Top 10 Tips for Space Planning by Kimberley Seldon

Kimberley Seldon Top 10 Tips for Space Planning by Kimberley Seldon

Top 10 Tips for Space Planning

 (Toronto, ON) October 16 – Making effective use of space is one of design’s most fundamental issues and the task becomes even more daunting when that space is limited.   

 dabble logo final 1024x395 Top 10 Tips for Space Planning by Kimberley Seldon



“Perhaps we can thank soaring real estate prices or an ever-increasing population for the proliferation of dimensionally-challenged homes and condos,” said Interior Design Expert Kimberley Seldon, who will appear at the International Home Show from November 1 through to November 4.

 “Regardless, whether you’re a first time home buyer or transitioning from a family home to a condo, diminishing floor space is a challenge.   Follow these tried and true small space strategies and your rooms can be a triumph of style over size.”

Seldon’s Top 10 Space Planning Tips are as follows:

1. Utilize every inch of space by incorporating vertical elements. 

Tall bookshelves, stately armoires, and floor to ceiling shelving are just some of the elements that help homeowners utilize vertical space.  In the kitchen, opt for cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling. Transition spaces, such as foyers, hallways and staircases often benefit from the immediate visual impact wallpaper provides.  Vertical stripes emphasize a room’s height while distracting the eye from limited floor space.

2. Emphasize negative space.  

In order to visually expand a room’s size, designers and architects include negative space where possible.  Negative space refers to the areas of emptiness that surround an item of furniture such as the underside of a coffee table.  By choosing furniture with legs rather than skirts, incorporating glass where possible, and adding reflective elements such as mirror, crystal, and silver to the interior, you can amplify available light and legroom, creating a feeling of vastness. In addition, choose furniture with narrow arms rather than over-stuffed rolled versions. 

3. Monochromatic colour schemes visually enlarge the space. 

Monochromatic colour schemes, where all colours are kept close in tone and value, visually expand a room’s dimensions.  Without contrast (the strong distinction between two values such as black and white) the eye is able to move through a room uninterrupted, creating an illusion of additional space. Covering furniture and walls in a single, unifying colour or pattern creates a visual cohesiveness that “stretches” perceived space. With this approach, incorporate a variety of textures to increase visual depth: smooth and rough, soft and firm, shiny and matte.

4. Maximize storage space with built-ins and modular furniture.  

Most small rooms benefit from built-in or modular furniture, which effectively utilizes every inch of space – vertically and horizontally.  In a diminutive kitchen, employ a banquette to maximize seating and take advantage of hidden storage.  In open-concept rooms, built-ins such as bookcases provide much needed storage, help contain clutter (essential in small spaces), and define individual rooms without enclosing them. Consider a Murphy bed when a room will be called on to accommodate an occasional overnight guest.  Its ability to disappear fully into the wall makes it ideal for occasional use and means it can sit discreetly in almost any room in the house.

5. Hide storage in plain sight. 

Look for a coffee or end table that opens to reveal storage beneath, bookshelves that provide floor to ceiling storage space, and an armoire to house anything from linens to entertainment units. A low bookcase can act as a room divider between the living and dining area while providing display space and an ideal surface for party platters when entertaining.  Don’t overlook islands, which work not just in the kitchen but also brilliantly in offices, laundry rooms, and craft rooms.  Choose one with wheels and it can be stashed against a wall when not in use. 

6. Choose double duty furniture. 

Multi-taskers such as a coffee table that rises to eating height or a pair of console tables that can be pushed together to form an impromptu dining table are ideally suited to small space living.

7. Assign multiple purposes to each room.

In most homes, rooms are required to provide more than one function. A guest may be temporarily housed in the dining room, living room, or home office by including a built-in banquette.  A large banquette provides ample seating for visitors who are looking for somewhere to curl up and read or watch TV but once the cushions are removed; the banquette seating becomes a bed. 

8. Fool the eye with large-scale drama.  

Occasionally designers break all the rules and go for large-scale drama within a small room. This exuberant approach visually frees space from its confines while providing rooms with energy and drama. Try this approach in powder rooms where a large pattern on walls sets an expansive tone.

9. Mirror expands

Don’t underestimate the space amplifying power of wall-to-wall mirror. Mirror the length of a wall and double the perceived depth of the room.  However, make sure to use a mirror when it’s adjacent to windows where it amplifies available light. Never place one in a dull, dark corner, it only expands that view.

10. Clutter

Clutter is the enemy of harmonious living.  To instill rooms with a feeling of vastness and serenity, strive for organization, efficiency, and authenticity. In other words, use what you own, keep items where you need them most, and surround yourself with personal objects of meaning.   

Seldon will be part of The Interior Decorating Show that is taking place at the International Home Show from November 1 through November 4 at International Place on Airport Road in Mississauga. 

Admission into this year’s Show guarantees entrance into the 3rd annual Better Living Boomer Show and the 2nd annual Interior Decorating Show (Friday-Sunday for the Decorating Show) at no extra cost. (Thursday is Trade only for the Decorating Show).   

More than 400 exhibitors will be featured including: interior and exterior home décor, renovation, contractors, interior decorating, kitchen and bath, gourmet food, wine and beer, green living products and service, landscapers, builders, seasonal products, roofing, appliances, electronics and more. 

