The Home Front: Furniture for living in small spaces

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Freeing up space can dramatically improve everyday life, says Dane Lowe of Anthill Studio in Vancouver

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Dane Lowe owns and operates Anthill Studio Vancouver’s Olympic Village neighborhood, where you wouldn’t know many residents (mostly apartment dwellers) are running out of space.

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In a city like Vancouver, where real estate costs about $ 1,000 per square foot and your average bed takes up about 33 square feet, that’s an expensive footprint, Lowe says.

Lowe designed his first small space interior at the age of 12 and was given a 450 square foot basement to convert into a bedroom.

Anthill Studio Nexus Murphy Bed;  one of their most popular product lines.
Anthill Studio Nexus Murphy Bed; one of their most popular product lines. Photo by Anthill Studio /PNG

Having a grandfather who taught him carpentry and a father who constantly invented things prepared him well for the experience, he says.

Lowe made his own drawing board, designed his own “rad pad” and assembled it himself. A Murphy bed was not in the budget, so he did manage with a makeshift loft bed and a futon for the guests.He pushed a television into an unused fireplace and called it a media wall (the mantel containing his game consoles), and even created a “no girls” reading nook (although it was probably called a den. ) under the stairs.

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These days, the furniture and interiors that Lowe and his team, which includes his business partner Will Bravar, design and manufacture in Vancouver, are much more sophisticated. But, like his basement project, they meet people’s real needs with practical solutions.

Anthill makes super cool beds that convert into bookcases, sofas, entertainment units and desks, without compromising on looks or comfort.

Multipurpose furniture design by Anthill Studio.
Multipurpose furniture design by Anthill Studio. Photo by Anthill Studio /PNG

Many people don’t consider how they use all the space in their home and how freeing up some of it can dramatically improve everyday life, Lowe says.

“Maybe you want to do yoga or exercise at home. Wrap gifts, craft or invite friends over.

It is quite common to have a second dedicated bedroom and only have guests 10 days a year, so it makes sense to have a transform stand or wall unit in that room that converts into an office or living room. reads when you need it.

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Anthill Link The line has been very popular, Lowe reports, offering several versions of the traditional Murphy bed and allowing people to regain their floor space.

Being near the Olympic Village is fantastic, he says, as many of their customers live in the area, which is quickly becoming a technology hub.

“They can actually watch their product being made through the viewing window and if they feel up to it, go down into the workshop.”

Furniture design for small spaces by Anthill Studio.
Furniture design for small spaces by Anthill Studio. Photo by Anthill Studio /PNG

Manufacturing their products in Vancouver is extremely important to Lowe, as the build quality and material choices are a big part of what defines his business.

Lowe adds that there is an incredible amount of waste produced in the construction and homebuilding industries.

People are increasingly aware of how they design their homes and the products they invest in, with many Anthill clients in their 30s and 40s now asking for help creating homes they want. live for a long time, Lowe says.

In tune with the tech community of the Olympic Village, Anthill products are made by both humans and robots. “There is a nice balance between the two. We use robots for efficiency and to keep costs down, but there is still a lot that is still being done by hand just to get certain qualities right and at the right level.

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