Apartment Living | Sizing it right

apartment living

Apartment Living | Sizing it right

When my daughter Abby mentioned a while back that she would like to move to downtown Calgary, I thought she had no idea about apartment living.

Let’s face it, she has always lived in our home. We have a three bedroom home and we have an open concept on the main floor. When we developed our basement, she moved to the downstairs bedroom. While our home is not overly huge (just over 2300 sq ft), it is more than large enough for all of us.

Apartment Searching

When Abby wanted to start physically looking at apartments, she asked if the Mister and I would like to go with her. My response? “Ummmm of course!”

The view from the Sky Lounge on floor 38

We looked at a variety of locations and apartments. High on her list was the following:

  • The complex needed to have a really good gym. This would allow her to cancel her existing gym membership and work out at ‘home’.
  • There needed to be parking (underground preferred). If you know downtown Calgary, parking fees are atrocious.
  • Walkability to her work. While Abby was still going to have her car, she wanted a location that she could walk to work every day (when not working from home).

High on my priority list was a safe location and a nice, secure building. We totally lucked out as the building Abby moved into is brand new. She will be the first one living in her apartment. It has great security and the building is a sustainable Built Green building with many features including

  • Solar Panels
  • Energy recovery ventilators
  • Programmable thermostats
  • All appliances are ENERGY STAR labeled
  • The materials chosen are recycled materials (carpet tile and interior insulation)
  • The indoor air quality also includes low VOC paint.
  • There is a a waste diversion program
  • The Health and Wellness area includes bicycle stalls, a fitness facility, and a coffee lounge, party room, sky lounge, and outdoor amenity terrace.

Our favourite daughter on moving day. BTW – we only have one daughter.

Floor Plan

When Abby decided on the apartment that she wanted, we were dealing with a small footprint of 605 square feet.

apartment living
I have not put a link for this image for safety reasons.

While the building gave an idea of how to furnish, you know I always like to do my own measuring. Abby and I went back to measure the floor plan so that when we were sourcing furniture, we would ensure that it was going to fit.

A Big Mistake I Often See

One thing I see when I assist clients moving to a new space is that their current furniture does not fit the new space. In most cases, the furniture is way too large. In order to make a space functional, it is my belief that the furniture needs to be the correct size/scale.

Apartment Living Floor Plan | Sheri Bruneau, Designer

Before we start with each space, I wish to point out a number of things:

  1. The furniture and accessories we selected were mostly from my trade sources and contacts. Abby quickly found out the perks of my great contacts.
  2. We sourced items that we knew we would receive in a timely fashion.
  3. Everything is new. While she could have most likely found some ‘deals’ through various sellers (Kijiji, Facebook Marketplace, etc.), she made this conscious decision to buy new and plans to keep things for a long time. I remember when I moved out and had hand-me-downs from my grandma, my parents, and anywhere I could find! Ahhh…to be a young hipster – LOL. And…I think I just aged myself by using the word, ‘hipster’. I should just stop while I’m ahead!


As you can see on the floor plan that we created, there really isn’t a lot of space in her room (I would like to point out that her closet is a fantastic size). Seriously – go back to the overall floor plan and see how big it is!

apartment living
3D Rendering of the bedroom | Sheri Bruneau, Designer

For her bedroom, we sourced the following:

  1. A queen bed frame
  2. A queen mattress
  3. New bedding
  4. Blankets – you can never have enough!

Abby is ‘borrowing’ my nightstand from our guest bedroom and she already had her bubble gum table lamp.

apartment living
Bedroom | Sheri Bruneau, Desginer

Living Room

For this space, everything is new. I encouraged Abby to invest in a good sofa and then fill in the pieces with more budget friendly items.

apartment living
Living Room 3D rendering | Sheri Bruneau, Designer

On our list was the following:

  1. Sofa
  2. Coffee table
  3. TV Stand
  4. TV
  5. Floor lamp
  6. Art/Decor

apartment living
Living Room | Sheri Bruneau, Designer

apartment living
The TV Storage unit is the ONLY Ikea piece of furniture in this apartment that I had to put together. And…no swearing this time! | Sheri Bruneau, Designer


For the kitchen, there is not a lot of storage space. While Abby had a lot of glasses, there were a number of items on our list including stools.

apartment living
Kitchen 3D rendering | Sheri Bruneau, Designer

Here is the full list for this area:

  1. stools
  2. dishes
  3. cutlery
  4. pots/pans
  5. art/decor

Apartment Kitchen | Sheri Bruneau, Designer


For this space, Abby had many items that she brought with her including the towels from our home, and her personal belongings. Since this area is smaller than the bathroom that she was used to, we also sourced some new items.

  1. storage containers for her vanity
  2. new shower mat
  3. accessories

apartment living
Bathroom | Sheri Bruneau, Designer

Apartment Living

We were so lucky on her moving day of December 1, 2020. With lovely mild weather, we didn’t have to trample through snow to do this move.

We had the little moving truck all loaded up in 30 minutes. It took us just over an hour to unload and get everything up to the twentieth floor. Once all of her items were in the unit, we started with unpacking and setting up the new apartment.

You can see the entire portfolio here

Shop the Look

I decided to break up the areas to make things easy to shop. While I mentioned above that I was able to use many of my trade sources, I have pulled together a similar look for you. You may find some exact same items or items that are close to what I got from my trade only sources.

The items below contain affiliate links. Any purchases, at no additional charge to you, are most appreciated and make this blog possible.


apartment living
Sheri Bruneau, Designer

Living Room

apartment living
Sheri Bruneau, Designer


apartment living
Sheri Bruneau, Designer


apartment living
Sheri Bruneau, Designer

Abby’s apartment is now fully set up. We were able to hang up the art on her moving day and get her totally settled in. While there may be little things that she will find she needs, Abby is now fully independent and living the dream. Oh yes…welcome to adulting!

Looking to get help with your adult child that is moving out? Contact me today to discuss how to get their first home set up for success!

Sheri Bruneau


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