Just wondering if anyone else is here..I do have a smaller home and love it..hoping someone else comes to talk with.
LOL, Donna, you're all by yourself. I hope others come too and post pictures of their small homes. I have one, a ranch. I subscribed last year to Cottage Living thinking it would be about cottages...nope, 2000 + sq foot homes. I let my subscription run out.
Hi, I have a smaller house that we just had built and I am soooooo totally loving it!!! I love the fact that I don't have tons of floor to clean and its a one story, so I don't have stairs to run up.
I wish I knew how to post pictures. When I learn, I'll post some!
I usually hang out at the rose forum but this seemed like an interesting forum.
Hurray!! It's here.
I will definitely be posting here about my 1300 square feet!
This is great! I love my small home!
I'm in Florida, with a 1450 sf home on 1 1/3 acres. No garage, no closets. 3/2, frame. Was a built-by-owner.
When we saw it the first time - had pink and green walls with wild floral wallpaper below the ceiling and above the baseboards. Raggity wooden deck on the front. A basic rectangle in shape. French doors off the back, from the dining room and master bedroom.
White tile. Not a good choice for us, since we have many large dogs. But we still have it. Easy to see the dirt on, so I clean it more often(G).
House was actually quite well-built. Builder probably took materials from other homes he worked on. All lumber is first rate, real cedar siding.
I like a small house. I'd rather be in the garden, or working with my animals, than housecleaning...
House has survived 3 direct hits from hurricanes in 2 years. Now we have no large trees left though, to buffer future storms.
This is just a try at posting.
Here is a link that might be useful:
I love my tiny cottage. Its 750 sf. I have a wonderful garden, on the standard city lot, (60x100) which seems real big because there is so much room left over. There is one cottage magazine that is better than the others. Smaller homes, and every inch is not completely encapsulated with little pink roses(Fine in moderation, but.. This will be lots of fun. Every one can post the things /questions they realy have an intrest in. I think of it like living in a beach cottage, or on a boat.If you lived in one of those places, all the little details unique to cottage living would be an adventure. Id like to know how folks make room for the things they love, and store the rest efectivly. another thing Id like to hear from others about, is all the hobbies we have time to enjoy as we are not cleaning those monster homes. How ecxiting!!
Hi Everyone! How nice we have a forum!
We live in a tiny cottage, about 1000 sqft. out lot is about 66 x 135, the house sits very close to the street so it feels gigantic out back.
I love it! Can't wait to share ideas and space saving tips...
Here is a link that might be useful: Our Cottage
kathsgrdn-- you ought to come up here to Maine. Alot of people come up here from Boston, NYC, and all points in between to build summer "cottages". I've tiled several "cottages" that were 4000 feet or more, and would rival the Taj Mahal! :-)
Well, I have three Yorkies that take up a good bit of my time..spoiled, they are! I can't get down on my knees so I do container gardening. But I do have pretty flowers. The lady that lived here before me, planted a lot of beautiful flowers that I am enjoying now.
I am going to love this forum..
Bill, that's really something, 4000 sq foot?!! I'd hate to see their "real" houses!
Donna, your house is really nice. Wish I had a new home now that I've gone and bought an older one that I've already had to fix things in.
My house is around 1400 sq foot with a little sunroom on the back. I wish the kids' bedrooms were a little bit bigger and the bathrooms too.
I'm clearing out all the junk I should've gotten rid of before I moved here last year. I don't want the clutter and don't want to keep storing it year after year.
I'm so glad to see this forum, and all of you, here (how on earth did I miss the unveiling?).
What lovely home pictures/albums have already been posted!...I can't wait to really enjoy them when I have a bit more time.
I have an 1800 sf ranch outside Memphis, no garage although we would like one, on a standard suburban lot. We bought in this area mainly for the schools and nice family atmosphere. I have two almost-grown sons, a cat and a dog, and we use every single bit of space that we have. :) Both kids are sports memorabilia collectors, and I collect a few things myself, so we are hoping to add more bookcases and storage areas everywhere we can.
I really like the size of my home, as it is warm and cozy. I have always loved "cottage", and also like that in gardening. .
I am in the process of "repurposing" a few rooms and redecorating as a result of that. We cut a large doorway in between our living and den/family room areas, and then switched the living room and dining room, which is more useful for us, and provides better flow. As soon as we are to a good point for pictures, I will take more to share.
I am SO looking forward to talking with each of you!
My reason for moving is my husband of almost 50 years passed away a year ago in April. My children worried about me in Maryland by myself with no family close by. So I made the decision to sell the house we had been in for 23 years, it sold in two days and I found this one on the internet..my daughter lives here, so she went to an open house and the rest is history. It is not as large as it looks since the garage takes up a lot of room, but it is big enough for one old lady.
Donna, I think that your home is lovely, and looks like a perfect size, too. Very charming!
I would love to see pics of your Yorkies, too. :) I have a friend who has a Yorkie named Miss Katie, and he even takes her to work with him. She's a spoiled one, too...but you just can't help it!
Hi All! It's great to see this forum and I recognize a few names from the Cottage forum. : )
Our home is around 1900 s.f, not as small as some of yours, but most of the rooms are small by today's definition. We built the house to have an older, farmhouse look, so no great room here. We decorate in an eclectic, cottage style and do almost everything diy. There's such a great satisfaction in seeing the finished product, loving it and knowing you did it yourself. I bet a lot of you can relate, right?
We are in the midst of a downstairs remodel so I may be posting pics and asking ops on certain things. I love to decorate but the fabric choices today are just not my thing. This is making choosing a small sofa or loveseat a pain in the pattooty. I'll start another thread on one I found and like to see if you all think it's cottage-y.
And I look forward to everyone's pics!
Here is a link that might be useful: PB albums
I'm 26 more sleeps away from closing on this one. Isn't it adorable? Brick, very solid, hardwood floors, overall in good shape. Although tiny, it has a full finished basement, decent closet space and a "garage and a half". Good thing that cooking isn't my thing. The kitchen is miniscule which suits me just fine.
The driveway is shared. Decent size back yard with a tall privacy hedge on one side. It's all just grass, so I'll have to start all over again! I can't wait. My garden at this house is what I'll miss most.
It's just little ol' me in the new house. Imagine: the house next door is identical to this but contains a woman with two kids and two dogs! I think I'll be just fine in here :)
I've been purging a lot of stuff as I pack, which is very therapeutic. I hope to create a blog as I re-decorate the interior.
I'm really glad to see this forum appear- and I recognize some of you from cottage gardening too! [love that beadboard Diana!!!] Southernheart, 'hidy' from the other end of TN!
My house is about 1500 sf ranch with front/back porches/garage, just under 1/2 acre lot [w/ good dirt!!!] 3/2, solidly built; but with all kinds of layout/logistical problems. Since it's just me and the fur kids, I don't really need the typical family-house layout anyway.
I'm looking forward to hearing about these remodeling jobs some of you have mentioned. I'm sure that a lot of the problems with my house's layout can be addressed. And I love the challenge of thinking 'outside the box'. Linda
Ooo, what a great forum! Great to hear from fellow small home lovers! We have a cape cod-- complete with slanted walls upstairs-- here in Southwest Florida and we're tickled pink to have such a unique house amidst all the stamped-out, oversized Florida style homes around us. Admittedly ome high ceilings would be great in the summer months, but our ceiling fans and AC keep us nice and cool, and we're having fun staying in and puttering around with the interior during the hot days. Since we moved in a year ago we brought in and laid salvaged oak flooring from an old house in Baltimore which gave the house kind of a cozy look to it, which we think is neat. We had the house painted a sort of lime-yellow-ish color which really shows off the green of the plants out front and gives the place a cheery look. Our next step is to see about putting in a front porch (never such an easy thing with all these hurricane codes to think about)-- if anyone has any ideas or photos of cape cods with porches, I'd love to hear! Since we like to be outside a lot, we want the porch to be a place to hang out and not just an effect from the street. If I have my way, we'll even have a porch swing! Ahhh!
Well, welcome everyone! I look forward to hearing all about your homes!
I need to get to bed, so could not read beyond the first few posts. You sound like nice friends to have and I will enjoy getting to know you.
I am trying to sell our small house - 1447 sq ft. Last November we moved to our new big house - 1675 sq ft. There is a link to my MLS listing below. Some empty nesters are coming by our old house,, looking to downsize, and it is sad that they can't buy my house without selling theirs first. In our market, the rumor is that houses above $200,000 aren't selling. So unloading their houses gets in the way of me selling mine. Sigh! I keep telling myself that the bad market here saved me $8000 on my new house.
