Since downsizing to our 1400 sq. foot home three and a half years in the past (as a refresher, our earlier home was greater than twice as giant – clocking in at 3150 sq. ft), you’ve in all probability heard us proclaim that sensible storage is essential. It definitely makes residing in a smaller residence much more sustainable and fulfilling, however there are additionally particular structure options of our home that make sharing much less sq. footage go much more easily for us.
So whether or not you’re pondering of downsizing, contemplating a brand new residence with any of those structure particulars, constructing a brand new residence, or are simply inquisitive about what a few of our favourite “living-larger-in-a-smaller-home” options are, we’ve put collectively the next listing. Plus, we’re ending with one caveat that’s positively sensible to think about in case you’re considering any structure choices or modifications.
#1: Separation Between Bedrooms
This function is #1 on our listing for a purpose, and after residing this manner I feel it will really be tough for us to return to a structure with out this function. The factor that we love is that none of our 3 bedrooms share partitions with one another. The youngsters have a hallway between theirs, and our bed room is on the whole reverse facet of the home (all of our bedrooms are on the primary ground).
This separation helps everybody really feel a bit much less more likely to be woke up by another person banging round (we are able to watch some night TV and erupt in laughter with out worrying that we’ll get up the children) and every of our youngsters usually have a pleasant non-public feeling whereas they’re in their very own rooms (they will every take heed to completely different music or a podcast with out listening to it via a shared wall for instance).
Individuals typically fear about being “on prime of each other” in a small home, and this little element actually helps us really feel like that isn’t the case right here (contrasted for instance by our first home’s structure, which was the same quantity of sq. footage, however all three bedrooms emptied into the identical finish of a shared hallway). Even in our final home, which was greater than twice the dimensions, we shared a wall with our son’s room – so this structure replace actually appears like we’re residing giant.
#2: Two Distinct Dwelling Areas (One On Every Stage)
This one stunned us as a result of our authentic thought was to make our downstairs widespread space (it’s a giant 22′ room, about the identical measurement as our final home’s very giant kitchen) into only a kitchen & eating area with a pleasant huge front room upstairs. Briefly, we didn’t initially consider using half of it for a first-floor hangout space with legit sofas and a espresso desk – however that’s the place we’ve ended up. And let me let you know, it’s a large purpose that we really feel like this home works so significantly better for us and we don’t really feel on prime of one another – even after we’re entertaining and have 10+ folks over.
After we lastly renovated the kitchen final yr, we cemented half of the room’s operate as a hangout zone (since we used the informal sitting space on that facet of the room so closely for the earlier two years). And this yr we ordered two bigger sofas to make it much more lounge-y and cozy. And let me let you know, it was one of the best factor we ever might have accomplished.
It’s nice to have a giant informal TV room/artwork area/hangout zone upstairs (we’ll cowl what that room provides to this home within the subsequent bullet). And because it seems, our informal sitting space downstairs will get used closely day by day by our total household – and anybody who stops in for a go to. It’s an incredible place to chill out/learn/chat that’s not upstairs in entrance of a TV and, as a result of it’s centrally positioned, we spend MOST of our time as a household there each morning earlier than faculty (and on weekends) and each night earlier than and after dinner.
It’s fascinating as a result of one factor you would possibly take into consideration a smaller residence could be: don’t repeat zones like two sitting areas as a result of two may very well be a waste of your valuable area – however after residing with this setup for years, we couldn’t disagree extra. Since every of those residing zones are on completely different flooring, adults can hang around downstairs within the kitchen/sitting room whereas an entire gaggle of children are upstairs taking part in some very loud recreation or music or watching a film and no one in both zone is concerned by the opposite one.
Even when it’s simply the 4 of us at residence, this structure Is nice for permitting us to unfold out. It’s extraordinarily useful that one child will be upstairs watching TV whereas the opposite is down on the kitchen desk doing homework or studying with out being disturbed or distracted by the TV. We will’t think about our home with out the downstairs sitting space and are so glad we didn’t simply stick a eating desk in that spot or one thing.
