenging. She decked out her closet with extra bars and shelving, making the most out of every square inch of storage space:

Out-of-season clothes and linens live in containers under the bed, while her printer and board games are tucked under the couch. Because there are few spare surfaces, most of her plants are tucked onto shelves:

Because she couldn’t fit much furniture into her new home, she could afford to splurge on the few items she ended up buying. She loves her Article couch. At $1,200, it was pricey for Lesic, but she loves its mid-century look and the fact that it was made in Canada:

The kitchen is not quite big enough to accommodate her many cooking gadgets, but a serendipitous find at Ikea—a 30-centimeter-wide cart that fits perfectly in the window nook—added enough storage for a small herb garden and a toaster:

Lesic expects to outgrow her condo one day. For now, though, she’s loving summer on her 13-foot-long balcony, which is decked out with edible plants like lettuce and rosemary:

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