Won't it be nice to talk about our houses together? It is so hard for me to keep my sarcasm in check in the forums where we are talking to people who consider 4000 sq ft a "cottage" (I got as far as your post, Bill.). I get a bit snippy or - even worse - start to feel that having room to display a nice large piece of antique furniture that is not used for anything and serves no purpose and is highlighted by the filtered light from the vaulted ceiling and is not surrounded by anything at all so one may walk around it and admire its lines.....is normal! Hey - I have one or two spaces in this house where one can feel relaxed, not crowded. In my family - that is luxury! If I tried to center a conversation area in a room, I'd have to rent a storage area for the other furniture that now won't fit there. Small spaces are different, and sometimes I just don't feel I fit over on some other forums.
The link below is to pbase. All the pictures there are of the garden, kitchen remodel, and dogs at the old house. Here is the MLS:
MLS of 770 Chippewa
Here is a link that might be useful: My pbase site: click on an album
I just found this forum too.
Our upstairs is just over 700 feet, but we have a basement (unusual here), and we are renovating the basement (oh, soon I Hope!!!) and that will give us a little bit more storage space so we can actually use the main part as living space (I think it's 300 sq. feet).
Our home was built in the 20's and on a tight budget too. We recently found out that the walls are WOOD!! I mean really, they are all recycled wood tongue and groove flooring (pre-20's!) and simply had a layer of cardboard and then a layer of wallpaper on top of that! Can you imagine?
Southernheart, I'm so pleased to see a lovely home in Memphis with a garden! We were recently on vacation in Memphis, and I was wondering where on earth all the gardeners had gone to!
Hello to many cottage garden friends on this forum!! I am interested in particular in your storage ideas!
I'm not what you would call a small home owner, but the rooms I can be called small.... I just have lots of them :D.
I may not post here much but you can be assured that I will read what you people have to say with extreme interest. I've always felt that owning a small home is great because you can get higher quality things for a smaller price. Those who have large homes often have to make a budget breaking decision because there's so much house to cover.
I know you will enjoy this forum tremendously, as will I.
This is great! Over on the build a home forum I asked or observed that most people are building BIG HOMES..... some people got their "feathers ruffled" because I was curious after they built these huge homes how were they able to afford the taxes and upkeep(not to mention the mortgage)?! But, I don't have to worry about that since I live in a 1000sq. ft. house and it has been a great place to live. In the winter(northwest) we pay at the most, $85-$100 per month for our electricity which includes our heat since we heat the whole house with a pellet stove. Right now, in the summer, we are paying about $50 per month and since we are on a well we don't have to pay water bills. Our little house is on riverfront property and we have cedar shingles on the house and a green metal roof. It is kind of between a cabin and a cottage. Anyway, we will be selling in two years when dh retires and hope to build a HUGE 1650 sq. ft. house!!!
This is great; we finally made it!! Just want to say hello right now and thank all of you who contributed to the suggestions forum to get this one going.
I am so relieved to know that I'm not alone! I get so down when I look around me and see all these monstorous houses looming around me because I wonder how hard it would be if we ever had to sell. Not that either of us wants to, but if we had to for whatever reason. The closets in new houses are roughly the size of our bedrooms-LOL As I type this, I am sitting under the stair-well in the kitchen. But, we love it, so hopefully we'll never have to leave.
My 1920's poor farmer's house is roughly 1150 sq. feet. There's us and three kids-ages 2, 7 and 11-living in here. It's not really as bad as it sounds though. Either that or we're just used to it. No pets inside right now, but at one time we also had a German Shepard-who insisted the only place she could lay was in the doorways. The elderly people who lived here before had 6 kids in here! Of course, they also had an extra bedroom which is now our bathroom. The old outhouse is still out there--does that count as a second bathroom ;-)
We do have a basement that is going to be finished (hopefully) this summer. Right now it still has a dirt floor.
We jumped at the house when it was for sale because of the yard and land that went with it. There's 25 acres m/l, so we could grow about any amount of flowers/vegetables we wanted to. I do have a lot of flowers-most of them on this steep hill that couldn't be mowed. It was a lot of work, but it's gorgeous, I think. There's also close to a dozen 200-300 year old oak trees, so that's the main reason we bought.
Looking forward to getting to know everyone here!
Yahhhhh! Finally a forum for small homes! Dh and I are the proud owners of a small home, cottage style built in 1945. A lot of people thought we were nuts for buying one but I am glad we did. I do sometimes think about larger houses but then I start thinking $$$$$$ for renovations, property taxes, more cleaning, less opportunities for decorating each room more personally, etc. I also love that I got large windows and more space in the basement and attic (which can be renovated into a huge master suite in the future if needed). I will post pictures later.
I'm delighted to discover this forum.
Have lurked (mostly) for a few years on some of the other forums but have difficulty connecting with discussions of what seems to me to be huge homes. How much space does a person/a family need or want?
We have a 1500 sf (more or less) plus basement two storey home in a fabulous neigbourhood that we've lived in for three years now and absolutely love. There are just two of us, so it's almost too big, but we wanted enough space for kids home at Christmas, etc., visitors and so on. Spent enough years in a 2800 sf home to know I never want to live in one that size - to be a slave to my home!
Chris_ont, your soon-to-be home looks lovely. Are you in Southern Ontario?
Oh, yah! This will be a great forum! I live in a 1440 sf rancher in Southern Cali. It's just DH, me, and a family of cats, so we don't feel squeezed for space, but just let the kids come home for a visit, and, wow, I begin to wonder just how we all fit in this house during the kids' childhoods. Anyway, we visit our DD in TX often. And when we can, we go look at new homes being built in TX. My, they do not stint on square footage in TX. What I want to know is how do families with both parents working keep a 4,000 sf home clean?
Our first home was a 962 sf ranch, 3/1, with no basement or garage, on 1/4 acre. It was fine for DW and I, although we wished we had more storage. When DS came along, with all the stuff that accompanies a baby, we ran out of room fast.
We then moved into our current home, 1666 sf 3/3 colonial with 2-car garage & full basement, on 2 acres. It's not a big house by modern standards, but feels absolutely huge compared to our old place!
Our house is 1700 sq feet and just right for us. A 3 bedroom, 2 bath with a 2 car garage. I love my big back porch and front porch. We married 23 years ago and always have lived in a mobile home. This past November is when our house was completed and I am so loving it. We had the mobile home on our 3 acres so it was a blessing not to have to buy land too. You could have knocked me down when I saw what the taxes were with the house instead of a mobile home!!!! Thousands more....totally shocking!
I live in Florida....where all those hurricaines hit last year and my mobile home was the one without major damage. Just some shingles blown off, the houses had the damage. I say that we had a hand of prayer covering our hind ends!!! This year I hope that hand stays over us since I would not want our new house damages!
And how do those big houses afford the insurance?????? Our's tripled too!!!
I definately have a small home, 940 sq ft., a rancher with attached single car garage (I think the car was in the garage all of a week LOL, it has become my storage area)
This size house is not too small for just me and my Yorkie, Toby. I think it is just poorly laid out for some things.
The kitchen is only 9'7" x 7'6", with the washer in the kitchen, but I am working towards moving the washer into the garage, that will make a huge difference.
It is a 3 bedroom, sometimes I think of getting rid of the 3rd bedroom to make a bigger masterbed room, but that of course affects resale down the road.
As lobotome stated above, you can do some great applications to smaller homes, because you don't have to buy as much of it (for example, granite in the kitchen, small kitchen less cost for granite, but a great WOW factor).
I get a lot of my ideas for the WOW factor in small spaces that are featured in Architectual Digest magazine (mmmm, I think I spelled that wrong)
A lot of the homes/penthouse/apts featured in the magazine are very small, many being in New York city. I notice a lot of details in the pictures are what makes these very, very small areas great looking. Which is usually things like granite or other stone applications, crown mouldings, flooring, definately lighting, lighting makes such a fantastic impact on rooms. If you ever watch Candiance Olsen on Divine Design she uses lighting extensivly in all her designs. I think all of these things can be brought into play for us "small home" people, we would just do it on a smaller application. Of course your decoration style is important too, but when you put in some really good "bones" to a home it can really make a difference.
I plan on making my small home "my little jewel box".
I am looking forward to everyones ideas.
Here's a link to my home page. I sure do hope this works!
How Great! Finally,a place to share info about our small homes. Love my 1150 sq home. Big garage,plus 3 bedrooms,2 baths,deck,patio and NOT ENOUGH CLOSETS. It was a big adjustment for me since I grew up in Mphs and lived in Nashville for 18 yrs.Transplanted to Cottondale Al and live on 250 acres.Talk about adjustment. Anyhow,love my home,which I share with multiple rescued dogs and cats. Gets crowded. Look forward to hearing about everyones home and what they are doing to their homes.
I live in a 1927 Storybook style house (no postable photos right now, alas) that's about 1800sq feet, on three levels. I can't imagine living anywhere else--our ktichen is tiny but so well thought out that it's easy to cook in.
But those McMansions with the ubiquitous "great rooms"--why does anyone want one huge room?
I just noticed this new forum today!