Seldon will appear alongside City Line’s guest design expert Nicholas Rosaci and Lynn Spence, W Network’s Jane Lockhart and HGTV’s Bryan Baeumler. Just announced, Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri from HGTV’s Kitchen Cousins, sponsored by Nuheat and Honeywell, in addition to Ramsin Khachi sponsored by Schluter Systems. 

Parking is FREE and admission is only $15 for adults and $12 for seniors and children.  Advance tickets are available online for a discounted rate.

For more info on the event please visit  For more information on Kimberley Seldon, visit


About Kimberley Seldon

Kimberley Seldon is an internationally known Interior Design Expert, Journalist, Key Note Speaker and Broadcast Personality, with more than 14 years experience in television; hosting 3 of her own series including Design for Living with Kimberley Seldon.  Kimberley is also editor-in-chief of Dabble Magazine. 

26th International Home Show hosts Better Living Boomer Show


26th International Home Show hosts Better Living Boomer Show Oct. 27 – 30 at the International Centre

26th IHS Logo URL COL2 300x208 26th International Home Show hosts Better Living Boomer ShowMISSISSAUGA – October 25, 2011 . . . Now in its second year, the Better Living Boomer Show celebrates the good things in life.  Daily presentations on food, wine, health and relationships complement exhibits that range from travel, eco-friendly products and home security to silent auctions and more.  The show is free with admission to the International Home Show running October 27-30 at the International Centre.

“Baby boomers are influencing the housing market, travel, health care and almost every aspect of society,” explains show manager Paul Newdick. “The Better Living Boomer Show addresses these and areas of special interest to the active and growing over 45 population.”

Live Well

Homeopath and functional medicine nutritionist, Bryce Wylde is one of Canada’s leading alternative health experts.  The host of CP24′s popular Wylde on Health garners over 5 million viewers.  Wylde is at the show Thursday to share his knowledge of alternative and integrative approaches to health and wellness.

 Live Better  

Columnist and talk show host, Valerie Gibson notes that the 50+ single is the fastest growing demographic.  An expert in contemporary love, sex, and dating she explores how to survive a whole new world of relationships during her Saturday presentation.  The session covers ways to meet new people, use online dating and more, with references to her new book, Cougar: A Guide for Older Women dating Younger Men to be released in November.

Live Active

Justine Blainey, a major champion of women in sports, is a Brampton area chiropractor, wife and mother devoted to health and wellness.  At her Sunday presentation, How to harness 10 times more daily energy she explains how to release energy obstructions and gain healing potential.

 Live it Up

Dairy Farmers of Canada are running 18 complimentary seminars and tastings of Ontario cheeses at the show’s Wine and Dine Village. Add a little wine and it’s a marriage made in heaven! Dave Larocque of Global Vinters arrives Thursday, to simplify the essentials of wine, and provide notes on wine and cheese pairings.  On Saturday, author and wine columnist, Tony Aspler draws from his vast experience to offer the best wine and cheese matches. 

Justin Lamontagne of Pilsner Urquell gives us an alternative spin to the wine and cheese party.  The trained beer educator and entertainer is on a mission Friday andSunday to share his passion for the brew. “Beer,” he says, “is often overlooked as a beverage partner with cheese.”  Finally, mixologist Trevor Burnett shakes it up with his crazy cocktail demonstrations.

Live South

Vacation and retirement lifestyle opportunities await in beautiful Panama.  The country, which is rapidly opening to tourism, vacation condos and homes is hosting a 2,000 sq. ft. exhibit that reflects the culture of this equatorial paradise. The exhibit includes seminars from Panama residents and business owners about vacation destinations, homebuying, and more.

Live Green

Now in its eighth year, bringing eco-friendly and energy conservation products to show visitors, the Green Street Pavilion features 40,000 square feet of E-COOL-ogical cutting edge technologies, eco-builders, solar and geothermal systems, sustainable building and home products. A newaddition to the Pavilion is an eco-house constructed by the Grain Farmers of Ontario featuring household items and construction materials made from soy, wheat and corn. Another featured exhibiter is whowill teach consumers how to recycle their computers, phones, printers and televisions and keep them out of Ontario landfills.

The International Home Show includes The Better Living Boomer Show and InteriorDecorating Show.  The show runs Thursday, October 27th through Sunday, October 30th, at the International Centre, 6900 Airport Road, Mississauga.  Hours are Thursday 11 am to 8 pm; Friday and Saturday 10 to 8 pm & Sunday: 10 am to 6 pm. Admission is free for children 12 and under, $10 for youth (13-17) or seniors, $15 per adult or two for $25 if purchased online.  For details 416-512-1305 Or visit

*For trade registration for the Interior Decorating Show, Thursday, Oct. 27 visit:

Issued by/ Media Contacts:

Kim Graham & Associates
Office: 416.537.0954
mobile: 416.543.6608

Michael Staniforth   mobile: 416.889.6453



The Design Celebs are in the House!

International Home Show October 27 – 30 attracts all-star line up Oct. 27 – 30, International Centre

26th IHS Logo URL COL2 300x208 The Design Celebs are in the House!An all-star cast of home and decor experts is waiting to share and inspire at the 26th annual International Home Show running October 27th – 30th at the International Centre.  With new, later dates, the four day home showcase hosts top media personalities whom Canadians have come to know and love. Continue reading