#3: One Huge Versatile Multi-Use Space
Whereas we’ve by no means had basements as grownup owners, each of us grew up with basements as youngsters, and so they’re simply so nice for every little thing from sleepovers and film nights to a spot for teenagers to do huge messy artwork tasks and have pillow fights or construct a large blanket fort (all of which have been accomplished in our giant upstairs household room). Our total second ground is only one huge room (it’s about 22′ lengthy, like our kitchen beneath) so it’s principally… an upstairs basement of types… perhaps?
The purpose is that having a giant area like this that fills a bunch of various capabilities for us has been extremely helpful. In truth, it does every little thing that three completely different rooms in our final home did (plus one added factor we didn’t even have in our final home!).
We name it our “household room” however it’s actually an area that fulfills all of those descriptions:
- an workplace (we each use laptops that we are able to simply place on that desk within the window (and ALL of our work paperwork is saved within the bookcases with 8 complete drawers that flank the desk on either side)
- a youngsters’ craft room with a double desk for them (full with 12 drawers for craft provides & a giant 8′ lengthy counter)
- a TV hangout area / sleepover spot (because of the additional lengthy couch, giant space rug, and movable ottoman – it’s an excellent versatile facet of the room)
- a spot for piano apply (one in every of our youngsters takes classes, and now we have a keyboard up there at a desk with a bench – this can be a bonus zone that our final home didn’t even have)
Briefly, this one giant room simply accommodates loud or messy actions – like practising piano, making artwork on the ground, the aforementioned large blanket fort, watching a film with pals, and many others. And because of this room being tucked upstairs, all of that may occur with out spilling over into the remainder of the home. Each time now we have pals over, the children all run upstairs whereas the adults congregate within the kitchen & sitting space, so as soon as once more these two separate zones are key to feeling like we’re not all on prime of one another.
#4: Ample Outside House
Though this lot is one-tenth of the dimensions of our final home’s lot (sure, that’s not a typo, this lot is round 1/tenth of an acre and our final home was on a whole acre) we squeezed as a lot operate out of it as we might! So one other factor that positively contributes to feeling like now we have room to unfold out right here is the truth that now we have PLENTY of exterior areas for a wide range of issues, like:
We’ve had as many as 20 folks in our pool space (there’s really seating for 19!) so it’s secure to say that these areas give us extra choices for spreading out. I can go learn within the hammock if it’s too loud inside or take my laptop computer out on the deck upstairs for a change of surroundings – or perhaps a convention name. We’re additionally in a position to offload a few of our inside capabilities into these out of doors areas, because of the climate being hotter right here than after we lived additional north. For example, we hold our footwear outdoors on our kitchen porch’s out of doors cupboards, liberating up space for storing inside.
We additionally beforehand had a big water heater in a closet off of the kitchen, that we had been in a position to transfer outdoors on the again of our home (by changing to a tankless system) which freed up an inside closet for lots extra operate.
After we purchased this home, I don’t assume we totally appreciated the distinction that a wide range of out of doors areas with a wide range of capabilities might make (and in a wide range of areas – off the entrance, facet, again, and second ground of the home!). It positively contributes to feeling like we stay in an even bigger home than we really do because of all these spots we are able to increase into outdoors.
#5: Tons And Tons Of Glass
For its measurement, our home has a loopy quantity of home windows and exterior doorways (all of which have full glass panes in them besides). In truth, there are FOUR TIMES as many exterior doorways right here in comparison with our final home (12 vs 3) though our home is lower than half the dimensions. The profit to all that tumbler right here is two-fold. To begin with, we get a ridiculous quantity of pure mild, which makes all of our rooms really feel brighter and fewer cramped than they may really feel in any other case.
Moreover, all of those home windows carry your gaze outdoors, past the partitions – which additional contributes to the ethereal feeling that our rooms are bigger than they really are… as a result of the skin feels extra like an extension of the ground plan. It’s one of many causes we’ve opted to not put any window coverings on something apart from the sensible blinds and blackout curtains within the bedrooms.
This so-much-glass-letting-in-so-much-light phenomenon was really a nice shock to us after shifting in. It was wet and overcast after we purchased this home, plus there have been numerous janky blinds on the home windows. We really anticipated the home to be fairly darkish primarily based on the day we purchased it – so this was a really good discovery that we actually made on our move-in day!