I'll have to get a photo of my home, which I call the "New Deal Cottage." It's from the late 30s-early 40s, and is a very stripped-down version of a bungalow - same basic 1-1/2 story floorplan, but none of the niceties usually associated with the earlier bungalow style - no wraparound porch, no fireplace, no inglenook, no breakfast nook. Almost no closet space (of course!) and one tiny bathroom. That said, it's really charming. It does have a full (semi-finished) attic, and a basement that was dug out, with a cement floor, and a dining room (as opposed to a eat-in kitchen).
My husband and I share the little house with our three cats.
Serendipity - I'm in central Ontario. NE of Toronto. My mother is in Southern Ont, though, down in Leamington.
I just realized that my oak dining pedestal table isn't going to fit into the new house. Well, it'll look nice in the basement. In fact, I think the colour of it will match the hardwood floor down there.
Guess I'm off to Ikea. I saw that they sell separate legs and table tops that you can mix and match. I'm hoping to find something long and narrow for the new, tiny kitchen.
It has white cupboards (way too new to replace) anyway and so the oak table wouldn't work, in any case.
I'm so glad there is a post for us small home owners! DH and I live in a 980 (m/l) sqf ranch home. Our son has bought his own home and moved out so its just us. Our home is 3/1 w/basement and 3 car garage. The basement is not finished but we plan to finish it this winter when we don't want to be outside. We are also going to be remodeling our kitchen in a few weeks. The cabinets are on order.
I absolutely love decorating and crafting and am so excited about this site and looking forward to new ideas and pictures. I will post before and after pictures of our kitchen and basement, when complete.
What a neat forum! I've lurked around here for a while, but felt somewhat out of place given our smaller home.
We have a 1547 sq ft 3/2 Cape Cod on a quarter acre in a nice suburban area. Being a poor young couple in Connecticut, we couldn't afford a bigger house. ;) It's only 30 years old, but we're planning to renovate one bathroom next year, and eventually will get to the second bathroom and kitchen. We plan to stay for 7-10 years...so it's not quite a starter home, but not our "forever" home, either.
No kids yet, just the two of us and our cat, and hopefully a puppy in the next 6 months or so. It's not a huge house, but it's comfortable (we spent our first year of marriage in a 600 sq ft apartment, so the house is a BIG step up!).
The house generally has a great layout and "flow". Our one issue down the line will be that one bedroom (the old master bedroom) is on the first floor, while our master bedroom and the third bedroom is on the second. Since we hope to start a family in the next few years, I worry that eventually we'd need to put the oldest child in the downstairs room while the rest of us are upstairs. Ah, but the earliest that could happen is a good 5+ years down the line, so hubby tells me not to worry. For now we use that bedroom as a den/computer room and it works really well.
i usually give my square footage as 2,000, but now i'm officially going to be 1,999sf.
i have anywhere from 5 to 7 people living in my home so if it's not offically a cottage, i feel like i'm living the 'cottage lifestyle' when things get crowded.
DW and I and our two cats live in a 1,000 square foot urban farmhouse on a quarter acre lot near the Jersey Shore. The heated and air conditioned portion of the building that comprises our living space is 600 square feet. We have a living room, a combined kitchen/dining room, a bedroom and a 3/4 bath. There is a bedroom and a full bath in the non-climate controlled space, which we can offer to guests in the Spring and in the Fall if they don't mind sharing the space with DW's books and my motorcycle parts.
Hey! This is a great new forum! I've mostly been hanging out in the kitchen forum, cause I'm finishing up a total gut and remodeling of it. However, since my kitchen is only 8 1/2 X 12, it has felt a little weird there with people talking of 2 sinks, walk-in pantry, huge islands...
Our house is a 1500 square foot split level - 3 bed/2 bath - that was built in 1959. I bought it 4 years ago, and have been slowly remodeling it (almost all DIY) ever since. Just about every room in that house needs work. I've finished one bathroom and the kitchen is just about done. But still plan on putting in new doors, windows, a few closets (a must have!!!), new flooring, and of course the other bathroom (which I have really messed up due to tearing down its ceiling to run new wiring to the other bathroom and kitchen). Still have a long way to go.
But I can relate to not having enough space, even though it's just DH and me and 3 cats. Can't imagine what it's going to be like with kids!
What a great group of people!
I am really thrilled about this board....not only for the mutual interest that we all share, but also because there is such a nice mix of people here! :)
Here is pictures of our small home. The bathroom is currently being renovated.
Here is a link that might be useful: My home
Here is our 1200 sq. foot house. We LOVE IT! Pics are of the teeny tiny bathroom, living room (before and after redoing floors), upstairs and kitchen (lots of counter space, huh). The paperwork on the house says it was built in 1910, but others have said late 1800's based on the slate mansard roof (yes the roof is orginal!)
Here is a link that might be useful: My smaller home :+)
Our 1937 beach cottage is currently a 2 bed 1 bath at 930 sqft. We are moving the kitchen to one end of the long living room and adding a master bath where the kitchen was. We even get to add banquette seating where there was once a small closet, water heater and hallway. This makes me really happy.
We relocated the traditional tank-type water heater that was inside the house, to a tankless on the back wall on the outside. This gives an amazing amount of space for storage or seating in our case.
To say I'm thrilled to see this forum is a huge understatement!
I read Southernheart's post about this forum being up and running and I couldn't get my fingers moving fast enough to find it. LOL
Living in a Southern Calif. tract home, circa 1950, 1500 sq. ft. there's no room to grow---not out, not up.
So there were times when my kids were teens that I seriously thought of selling because if I had to hear one more fight among 5 kids trying to get in the bathroom, I was going to pull my hair out!
But now? Now I wouldn't trade my home for anything larger, not for any amount of money.
My home is not 'quaint', not even 'cute',there are no wonderfully ornate architectural details, no $20,000 worth of uba tuba counters,and definitely no room for a commercial-sized stove, and I can bet my husband's next paycheck that we win the smallest master bathroom contest, hands down! But it's ours and fits us just right.
We are in the process of updating right now, via DIY----that means lots of drywall dust, paint cans and paint supplies everywhere you walk and we're using a lot of paper plates and plastic utensils for the time being. But, I'm patient---I've waited this long (over 22 years) and although our updating won't contain top-of-the-line replacements, I'm tickled pink that I am actually getting a laundry room! Yes-sir-ee, an actual door to a little room that I can close and hide all the dreaded dirty clothes piling up on the floor---Yippee Skippy for me! *grins*
I'm too excited about this forum to type any more---I have to go read all the replies. Then I'll stop in tomorrow, probably more than once because from all the nice posts and great pictures here, I think I found me a new home. *smile*
I have always loved small houses. Nothing is dearer or sweeter than a small house...and I also believe strongly that it's a more responsible way of living on our planet.
For all of us, here's a small gift -- a poem by Edgar Guest:
THE LITTLE HOME
The little house is not too small
To shelter friends who come to call.
Though low the roof and small its space
It holds the Lord's abounding grace,
And every simple room may be
Endowed with happy memory.
Oh how thrilling to have our own forum!!! YIPPEE!!
I will write more later as I've got to do some things before work and then head out of here.
I am looking forward to making new friends here, seeing your homes and gardens, being inspired, etc.
Thanks GW for giving us our 'little space'.
I found this place yesterday but didn't have time to write and don't today either.
Our kids are on their way here from Franklin, Ky and are t his side of Rochester, NY. Should be here in about three hours. I'm so excited.
Son, his wife, their two kids and families. seven in all. but we have a fiftyth anniversary party today for our daughter's ex-in-laws. Our fiftyth was yesterday.
There's another party tomorrow at another son's, bar-b-que here on Monday and retirement party on the 4th for another DD's inlaws. I DO NOT LIKE PARTIES!! How does anyone get out of them without hurting the feeling of your kids?
Looks like this could be a cool forum!
I live in a 1700-square-foot, 32-year-old ranch (just under 1000 square feet on the main level) on a city lot in a good neighborhood. The house was built strong and very efficient -- none of those useless empty boxes you see on some floorplans. It's plenty of room for me and I don't even use the downstairs (except for storage and laundry). I like that it's efficient, that I'm not a slave to cleaning it, and that it's mine (well, it will be in several more years, anyway). No pictures yet because I'm smack in the middle of a whole-house update (paint, carpet, light fixtures); I'll post some when it's done.
Hi all! Good to see this forum! I have a 1250 sqft. cape cod that I share with my son, 3 dogs and 2 cats. It was built in 1904. Looking forward to seeing everyone's places and the great ideas that all come up with dealing with living in small spaces!
We are building a 1550 sq. foot ranch home. It has a living room, family room, 1.5 baths, 3 bedrooms and a basement (my first!!).
I went from a 1400 sq. foot 2-story TH, to a 700 sq. foot apartment (1 bedroom).
Everytime we go see the house, we are just amazed at the size. We cannot wait to move in - in 3 weeks!!! :)
Piper1014, I love the poem you posted....very sweet, and appropriate!
