A Bohemian Bungalow in British Columbia

Moving to a Smaller Home Brings Big Benefits for Designer Karla Dreyer & Her Family

A Bohemian Bungalow in British Columbia | Interior Design by Karla Dreyer | Photography by Janis Nicolay | Modern Sanctuary | Details and Accessories | Living Space Inspiration | Bohemian Living Room | Eclectic Living Room | Seating Inspiration | Modern Seating | Sectional Seating | Rug Inspiration | Tribal Rug
Photo by:
Janis Nicolay
11/11/2017

Karla Dreyer is an award winning Interior Designer in Vancouver, BC. She loves to inspire creativity through her design projects, weekly YouTube show, television segments and online Design Your Dream Home Program. We love her bright, airy design aesthetic and her masterful blend of contemporary, bohemian and glam styles.

Three years ago, Karla and her family moved back to the city after spending several years in the suburbs. We know the design challenges that often come with downsizing and a large change in lifestyle, so we were thrilled to get Karla’s insight and advice.

“We were living in a home about three times the size in the suburbs but missed city life so sold most of our items and moved into this bungalow in Vancouver”, says Karla. “Decorating it brought out a lot of creativity in function and style. Little tricks like lots of mirrors make the rooms appear bigger, to a cohesive colour palette and storage options placed everywhere.”

What do you feel you have gained by the move to the city?

“We absolutely love being walking distance to shops and restaurants and living an urban lifestyle.”

How has your family handled the move to a smaller home? What are some of the things you had to give up to make this move?

“Sharing a bathroom is probably our number one ‘pet peeve.’ Other than that the transition to a much smaller space has had more positive results than negative.”

Photo by:
Janis Nicolay

Was this a new build or an existing home? 

“This is an existing home. We have not done any renovations (as our future plan is to probably add on another level) so all the changes are completely cosmetic. Painting, furnishings, lighting, accessories — these things can transform a space without a reno.” 

Photo by:
Janis Nicolay
Photo by:
Janis Nicolay

“With a small space it makes you clear to only bring in items you truly love and work within the home. It’s the simple things such as lighting, candles, textiles, flowers that really bring joy and soul to a home. I’m always moving things around and creating new vignettes or changing up the art. These small things can give you a fresh perspective on your space.”

Photo by:
Janis Nicolay

 What have you learned by living in a small space?

“We’ve become really intentional about what is in our home. It must function well for our family and bring us joy; if not, we clear it. I wouldn’t call myself a minimalist quite yet, but I think even if we do add to our home square footage one day the lessons of ‘less is more’, creative storage solutions and being more intentional with what’s in our space, I’ll bring with me.”

Photo by:
Janis Nicolay
Photo by:
Janis Nicolay

Karla’s blend of modern, vintage and glam styles bring character to a clean, neutral backdrop. In the dining area, a consistent use of circles and curves in the table, chairs and sideboard give the eclectic space a cohesive feel.

Photo by:
Janis Nicolay

You have incorporated your children’s craft center into the design in a sophisticated way. What advice would you give parents for maintaining their adult space while accommodating the reality of some child-induced chaos?

“My girls have a craft area right across from the kitchen and we all spend so much time in this area. My number one decorating tip for parents with young kids is get some stylish baskets and put them everywhere! Have a basket on either side of the couch, in the dining room, in the kids room, your bedroom etc. I find kids leave a trail of their stuff everywhere and if you have a lovely looking basket (even better if it has a lid) you can easily put it away. I find kids also like to do their activities where the parents are, so creating a zone for them like we did with their craft centre allows them to have a designated space to create and be together as a family.”

Photo by:
Janis Nicolay
Photo by:
Janis Nicolay

You do such a nice job of blending a light, bright, contemporary background with some touches of elegance such as your bedroom chandelier. What should our readers keep in mind when blending styles?  

“Thank you for that! The chandelier was a gift from my Grandmother years ago and no matter where we have moved I always find a place for it. As for mixing styles I think start with your most favourite style as the base and then you can sprinkle in others like vintage or maybe a hit of glam. You’ll find that most things you love will end up working together. And a tip I find people like is if the style is different but the colour palette is the same, it will make mixing that much easier.”

Photo by:
Janis Nicolay

We love the children’s room! It’s so creative. What was the inspiration for its design?  

“The girls’ room all started with the bunk beds. I knew I wanted the space to be white and light and airy but also fun with a feminine touch. The bird is from a local craft store, Urban Source, just down the street from us. My girls are both very creative and there is always some new piece of art or new creation coming into the space.”

Photo by:
Janis Nicolay

Moving into a small space, there literally is nowhere to ‘escape’ and this has made us closer as family.  Karla

Meet the designer Karla Dreyer of Karla Dreyer Design
Bio:

Hi, I’m Karla. My goal is to inspire and create decor with Love. I want everyone to create more love, inspiration and creativity in their life and in their home.

I truly believe everyone deserves to have the home they desire and this is why I do E-Decor, a program that allows you to get the space of your dreams on your budget and timeline. Through my service I want to make ‘hiring a designer’ something everyone can have access to.

My company is a purpose-driven business. I want our work together to impact your life and the life of other women and girls in the world. I do this in three ways.

LOVE: For every E-Decor you purchase a portion will go to CARE which is about empowering and education girls around the world.

COLLABORATION: I have a personal commitment to work and collaborate with other conscious and inspired women.

INSPIRATION: I am also very proud of my commitment to share and have a Vlog where I will show you how to make changes to your home, find the best items out there and create a space you love. I will also send inspirational quotes and stories.

Copy by
Cynthia Baxter
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