#6: Prioritizing “House To Dwell In” Over “House To Cross By means of”
Hear me out on this one, as a result of it could be onerous to articulate – and it would sound counterintuitive at first. Other than the brief hallway between our youngsters’ room and the slender stairs to the upstairs household room, our home has little or no sq. footage devoted to simply getting from one room to a different.
Perhaps that’s certain to occur in any smaller residence, however I can consider a number of modest properties I’ve been in with lengthy hallways, outlined foyers, or winding open staircases. I’m not saying these aren’t mandatory or stunning in lots of conditions, however in a smaller residence it could rapidly eat up in any other case helpful sq. footage.
For instance, if we had a extra grand staircase that opened to our kitchen on the fitting and neglected that room, it will really feel breezy however we’d lose a whole 10′ run of kitchen cabinetry and a spot for the fridge. So on this case, we’d a lot somewhat have our floor-to-ceiling pantry cupboard and our built-in fridge than ethereal open stairs.
We’d additionally somewhat have room for a sitting space within the kitchen downstairs than have an outlined lobby (identical to we’d hand over an extended hallway for just about another area we might all use as a household). It’s possible you’ll keep in mind our final home had a looooooong hallway upstairs and a generously-sized lobby. They made good sense for that home, however we’re grateful that a lot of the sq. footage right here is extra multi-functional than merely being an entry zone or an extended hallway that you simply move via.
In order that’s what I imply after I say that minimizing these in favor of gaining extra precise area to hang around versus move via can positively be a perk in a smaller home.
One Structure Warning: A First Flooring Bed room Off The Primary Dwelling House
As a lot as we love the structure of the bedrooms on this home (it’s #1 above for a purpose!) there may be one factor that stunned us in how all of us use this home – and whereas it really works effectively for us (I repeat: we don’t need to change this factor), it definitely may very well be a disadvantage for different folks, relying in your preferences. So the structure caveat is: since our bed room is positioned proper off the downstairs residing space, it sees much more household exercise than our previous bed room ever did.
Our bed room in our final home was upstairs on the far finish of a corridor, so we actually solely used it for sleeping and preparing within the morning. We awoke in there and went to mattress in there, however had been infrequently present in there at another time of the day (we had been normally downstairs on the primary stage). It wasn’t off-limits to our youngsters or something, however there wasn’t a lot purpose for them (and even us) to go in there all through the day.
In contrast, since our present bed room right here is downstairs and positioned proper off of the primary residing space (the place now we have our kitchen and often-used sitting space), all of us simply find yourself in our bed room much more all through the day. We’ll discover the children in there sprawled on our mattress petting the canine or studying within the swivel chair by the hearth. Sherry and I each have been identified to work in there now and again (on the desk or within the swivel chair since we are able to shut the door for privateness on a name or zoom assembly) and we typically do puzzles on the desk with the children. Our son even ranked the swivel chair in our bed room as his favourite summer time studying spot of all. Actually, it received the whole bracket.
These aren’t dangerous issues to us – it appears like an environment friendly and versatile strategy to share the most important three rooms on this home as an alternative of maintaining one all to ourselves – however it’s 100% right to say that the bed room typically feels extra like a communal area than a personal area besides on the finish of the day when the children are tucked into mattress on the opposite facet of the home (which is when it really feels good and personal – see level #1 of this listing).
So in case you’re somebody who treasures that feeling of getting a bed room sanctuary or a kid-free zone to flee to all through the day (once more: no points after darkish – however through the hangout hours ours positively sees some site visitors), I’d warning you that this structure simply appears to attract folks into the room all day lengthy. Though you possibly can argue that a few of that may very well be furniture-related… maybe if there wasn’t a swivel chair or a puzzle desk by the hearth (or a candy canine in there to cuddle), the result could be completely different.
And naturally, you possibly can submit a kind of KEEP OUT indicators that sitcom youngsters placed on their doorways once they’re feeling angsty and even make some type of rule to discourage anybody else from getting into the room. In distinction, we simply obtained a brand new puzzle for the puzzle desk…
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