Another small house person here! My house is a 1959 tract home, 1052 sf 3/1. Plenty of space for me, my two rescued German Shepherds and one or two foster dogs. The only thing I wish I had was another 1/2 bath, because I really want to gut my bathroom and start over. I love to take baths, and I'm 5'11", so my dream is to have a tub where I can get my shoulders and my knees under water at the same time. And if I'm going to replace the bath I'll want to do the floor, so out goes the toilet and the sink, and there would be no place to pee for a few days.
Pouncermom, we lived in a very small, one bedroom apartment for about 2 years, the last year of that time with 6 cats, so I can relate, lol! We moved a 1950's ranch house (aprox. 1200 sq. feet) across town to a newly cleared lot about 4 years ago. Somehow in the transformation, it went from a low slung ranch to something closer to a cottage-look, which I love! Here are some of the pictures of the change (someday I'll get around to organizing the pictures of the inside, which we had to totally redo due to damage from the move). I'm still working on the gardens. Someday I'd like to have the front yard mostly flower beds, and hopefully the trees will develop into some shade.
Here is a link that might be useful: House transformation
pameliap, what a beautiful transformation! You did a wonderful job!
Thank you! It's still very much a work in progress, but I think it will always be one, lol. That's the fun!
DH and I are retired and downsized 3 years ago, moving to a smaller town to be near our son and his family. We live in a very generic suburban 2 bedroom/1-1/2 bath redbrick built in early 50's but has fairly large rooms, lots of windows, private garden and in quiet neighborhood. We immediately felt "at home".
Really pared down our household stuff, even books...but still wound up with hundreds of them. Most importantly I moved my 100 beloved tropical plants and quite a few hardy trees/shrubs which I enjoy growing in containers.
We started off in the sixties with what was then called Danish Modern furniture, casual china and stainless flatware and lots of plants in handthrown pottery...LOL Still like everything simple and easy to live with/care for.
Really enjoy reading about the varied small homes and ingenious solutions for maximizng space...I'm running out of bookshelf space already. josh
Geez, you guys all live in BIG houses compaired to what I have right now and what I had in Texas! When hubby and I moved to Texas 12 years ago, we built (the two of us pounded every nail, roofed, wired, plumbed, and everything else) a one bedroom, one bath 576 sf house that was just right for us because we both spend 90% of our waking, at home hours, outside. When we moved to Tennessee 18 months ago, we found this little 594 sf "cabin" on 58+ acres with a 20 acre lake right out our front door. (I have a laundry area now!)
Now we spend time at both places, I have a huge rose garden at both places and a greenhouse at both places. That's all that I care about----who wants to spend time in the house cleaning when you've got nature right outside your front door?
Linda in TX and TN
Piper1014- I love that poem and wrote it down!!! That would be so cute in a frame....done in that primitive cross stitch or just in block letters and then framed. :) I'm sure I will post again soon!
Linda, I wish that I had a bit of land, or lived on a lake. :) What area of TN are you living in?
I have a 1900sf 1993 Cape (technically it's a saltbox but it's oriented backwards, most saltboxes have the two story side facing front, and it has doghouse dormers which most saltboxes don't have, so I just call it a Cape) on a wooded one-acre lot bordered by a 200yo stone wall... however the house is so badly laid out that it might as well be MUCH smaller in terms of functionality. The architect who designed this place should be strung up! The magic number in room size is 12x12, which would be OK but the absurd arrangements of windows, doors, and those dadratted baseboard radiators makes furniture selection and placement more difficult. The kitchen is big, 12x16, but it has so much wasted space it's ridiculous.
In terms of straight square footage, the house is actually too big for me, DH, one dog and one cat... sometimes I feel a little guilty about having such a "big house". (We bought this place as an investment to live in for a decade or so while we save up to build or buy the forever house, and it's a lot easier to resell a larger house here. It was also cheap because the POs had to get out quick due to a job transfer, and houses with a first floor master bedroom were surprisingly hard to come by.) A well-designed 1300-1500sf bungalow is my dream house - all those built-ins make so much sense, and it would be big enough to still seem lavish!
The whole "bigger is better" thing is alien to me... I've spent some time in some of those ginormous "cottages" Bill (hi Bill!) is talking about - when I was a child my grandmother was basically a domestic servant for ultra-ultra-rich summer residents on a small island off the Maine coast, and she would take me along to the "cottages" from time to time. They were like hotels, not homes.
Here is a link that might be useful: Mari's house
This looks like it is going to be a great forum! My little house is just 864 sq. feet. Actually, it is a converted shop that my husband built for his tools, etc., but I moved into it so we could afford to buy the land next door. We live on 50 acres on a bayou, no near neighbors.
Before this, I had another small house...even smaller...wish I had it now for a guest house. It was basically, living room,
kitchen and a large bedroom and bath. Had a porch all the way across the front.
We hope to add onto this one. Want to add another bedroom,
a sunporch, mud room, and a larger bathroom. I love french doors, big windows and have glass fronted cabinets all over the place. I think it makes a room seem bigger.
I thought about all the things I would love to have in my "dream home"...a walk through pantry, a sun porch, a nice deck across the back, a screened in porch off the bedroom.
When we framed it up inside, we made the walk through pantry. We have a lot of work to do on the house...but it is a pay as you go project. I saw a bumper sticker on an old car that read, "Don't laugh...it's paid for." That's my house. ;))
Our house was advertised as 2800 sf. Sounds big! It is a converted church.
The downstairs, which is a sort of daylight basement, is about 1000 sf. This where the services were held and is basically one big room (w/bath.)At some point it underwent a horrendous conversion into a studio apartment (cheapo cabinets, awful carpet, etc.) It functions as my dh's music studio. He teaches, rehearses, and records there. This is his full-time job. I don't consider this our living space! I rarely go in there at all.
The main floor (~900sf) has an entry, living, dining, galley kitchen, small bath, and 2 small (10x12) bedrooms. The attic is ~900sf but has ceilings just over six feet at the highest point with a very steep slope, so it's hard for adults to move around up there. This is the playroom, ie toy storage.
(We are a family of 3, dd is 7.)
We have been living in our house 3 years and it seems I'm only now getting a sense of what needs to be done to make it truly livable. We have most of the issues of smaller homes - poor layout, difficult traffic patterns, teeny closets, small rooms, clutter issues - so I'm really looking forward to hearing how others deal with this stuff!
Thanks to all who posted pictures. I have a very poor little camera (it's actually a toy) and also a fear of revealing my messy house, but I hope I'll get over this soon and share some photos too!
I read the post about measuring the square footage of the house from the outside and got about 1200 sq foot, not including the sunroom. (which I coundted in my previous post here). My livingroom is odd shaped, coming out about six foot more than the rest of the house. I wish the builder had built the entire front of the house the same width because the kids' rooms are small.
I was so thrilled to stumble onto this new forum today and greatly enjoyed looking at all of your pics. My modest little raised ranch is a little over 800 sq. ft.w/an unfinished lower level on a corner lot. It's not the home of my dreams, but was what I could afford at the time I bought it and I've not been sorry. It took me several yrs. to get going on renovations due to $$$, but so far, I've been able to rip out the ugly wall-to-wall and install hardwoods, get new countertops, new backsplash, island, etc. The bathroom is next. It's so small you can't get a full-sized vanity in there,but as someone else pointed out, materials will definitely cost much less. I look forward to reading your posts and seeing more pics of your lovely homes and will post some myself in the future. Remember...small can be beautiful!
Thanks god for this forum -- I have developed a serious inferior complex from looking at other pple's house Home Dec & Kitchen forum!!! Now I can be in good companies :-)
My home is a cottage of about 1700+ sqft but sshh...she thinks she's a chateau ..haha..:=) My home has been hostess to a backyard wedding (PO's son marry the neighbor's girl--how romantic!!), and countless birthday parties (my kids'). At our parties we often have about 60-70 pple (adult & kids) and it never feel crowded. All the rooms on main floor are open to each other and the house's always full of light...
You can check the pixs out at the following link. We are in the process of selling it to be closer to DH's job and I will sorely miss this house.
Here is a link that might be useful: my house
Bellaflora- How lovely!!! I love how your kitchen is open, while your work triangle is tight...tell me, do you cook a lot? Magazines tend to portray a "cook's kitchen" as huge... My kitchen is small, but totally inefficient-- I'm sure a non-cook planned it....one of these days, if I can stay out of the dirt long enough, I'll need to have it redone. I suspect that one reason I don't cook anymore is because of that kitchen [I know, but I gotta' blame something!]
Andrea, I'm nestled in the hills of SE TN, near Chattanooga. If you're into flea markets and such, you NEED to make plans to come east for the World's Longest Yard Sale in August!!
What a great Forum.So nice to meet all of you--Hi Deb-----I know Deb from the Rose Forum
I grew up in a small house on a lake with two sisters.
I loved that little house.(I wish I had it now)---LOL
When I married my second DH I moved into his house---a small rancher.
