Monday, September 15, 2008

Small Schmall!

My daddy built the cutest, little playhouse when I was a girl. As far as I was concerned, though I had two sisters and two brothers, I always felt that the playhouse was all mine. Perhaps that was the beginning of my love of small spaces.

There are some definite advantages to small space living. The most obvious one is saving money. There's lower power bills, lower tax bills and lower insurance premiums.

There's also less maintenance. A small home is easier and quicker to clean. You have more free time to pursue hobbies and interests.

Small space living is environmentally sound. It encourages a simplified lifestyle with less waste, less clutter, less use of power and less water consumption.

Of course, small space living requires careful planning and simplifying your lifestyle. There’s no room for clutter or unused items in a small home.

Clever decorating is necessary when living in a small home. Furniture must perform double duty, and storage challenges must be addressed by looking down (under beds, under tables) and up (tall furniture pieces and built-in cabinetry).

If possible, take advantage of outdoor space. Create an outdoor living area on a porch, patio, or deck. Consider this an extension of your home.

Take a look at the examples below and see for yourself some wonderful inspiration of small space living.

I showed a few pics of studio apartments above. Good cyber-friend, Lisa, featured a wonderful studio apartment space on her blog awhile back, Small Space Style. This 400-square foot apartment was designed by Toronto designer, David Overholt, and featured in Canadian Style at Home magazine. (Incidentally, Lisa's also showing a really cute 200 sq. ft. apartment on her blog today, if you're interested).

I don't live in a mansion, but I also don't live in a small space. Sometimes I long for a small pied a terre in New York City. Or a board and batten, beach cottage by the sea. Or a log home in the mountains. Heck, I'd be happy with a little guest house/studio in the back.

How about you? Don't you want a small space of your own now, too?


mary said...

Hey! We are drastically downsizing - does that qualify? :)

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

The condo is 1250 square ft. We've thought about selling our home here and just moving to the condo. The only thing stopping us is the park road during winter. It has been known to close for several days. While not nearly as small as the home you featured, it's certainly smaller than our home. I think that is one reason why we enjoy our stays there, so much.

Speaking of Lisa, she has a beautiful home.

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

Yep...Must say I love a small place (started with lego homes and kiddle dolls and blossomed from there!)

Small spaces and gardens are the most fun to work with...samll kitchens the easiest to work say I.

LOVE Lisa B and her small space blog and vibe...and yes indeedy, she is the poster girl for cool/wow/cozy small space style in her own home!!

Jerri Lynn @ Southern Sassyness said...

I could soo do a small space - especially if it was plopped down near some water. Enjoyed the pretty pictures!

Nola @ AlamoNorth said...

They are all adorable, but I'm still trying to wrap my mind around "simplifying your lifestyle", hmmm. I will need professional help for that.

Amber said...

We downsized when we moved to Arizona...with young kids who have only gotten bigger. I love my small space (though mine is not as small as the homes featured)although there is one room (FR/kitchen) I wish I could make a little bigger.

I read an interesting Newsweek article on Green Building where the author chuckles every time he reads about some huge "green" residence (I am sure we can think of many celebrities who fit this bill)...part of being green is living more modestly in size, too. I don't ever want someone to tell me how much sq footage or land I can have, but I am proud that Mike and I have always lived in relatively modest spaces, with fuel efficient cars.

Will I have more space in the future? Maybe...but not a whole lot more. I know you and I have had this discussion many times, Sandra, but it's so much more about space utilization than square footage. And even if we stay here, we'll be converting some green features into our home. Honestly, I'd rather put my dollars into location and killer space utilization than raw square footage.

Chris said...

I love every single one of these pictures. I actually have several of them already saved on my computer! I've always thought that if I were ever on my own, I would just have a small place. I love the idea of the quaintness of it, and how much easier it would be to decorate--but decorate well! Great post!

Devonia said...

I live in a plain ol' tract house in a suburb. I just wanna place out from the city - and small would be a joy. My hubby could have a BIG BARN - he's the clutter bug anyway.
Great post, Sandra, you done it again.

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