Jane Douglass August 4, 2015
No matter what our background, we all have an ideal dream home size in mind. When it comes down to the actual living in it, however, can smaller be better? If your dream is for an urban dwelling with access to cultural events, public transportation, or a great walk score you might have to look smaller to be able to afford your location. Or, if you want a mountain cabin or beach cottage, you may have to rethink that overstuffed sofa, king-sized bed, and your gigantic collection of taxidermy.
Does size matter?
Depending on how many people are living in the home and the home's design, too small a home could make everyone be underfoot and living there miserable. But recent innovations in organization and layout, clever, multipurpose furnishings and lots of personal ingenuity can make a smaller home, condominium, or cottage the perfect place for you and your family.
When designing and furnishing your small space, be thoughtful about each piece you add to your home. If a piece of furniture has only one purpose, you might want to rethink it. For instance, can your table double as your desk? Alternatively, can a work cart become a counter with stools? Do you mostly eat in the living room? Then your coffee table could double as a dining space.
Out of the box
Some retailers specialize in small spaces and can give you great ideas on how to maximize space. If your ceilings are tall enough, consider a loft option for your bed. Not just for children or college students, the space below a queen-size loft bed can be a closet, an office, a TV room … let your imagination run wild. In a child's room, below the loft can become a playroom, or alternate levels of beds can provide privacy for multiple kids.
Another option is to create storage above, below, and around the bed. Standing or wall-hung cabinets offer designer details while adding a repository for you shoe collection. Raise your bed up just a few inches and you can fit a full dresser under it. Take advice from apartment-dwellers and maximize all of your vertical space.
Consider your lifestyle
If you regularly cook and eat at home, design your kitchen to accommodate your eating style and use living space accordingly. But, if you regularly order take-out, or dine out more often than in, consolidate your kitchen area in to a gallery and use more space for entertaining. A compact kitchen can still have all the amenities of a large one—stainless steel appliances, built-in specialty storage spaces, high-end surfaces like granite, and designer backsplashes—just in a more condensed layout. Moreover, your kitchen doesn't even need to be a separate room. A "great room" concept with kitchen, dining and living all in the same area works great in small spaces as well as large ones.
Know what's important
The most crucial thing about choosing to live small is knowing why it is your best choice. If access (to work, shopping, transportation, culture, the beach, solitude) is most important to your quality of life, paying more to live small may be the best decision you make. If living small for a season so that you can later enjoy a larger space is your purpose, then working at it to make your small space work for you is an important decision.
No matter what your purpose, small or large, or anywhere in-between, we can help you find the space that work best for your situation. Give us a call today.
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