We have done a lot of remodeling ----I really needed morning sun in the kitchen so we switched the kitchen to the front of the house and the bedroom to the back and added about 400 sf for a dining TV area---
It is not quite finished (I really don't care because I now have my sunny kitchen)
I like cozy cottages and I tried to change the frontso it would have more "curb appeal" but we ran out of money---LOL
Hope to hear more about all the cozy cottages.
Hi Florence!!! You are a pure love!!!
Florence grows the most amazing roses!!! And she is totally the sweetest person on the rose forum.
Hi Deb---Love you too
I'm having a good time reading about all these cozy cottages.
I really should get rid of some of my treasures---I have too much clutter---just can't part with the sentimental treasures.
tndaisy: I love cooking -- it's one of my passion next to decorating & gardening. I cook all the times because we have little kids and eating out w/ them is a pain. I think a smaller kitchen with good layout is more efficient than a larger kitchen with poor layout.
Actually, I prefer a smaller house with better layout than a larger house with wasted space and this is what I'm looking for in my new home.
Our house is certainly small but it seems we might be facing all-together different issues than most of you on this forum. We live in a 120+ year old row house on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC - me, DH, two young daughters, a dog and a cat. Our house is maybe 20 feet wide, two floors, no basement, no attic, no garage, no yard (in the traditional sense). The girls share a bedroom and small playroom off their room. They love sharing and I honestly wouldn't change that even if we had more space but it's rough on my older one when the baby wakes up screaming at 5 a.m. every day.
We love our house and we love our neighborhood, specifically our block. But it's a daily challenge for us. Relatives send big toys to my girls as gifts (despite my pleas to the contrary) and I don't even open them before giving them to charity. My daughter is about to turn five and asked for a backyard with a swing for her birthday. It breaks my heart.
On the plus side, we are a close family and there's not a lot of house to worry about cleaning up. We don't host dinner parties or big gatherings other than groups that can eat on laps in the living/family room. The kids play in our wonderful public parks which I think is far more social than playing alone in a backyard.
We constantly purge clutter. It's far easier for us to keep only what we need, and resist buying things we don't need, because we don't have the space. I'll look forward to reading more ideas here about ways to make the most of smaller spaces. One topic that is always on my mind is laundry! We only have room for a tiny stackable unit that is just not big enough for our family. If I could add any room to my house, it would be a huge laundry room - no question about it!
We just spent the Fourth picnicing with three other families, all of whom have left the Hill for work-related reasons. They all pine for our special neighborhood and are actively trying to figure out a way to move back. Our houses are small, but I hope my kids will still have fond memories when they are grown of living in our little urban oasis.
Is this forum only about single-family homes, or can a townhouse/duplex owner enter in, also? I live alone, and when my two sons grew up and left home, I downsized into my present home -between 1600-1700 sq. feet. I have lots of windows, some over-sized, and high ceilings, so I never feel claustrophic. I'll be reading . . .
avspatti - The way I see it, the forum name is Smaller HOMES not Houses, so I feel that anyone who is making their nest in a smaller space should be welcome.
Here is a link that might be useful: My
avspatti, I agree with pameliap...it is nice to "meet" you! :)
TNdaisy, what a gorgeous view! You are lucky to live in that area....it is lovely. The garage sale sounds like just the ticket for me (love a sale...).
This forum is a great idea, and I look forward to participating. I live in a very small house right now. We are planning to build soon, but after checking out this forum I just realized that even the new house we will build will be "small," maybe 1,500-1,700 sq ft. So I can still come here even when we are building. As you all know, it's very frustrating trying to shop for ANYTHING house-related - floor plans, furniture, etc., in the current McMansion-dominated market. I have given up looking for a house plan in magazines or online. Anything you do find that's under 2,000 feet is described as a "vacation home" or a "getaway," as though no one would be pathetic enough to LIVE YEAR-ROUND in a house that small.
Our current house is probably around 700 sq ft. We have a 15x15 kitchen/dining room where we also have our computer. It is open to a 12x12 living room. We have one moderate-sized bedroom and one small bathroom (shower only). There is also a little front room that's too large to be just an entry but too small to be a living room. We have bookcases, coat rack and a little writing desk in there.
It's my husband and me, three dogs, and five cats who go inside and out depending on the weather and their moods.
Oh, and we don't have any laundry facilities. We do our laundry at my mom's house down the road (Read: I drop it off and she does it). Our next project is to convert a closet to house a vertical washer/dryer unit.
There was an elderly lady living here alone for many years before, and she was VERY efficient with her belongings. Believe it or not, when we moved in, the 15x15 kitchen was also the living room. After a couple of years, we built on the small living room and a deck. We live in a very rural area so we have virtually unlimited room outside, which helps.
I'll try to post some pictures before too long.
I see some familiar names here! So glad this forum got off the ground.
So many have already stated my thoughts on smaller homes--and boy, did I need your "fix"! Mr Vix's relatives are visiting, and his father will NOT SHUT UP about all the big houses/cavernous open kitchens/BLAH BLAH BLAH that are so "wonderful." I'm nearly 40 but I am so very tempted to start screaming madly since my brushoffs aren't working, ha! [One more day, one more day]
And a) our house isn't even that small -- ~1600 sq/ft plus basement storage; b) it's just the two of us, and while there are a few layout "challenges" in general/with visitors it's kind of fun to crowd around when we have guests and c) I don't even want what he thinks is the cat's pajamas! Sure, it's fun to fantasize about some of the gorgeous big older homes I see, but truth be told I'd be happy to size down in exchange for great detailing/clever storage.
Not that I'm irritated that he hasn't found one nice thing to say about our old fixer-upper in four years of visits, snort. IIRC [Okaaaay, hope this rant doesn't kill the thread! Anyway, we have two small and "intriguingly laid-out" bathrooms to reno at some point, so I'll be keeping my eyes out for solutions to take or share.
As far as space and furniture, I use a lot of thrift-shop 50s furniture in my 1905 house--love the spare lines and smaller scale. [Gotta do something to counterbalance Mr Vix's beloved tree trunk table, which is decidedly too large for our daintily-sized LR!] We also use whatever we feel like for things like nightstands or freestanding storage.
Here is a link that might be useful: Vix's 'Smallish.Oldish.Mineish.' Joint
BTW...vix's kitchen is a beaut! She and her DH did it DIY, and they should be mighty proud. And a backsplash to die for!
We love smaller homes. Always have. Both DH and I grew up in smaller homes, and there's a real sense of comfort in them. Even if we could have 3000 sq. ft. I'd also take two at 1500 sq. ft., thank you.
Our house is under 1500 sq. ft., kind of oddly laid out but definitely unique, which is what we like. We totally renovated it over the course of 10 years, and the interior is finally finished. Two of the three bedrooms are small...another magic 10'x13' foot equasion here ;o) Our living room does have a vaulted ceiling, which gives it a sense of spaciousness. But the 7 acres of heaven can't be beat. Since we have minimal storage inside, all I can say is thank goodness for outbuildings, of which we have two. When some crass individual asked us once "How on earth can you stand to live in such a small house?" (choke, choke...which is what I wanted to do to her), I told her "When it comes time to retire and downsize, we're already there" ;o) I *hate* the thought of moving, and we don't have to LOL.
Someone mentioned the benefits a smaller home has on the environment, not to mention the pocketbook. We get our piggy-back oil tanks filled in the summer when the price is lower. They hold a total of 650 gallons, and last us an entire heating season.
Hello to all you smaller home campatriots...finally a place for us. And don't think we won't be the envy of the neighborhood soon!
All of your stories have inspired and encouraged me.
Thank you and bless your hearts and the work of your hands as you live, work and play in your homes.
Housevixen and MrsMarv, I am so glad to see you both here! :)
vixen! Good to 'see' you! I'm still working my way through your pbase site - so many great things to look at. I remember your backsplash well, and I actually might be doing something similar :)
Vix! How wonderful to see you! (And I still say that if Mr. Vix is ever inclined to give up that tree-trunk table, I'm pretty sure DH would drive cross-country to come get it, or pay a small fortune to have it shipped. LOL) What are this year's projects?
Just discovered this forum this morning!! How great. I was beginning to believe I was the only one living in a small home. Ours is a 70's brick ranch. No updates since it was built. But I love the size. I prefer gardening to housework and I've found it easier to throw stuff away then I used to. It does have a new roof, new porch columns, and new entry door. But as far as the inside, painting is about as far as I've gotten. Still has the original yucky brown commercial carpeting. If the kids ever quit returning home, maybe we can start doing a few things to update the interior. At least now I'll have a place to come for ideas that fit my size.
Hi deb, hi Florence.
i really like this forum. very neat to see pictures of different homes and i've read some really great ideas for how to manage a smaller home.
every once in a while, i start checking the real estate sites and look at homes that are bigger than mine.. but, this one is affordable and i've grown really attached to it.
