Living Big in a Small World

Yestermorrow instructor Moneca Kaiser was recently profiled in the Ottawa Citizen (2/7/09).

"When Moneca Kaiser talks about smart home storage ideas, she has the voice of authority. Hardly surprising. The owner of Moneca Kaiser Design Build ( lives in a 325-square foot apartment. What’s more, she works from her east-end home and is so efficient at keeping things tucked away that, last Sunday, she hosted a Chinese New Year’s party for 25 friends.

For Kaiser, a committed environmentalist, good storage starts with minimizing possessions. That said, she does have stuff. Office supplies, for example. To keep her home looking mostly like a home, she stores business items in a repurposed chest of drawers, using dividers to separate pens and pencils from sticky notes. Other supplies, including paper and envelopes, are easy to find in see-through plastic bins stacked on closet shelves. Paper clips sit in a magnetized cup on the side of her work table. “If you have limited space,” she says, “you have to be very thoughtful about what you need to have, not what you want to have, at your fingertips.” Files and other items sit in wicker chests that she bought at Pier 1. Like many other items in Kaiser’s apartment, the chests do double duty as end tables or night tables when needed. While she did once own a standard bed with all sorts of things stashed below in pull-out storage containers, Kaiser now uses a futon on the floor, complemented by a Persian rug with plenty of cushions. “I love that Asian feeling. It makes everything feel so much bigger.” She also found an inexpensive pine wardrobe at IKEA with sliding, glass-panelled doors. She can put her futon up against the wardrobe and still have easy access to the contents."

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