— The Move —

Inside This Oliver Resident’s Micro-home Miracle

Engineer Laura Creswell masterminded this tiny condo into a perfectly comfortable home


Murphy bed, custom sofa and cabinetry around murphy bed ($7,000) from Wallbeds Etc. (wallbeds-etc.com, 780.468-7088)

Fit your life into a space equivalent to four parking stalls. It seems outrageous, but environmental engineer in-training Laura Creswell did just that. She’s been living gracefully—and tastefully—in 335 square feet for almost a year.

When she set out to find “the tiniest place in the city,” her realtor (and her mother) thought she was crazy. “I love the creativity that a small space provides, not to mention the obvious economic aspects of living tiny,” says Creswell. Last September, after looking at over 40 tiny properties, she walked into an “empty shoebox” of a condo in Crestview Tower in Oliver, and instantly felt at home.


Living room cabinetry ($2,000) from IKEA (Besta Shelving Units Djupviken) • Living room chairs ($500/ea.) from Mobler Modern Furniture (13519 156 St., mobleredmonton.ca)

That was the easy part. Now everything needed a place. Thanks to her careful engineer’s eye and modern style even her 20 pairs of shoes fell perfectly into place in the micro-condo. “A lot of people call me a minimalist, which I am totally not,” says Creswell, pulling back a curtain to reveal a closet over-flowing with colour-coordinated clothes. The apartment is immaculately organized—even her stools have a wall mount.

Every inch of the $154,000 condo is precious. The gap beneath her pantry is used for hidden “junk trays” that appear at the pull of a tab. A mystery door at the bottom of her murphy bed stores the couch cushions that are displaced when the bed is lowered from the wall. Her 12th-storey window seat creates a cozy spot to curl up with an unobstructed view of the High Level Bridge. “I can make this [condo] a movie theatre for 10, a breakfast bar with a view, a dining room for six or a full master bedroom,” says Creswell, a perennial host who loves the astonishment on guests’ faces when they enter.


Flip-up desk ($250) from Wallbeds Etc.

Her biggest struggle with living tiny isn’t the space, but the perception of it.

Friends often ask when she’s moving out, as if her home were a short-term experiment. But Creswell believes that this is the future of housing. Smaller spaces, she says, encourage tenants to explore the outside environment— to reside in their community as much as in their home. (Creswell consults on tiny living and design. Email condominidesigns@gmail.com.)


Pop-down dining table ($250) from Wallbeds Etc.


Oliver: $275,500 (+$24,833 from Nov ’15–Jan ’16)
Difference from listing price: -$12,433
Days on market: 38 (-22 from Nov ’15–Jan ’16)

Downtown: $340,037 (+$10,121 from Nov ’15–Jan ’16)
Difference from listing price: -$7,496
Days on market: 35 (-34 from Nov ’15–Jan ’16)

This entry was posted in 2016 Summer, The Move.