It's so wonderful to find this forum, and to be able to share in the wonderful feelings that come with owning a smaller home.
We live in Toronto, Ontario in a 1000 sf semi-detached home that was built in the early 1920's. We love the coziness of it. There are dh and I, 2 kids, 2 dogs and a bunny. No matter where we travel, it still feels wonderful to come home to our little "beach cottage"....home sweet home.
I look forward to chatting with you all.
I too live in a smaller house just under 1500 SF. However it is larger than most houses near by. ALso went I closed on the house I was told that the house was 1080 SF. About 1 year later I found out that the house was just under 1500 feet. I three bedrooms and 1.5 baths. My house was built in 1911. I also have a huge deck over 300 SF.I live out there when it is nice out. If you look at the pictures you will see the huge project that I did last year. I did a complete gut on my kitchen. I ripped the wall between the old kitchen and the dining room to create a great room effect. I also have a formal living room/ office in the front of the house. I also have a powder room on the first floor. Which is so nice when I have guests. There are still a list of projects that I plan on doing here. Including maybe converting my shed (which is roomy by small house standards 10x12) into an office.
We bought our little 1100 sq ft house in January, From a home in Southern California I considered large at 1800 sq ft, this 1925 house sure seems small. But we definately love it...
I've lived in a 1268 sqft house for over 25 years. DH & I have taken our time fixing things up as we raised our two children and countless dogs here over those years. I, too, could definitely use more closet space and cabinets but now that we are empty-nesters, I'm beginning to get rid of alot of stuff I just don't need anymore.
Our kitchen was remodeled last July with US doing all the work and what a great transformation. I've painted every room in the house over the past 4 years and now we are going to be starting a couple of new projects in the Fall. We have great hardwood floors under the carpet in the older part of the house so the Living Room, Hall and 2 bedrooms will get the carpet ripped up. Not sure if we'll be doing it all at the same time or a room at a time.
We also will be retiling and painting DH's little 3/4 Bath soon.
Our home was moved onto this 1/4 acre lot over 60 years ago. So we aren't real sure how old the house REALLY is. My DH's grandparents bought it in 1960 and then added the FR/DR/Bath in 1977. That's what brought the sqare footage up to 1268. Then we purchased the house from them in Jan. 1981 and they moved a mobile home on the 1/4 acre behind us. It's a great old house with lots of character and a wonderful big front porch....My outside living space. I love it here and hope to never move.
Marilyn in NM
Here is a link that might be useful: My little cottage home
I just found this forum and I'm thrilled! My home is about1800 sq ft and honestly I don't think its that small.Perfect for us we raised three kids and plenty of parties and family gatherings. I guess if love is present you'll make it fit. We are planning our retirement move as the kids have moved and taken all the gkids with them (go figure!)so the plan is to join them in about a year. We are doing lots of projects so make it attractive. Happy to meet everyone and look forward to seeing all your homes and getting inspiration. Hugs to all.
This forum is such a breath of fresh air. I always felt a little funny on the 'building a home forum'... so many big houses. That's fine, but I will say I am so much more comfortable on THIS forum...if that makes any sense! We have a 1600 sf house, 4 years old. Just my DH and our 2 dogs.Nice to see so many people on this forum. Yippee!!
Hi again to the names I recognize, and hello to new-to-me small/smaller home owners!
My forum time is so limited these days...I hate that! Good thing the house is the size it is, or I'd have to waste even more of my free time cleaning it. Well, helping clean it.
Mari, I saw some fabulous in-progress bath photos ages ago--whatcha got for us now? Technically speaking we have two (small! challenging! budget!) bath renos on The List. However, given that it took us two years to go from Hole in Stairway Wall to Repaired/Painted Stairway, the baths seem rather...meaty. So maybe some photo framing instead (g). [Old mug shots from the 40s and 50s--can't wait. Well, obviously I can since they've been in the drawer for two months now, but you get what I mean.]
ps MrsMarv, you are too sweet about my kitchen, especially when you all did such a great job on yours--and after all, my lack counterspace in the *reno* gives many people kittens, ha.
Hi Vix... we've been a bit stalled on the bath reno between some upheavals w/parents and siblings (divorces, serious illesses, legal issues), losing a chunk of change to a completely incompetent (IMO) carpenter, and PITA tradespeople (our original bunch buggered off and we have a serious problem in this area with people not returning phone calls, not showing up when they've agreed to, yadda yadda). I've got an electrician on tap for - let's hope - late next week and a plumber for - let's hope some more - the week after. All we have left is installing lighting and hooking up the floor heat (it's 94F, heating is the furthest thing from my mind now!) and getting the plumbing fixtures put in. Then getting the bathroom door hung (can't get the tub in with the stops on the jambs!), new ceiling fan for the bedroom, carpeting (blech) the bedroom, and moving back in.
I'm a little embarrassed to show my bath here because it's so much bigger than most folks' at 72sf - I am spoiled, I know! - especially after comments on another thread about it being hard to relate to those whose homes are on the larger end of the smaller-house spectrum, I don't want anyone to feel bad or like I'm flaunting. (BTW, I hang out here because my rooms are mostly ridiculously small and all are inefficiently designed. One "bedroom" is basically unusable for anyone over the age of about eight. I also covet a smaller house than 1900sf but we literally can't afford to downsize, our mortgage payment would go UP!) Anyway, I don't know what you saw last so I'll just link to the bathroom album. I'll try to get a few pictures up sans the oh-so-elegant blue tape ;-) soon.
I have also been informed ;-) that we're doing the upstairs bath (yes, I know, more spoiled, but after one round of food poisoning in the household, I laid down the law that there was going to be more than one toilet in any home I have, and it's awfully nice to have separate baths since DH gets up at 5am) and DH's office next. Happily since I knew where "everything" was from shopping for my bathroom, I've got almost everything except the shower and tub faucets picked out already - it took me less than a day to make my shopping list. I just need to draw up the floorplan for the office and plug it into the Ikea planner for the cabinets. We figure on probably starting that in January to give ourselves a few quiet months with the house back in one piece.
Mari...we have one of those bedrooms that "isn't suitable for anyone over 8 yrs old" (LOL---you are so funny!)...it is being used by my son who is 6'4". :)
Hi all - Guess I'll just jump right in :-)
Our first floor Master Bedroom, and I use the term loosely, is so small with our CA king bed, we use the other "hardly a bedroom" as a dressing room.
We did that with one apartment we lived in! The two "bedrooms" were
I couldn't believe your pics. Have been searching the web for ideas and photos that are similar to my 1950s ranch. Your home is so close to mine in size and interior details. One of my current problems is the front entrance. Both of ours has a hidden front door. Mine however has no porch to really do anything with...had considered the pergola idea (short of putting up a full porch across front) and love yours. Am going to move ahead and do same.
The new forum is great.
My home is not so terribly small now, but in it's first life(built in 1950) it was, so the rooms are quite small!! I am really looking forward to reading all the ideas you have for storage, closet space and tiny bathrooms!!!
I'm so glad to see you all and lots of anticipation here to see everyone's place. I'm equally glad that most of you are DIY'ers. I'm intimidated by all the glamour and pretense of the modern builders. We poke along and get stuff done and enjoy our home and nice big lot!!
Jaybird ~ It is nice seeing a lot of DIY's that's for sure. DH and I have lived in our tiny 50's cottage since 1973, and we're still working on it. We putter, enjoy doing the work and the completed projects. We have a compound now that we've added a few outbuildings and gardens too. It's also paid for. Not glitzy like a modern place, but to us it is home sweet home.
Emagineer - I'd love to see pictures of your house. I'll have to take some that show our new "front" door. It's white to match the trim and half leaded glass, which makes a huge difference in the light inside.
I have lived in my 1200sf 1945 Bungalow for over 3o years and I still love it. I recently updated the exterior with new windows, siding, and driveway. Now I am working on the interior. I am alone now, so there is plenty of room for me and my 2 kitties. My style is mostly traditional, but I am now leaning toward the cottagy look. I have a lot of painting and sewing projects in the works. I desperately need ops so will post pics when I figure out how to do it!
Hi, I just discovered this and think it's great! I am one of the few of my freinds that do not live in a VERY large home. Still they always say my home has the most welcoming warm feel. I deorate for others and think that it's not the size of the home it's what you do with it. I must admit there are days I would love to stretch the walls still my home is warm and I love it. I will post pics when my hubby the computer guy shows me! I have enjoyed looking at all the beautiful pics great job!!!!!
My daughter and I live in a 76+ year old bungalow style farmhouse with just under 900 sq ft. Truth be told, I could easily eliminate another 200 feet from that and not miss it. It's a lovely, sturdy home that stood solid as a tornado ripped out half the pecan orchard directly to the south several years ago.
I too once subscribed to Cottage Living, but the emphasis on "McCottages" was insane. (Wife being interviewed about the house: "We just absolutely NEEDED to have a laundry room, mud room, 4 bathrooms, 3 bedrooms, living room, dining, kitchen, breakfst room, library, study, game room, home office, two story foyer and that wonderful, cozy sitting room off the master bedroom suite...") I couldn't help comparing them to someone trying to use a hummer for a golf cart. Like kathsgrdn, I let my subscription die.
At any rate, it's nice to meet people who chose a small home to live in and love, rather than someone who bought a small house to replace or "expand".
A friend of mine gave me the gardenweb site and I've been hooked since. I just bought my first house, a 1600 sqft (living sp) cape cod look house and I adore it. I don't understand why people want to live in huge houses. My parents are building an almost 3000 sqft for the two of them - why? Well, I love mine. I've bought a few CottageLiving magazines and was also disappointed. Is there anything out there for us small house owners? I can't wait to paint, decorate & garden in my new house.
We have an 1198 sf. house with a wrap-around covered farmer's porch and skylights in the upstairs bedrooms. Little closet space and 2 of the smallest bathrooms known to man, but we like it. It's tiny, and around the holidays I really wish I could host the whole family. Then January rolls around in New England and we thank our lucky stars we're not heating a McMansion. I know what you all mean about the huge houses on the kitchen and home dec. boards. And I was really disappointed with Cottage Living. Glad to "meet" all of you and share ideas.
This is a pic of my humble cottage. I love this porch in the spring! It is hard to enjoy as much during the heat, looking forward to fall!
Glad to find this forum. We live in a 1500 sq. ft. 50's ranch that WE built in the 1980s!! 3/1 , the bath thing is driving me nuts with 2 teenage boys that go to work at the same time this summer, but we have a toilet in the basement and someday (have been here 22 years) we will have a full bath down there. My kitchen, living room and dining area are OK, the bedrooms well......... My favorite room is my 300 sq. ft. sunroom/family room that we added 16 years ago, it is the biggest room in the house! We also have a 1200 sq.ft basement unfinished where our mechanicals and laundry are and an attached oversized 2 car garage on 2 acres. I have learned to love my house and after numerous replacements of things in the last 2 years, I cannot see how people with large homes do it. I am happy that we will not have to downsize later on. I am also happy when we get bills for heating and cooling! Glad to meet everyone. I will be interested in your ideas for decorating and renovating, as this place could use both!
My husband and I are downsizing and are designing our own house, we will probably be at 1400 sq ft.or less if I can figure out how, I have yet to find any book and/or magazine that has common sense, space saving ideas. Everything I find would be so expensive to do, I think I have better ideas. Would love to hear some space saving ideas from all of you!!!
solitary, if you haven't already done so, check out the Organizing forum -- lots of sharp people with good ideas there.
Would it also make some sense to look at plans for other small houses, just to get an idea of what is being thought about? In fact, you might even go a little extreme and look at what is being done for motor homes and travel trailers, on the theory that space is at a real premium in those settings.
I just saw this forum and was suprised that the defination of a "smaller" home is less than 2000 sq ft.
I have 1782 sq ft and would consider that a normal sized home, not a smaller home.
I saw a show last night that featured what I would consider a "smaller" home and it was a total of 12x9 foot, for the entire house. Now that's small.
Happy, the average house in the US is now approximately 2400 square feet and getting rapidly larger... They had to pick an arbitrary number for a cutoff, 2000 is a nice even number and as I said smaller than the national average. In some areas 2000sf is average, in some areas it's on the large side, and in some areas it's very small. I have 1900sf and the first words out of my realtor's mouth were "it's pretty small but...", and I have puny rooms to fight with. Although in my town most of the big houses are old, not new McMansions like in the town where we lived before this. That town is Subdivision H*ll and the houses are enormous... we were renting a ~1600sf house and it was literally half the size of every other house in the subdivision ("leftover" lot bordering wetlands, hard to build on). Sales of "used" houses here have tanked but huge new construction is still selling... average sized to small is not.
I have seen the show about the 12x9 foot house. I thought it was ridiculous, personally... IMO any place where the toilet is a freaking trash can is not a house, it's a campsite.
I just remembered how many sq ft we have.
Our house is 80 years old and built very well.
The rooms are just right for a family of 4 or 5.
Back in 1926, when our house was built, I guess it was the McMansion of its day.
It's the perfect size for me.
Here is a link that might be useful: My Old Home
This seems to be the intro thread, so I'll use it to introduce myself properly, even though I've already posted here several times. I didn't discover this forum until a couple days ago and I love it and feel at home already. Like many of you, I love my small house and don't want a bigger one - it's just me and the cats, for Pete's sake! I live in a very small incorporated city which started in the 1930s as vacation homes east of Atlanta - far from the city then! The lots were 20' wide, and there is still one house on a 20' lot. Gradually people began to build permanent homes there, and many houses, like mine, were added on to by stages. Mine has absolutely no style of any kind, and has 3 separate foundations (crawl space), plus screened porch and a former patio which is now enclosed, and the garage.
After having fallen on hard times, the city was rediscoverd in the 1990s largely by creative types who renovated, and some of them started to build. As prices went up, builders moved in to build spec homes - these are much larger and usually much taller than the original houses, most of which are one story, with perhaps a partial walk-out basement where the land falls away. We hope that people won't start coming in and tearing down the smaller original houses - in fact, I am a city council member and we are looking for ways to protect the "historic" houses. Unfortunately, there is nothing in the city that meets the usual standards for historic preservation - while some houses date to the late 1930's, there are also a lot of small brick houses from the 50s and 60s, and there is no identifiable or harmonious style. In fact what gives the city its character is the fact that most of the houses were one-offs.
So I have plenty of company in small-houseness. Most residents seem to spend their (our) time plotting to get inside yet more houses to see how people have decorated and updated them. We tried once to organize a home tour, but everyone wanted to go on tour, not sit and home and keep their houses open.
Hi, everybody -- Not sure if I belong here; our house-to-be will be 1378 sf, but it has a walkout basement the same size with 877 feet finished. Do we count the finished basement part? If so, I'm over the 2000.
Thanks in advance for defining this for me. I'll skedaddle over to the other forum if I don't fit in here.
Don't "skedaddle" anywhere if you would like to be here. I doubt anyone would be concerned with the extra sq feet and suspect with the basic footprint, you have a home like the rest which can benefit from the topics shared.
Hello all fellow small house dwellers :)
My house is only like 600 s/f.
Only a 1 bedroom, partial finished basement. Thats where my washer and dryer are.
They have even squeezed a den in on the main floor.
My bathroom is soooooooo tiny hehe.
There is only enough room for you to stand and thats it!
I do like my little house.
Me and my hubby have lived here for about 6 yrs now. The lot is "if I remember right" 60' by 100'. So our yard is pretty big. But we do have a double garage and a single garage on the lot.
I think my house would fit inside the garage LOL.
I don't know how I missed this forum!
I have just begun browsing this forum too, and it seems rather slow, unfortunately. But I still check it often, because DH and I are considering downsizing and like to hear about how people feel about their smaller homes!
I am a kitchen person. What is a kitchen like in a home of
I seem a little between. When you read the "what's your square footage" on the building forum, it is somewhat intimidating to read the many thousand square feet that people are building. Yet, I don't really feel 1800 sq ft or so is small. We started out to build at 1600-1700, but it grew ever so slightly in process.
We are making use of every little bit of space possible, with built-ins and putting in storage wherever we can. The house itself has an open floorplan, so it does not feel small. But most importantly, it fits what we need and how we live.
So, I'm probably a better fit in the Small House forum, but we will be "living large". :-)
Jill, I think it is funny how, IMO, your idea on size is relative to your priorities. When I was first married, I thought that 1,800 sq ft. was very large! And I came from a family with 8 children, yet never knew how large the house I grew up in was. Since married, I have lived in houses from about 1,000 to 2,500 sq. ft. The more footage, the more stuff needed to fill it! I think I could be happy in a little cottage, as long as I had a nice kitchen, (since cooking is DH's and my hobby) and a fireplace, three bedrooms, (two can be small), and decent closets. I could part with some STUFF, too!
Kitty...yes, this forum has been very quiet since holidays started. Wonder where everyone is? Vacation from their small homes? Since I'm stuck in cold, rediculous, CO weather (not our norm), the forums are a bit of relief from cabin fever for me.
What style of a house are you building? You are right about what is needed in a smaller house and having the option for fitting one to your lifestyle is great. Think the biggest issue is closets/storage. And, even though I am single, one bath can be a problem at times when guests are here.
Hopefully the forum will get busy again. At least we know 3 or 4 of us are here for now.
I, too, grew up in a really tiny home with a family of eight, so there was NO private space. In my married life the largest home we had was about 2,800 sq ft, but mostly we have been right around 1800, so I guess that is what we need.
It is my DH and me, with our DS graduating this spring and going to college in the fall. I will be downsizing "stuff" for the new house, since we were used to having our primary home and having a seasonal lake cabin, too, so we have double of lots of things. Most everything has been in storage for a year and a half, so obviously I can do without it.
We demo'd the cabin this spring and started building this summer. It is a story and half, with ICF first floor and stick built second. Two bedroom, two bath, with a second story loft sitting room overlooking a two story greatroom, and a bonus room for my sewing and crafts. It it a cross gable design with a vintage look and am planning craftsman style finishes and built-ins. There are many angles and slopes for character, and lots of windows with gorgeous lake views from anywhere in the house.
Since we are totally owner built, it will take a while to finish, but we are also paying as we go. Last year we built onto the existing garage, with two stall & attic storage. We've made living quarters in the shop part during the build. I've had no kitchen, just make do with microwave, electric frypan and pizza oven. So, the new house will be amazing to me for room and amenities!
emagineer, I love acadian cottages, small farmhouses, and even some shotgun style homes with gingerbread and long shutters on the windows like you will see in New Orleans.
Jill, your house sounds wonderful, and it is great you pay as you go. Worrying about a mortgage can wear away at the joy of having a home no matter how nice it is.
These are just a couple of examples of houses that caught my eye...
Here is a link that might be useful: raised cottage plan
I have not heard of an acadian. Is this in the South?
Love the layout shown, especially the master being on the main floor. Downsizing to this cottage wouldn't be downsizing for me as I just moved from a 1900 to an 1100, so the plan feels really big to me. My house woule fit in your first floor. Certainly plenty of room and they have made it an open concept with good storage.
The french doors are wonderful, I always feel they make everything more open. An image of having them to walk out to a garden.... I miss having an entry, but after living small they take up some valuable space. Could see your plan without one since the entry doesn't directly open into the kitchen/dining. This is most likely because I use my living room so much (16 X 25)and anything smaller wouldn't work for me personally. Most people do not like plans with the front door opening directly into the living room...but mine has become a non issue. My rooms are all separate, not open, so this probably makes a difference.
Me too...what is a kitchen like in 640 sp ft.? When house hunting I fell in love with house that had a 6 X 10 kitchen, the 10 was open to the hallway. My daughter said there was no way the two of us could get in there at once. As it is, she is always a foot away from me when we are cooking....I don't think the small kitchen would have been a problem.
I always thought that, in my old age, having a one room cabin would be just right. The older we get the less "things" are needed or wanted to have to clean and take care of. I'd still opt for a big garden though.
It is nice seeing some action here once again. I check in here regularly but not much is going on.
Yardwoman ~ So, you live in a tiny place also. These little places can be challenging that's for sure. Do you have any pictures of your place?
FrenchKitty ~ That link didn't work for me today.
Emagineer ~ I also have to have garden space. The gardens are outdoor rooms.
Jill ~ Do you have pictures of your home too?
Pictures are so inspiring and give ideas.
I'm at work, looking forward to getting back home. Dinner is in the crockpot.
Enjoy your week and living in your small homes.
I got so far as to signing up for Photo Bucket and uploaded one house picture there, but haven't figured out to do get pictures posted on this site or to link the picture. Hopefully I will figure it out and post some. Always something new to learn.
Hi all. What a great forum! -- glad I found it :)
If you've already signed up with Photobucket and uploaded pics - you will see under each of your photo thumbnails, 3 lines:
To embed a pic directly into a thread, like I'm doing here, just highlight and copy the second line: HTML Tag, and then paste the line of code into the body of your post. It will open automatically
It's that simple :)
Gray...is there a way to use the Garden Web gallery to link and inbed a photo from there? Right now it is the only way I can post a pic...changed ISPs and they have messed up my email so I can't register anywhere. The "real" people that fix stuff must not work on weekends and holidays, have been waiting for 4 days to get email active.
Thanks for taking the time to explain in your last post....simple is greatly appreciated.
Ok, here goes:
The arch top window came with loose grids, and will be replaced, so disregard the "crooked teeth".
Jill, your house is adorable! It looks like a small farmhouse. What kind of siding do you plan on using? Any colors picked out yet? I know that you must wander around in there thinking about how it is going to be to really LIVE in it!
Thank you for the nice comments. We will be using a combination of cement lap siding lower and shingles on top (DH leaning toward real cedar shingles vs cement board, otherwise everything is low-maintenance). Initially we were thinking neutral colors, but lately are leaning toward bolder (i.e. Maple Forest Cottage) colors. We will be adding some bandboards to divide the exterior, possiby an arch design to echo the window and porch designs. There will be a covered porch on the lakeside all the way across.
I can visualize in terms of colors, decorating, etc. and how it will be. It isn't an exact style, I will tend more toward craftsman with it, old house style with modern touches.
Very cute cottage, Jill
Emagineer -- Unfortunately, I don't think GW Garden Gallery functions that way.
Joining a free hosting site, such as Photobucket is the only easy way I know of, other than having one's own website..
Thanks Gray. I figured such, spent a while digging through posts on the testing forum and Q/A. Will have to wait until the email problem is fixed.
Gray...thanks again. I got all done on photobucket and posted some pics in another garden forum. It is indeed as simple as you explained. Now I can start posting some serious pics of endeavors for input.
Glad to hear you got everything sorted out, Emagineer.
Bring on those pics :)
Thought I'd resurrect this thread from the dead. I've read all these posts and although most of the picture links are outdated it's nice to see what can be done in a small space.
I live in a 1200sf townhouse. It's me,hubbie,teenage son and roommate (old friend)2 bedrooms, 1 1/2 bath, LR, den type thingy,and tiny yard. We have been here for 8 years and wouldn't "upgrade" even if we could afford to. Location is wonderful, neighbors are quiet, local community college is 15 minutes from here and ocean is a 20 minute drive.
When we first moved in here we were staying with my in laws in a VERY small 2 bedroom townhome.It was just the 2 of them until the 3 of us invaded their space for 3 years saving up. So when we finally moved we had nothing but a bed and a couch and some dishes and bunkbeds for my son. The house looked so empty.
But now, it's cozy and perfect for us.
It was interesting to see this thread again. Very outdated and wonder where a lot of our group has gone.
Nice to see another new small home member. Smaller doesn't mean less to most of us here and with all the amenities you have around it makes the smaller life even nicer.
Would you be willing to start a new thread? I'd love to see some ocean....oops, that may be another forum. I'm serious about another thread, we have many new people and would be fun to see their homes again. Plus a lot of us have made some changes to our places.
I'm still in my home,4 years now. Yes, I still like the size of it. Could use larger bedrooms when family come to visit from CT and VA with families. But most of the time it is just me and my two Yorkies. I lost Mikey Thanksgiving week. It was nice to re-read all the post and I'm happy to see it start up again..
I'm one of the newer folks here now, Donna. Can you start another thread please and put a link to this one? sort of a reference point, or a water mark anyway.
Yoohoo.....anyone out there? Found this while looking for a thread on kids vs dogs.
OAO and I have lived in a 2000 sf house for the past 18 years. Occasionally I thought it would be nice to have more room but it seemed just more reason to keep junk.
I'm still in my same home..still happy here. I've been here a little over 7 years now.The sad things is I have lost all three of my Yorkies over the past few years..they were all older..Sweetie was 17yrs..the boys were 12-13 years. I have just now started a search for just one more..It is very quiet with out those little feet running around.
We have just started unpacking a 2500 sf house into a 1300 sf house. I never realized just how much of what we owned was stuff we never used / had broken. When we had unlimited space stuff just moved to the back of shelves and closets and we could never find stuff. Now as we unpack, at least a third of what we unpack is getting thrown away or donated.
I've had to do that before too..I can say I don't miss things now..I don't even remember what I don't have now. After this last move I did take a lot of things that I thought I wanted and made the move with to a yard sale. Good luck with getting everything taken care of.
Donnaki sorry to hear about your puppies. We lost our wheatie to cancer in October and miss him. In sure you'll find a sweet little one to!include in your family. I likeyorkies after finding one for my niece. Such personality!
Fynite I know what you mean. Sentimental reasons make me keep things that i don't use or need but I'm getting a little better at it. I just don't want to take care of it any more or have it cluttering up my life!
Thanks, I miss my puppers too. I kept saying I wasn't going to get another one..but it would sure put some life around here..I found one in PA but living in OH the distance was too far to get her here..Maybe I'll find one closer. .I keep getting rid of things here but it never seems enough to make much of a change.
Don't I know it! Remodeled kitchen due to leak and used that op to get rid of some small stuff. Was able to place wedding crystal with brother and sil who liked the pattern (I have my Mom's waterford).
I actually get resistance from my DH and DS's. You should see the garage and DS room :~O
I hope you find a pup closer to home. We didn't get a wheatie from an early litter and are on list for puppy from litter due at end of month. We shall see.
I have 17 dog beds in the basement..but I can see me getting just one more new one if my little yorkie comes my way. We took things to the shelter but they don't want used dog beds. I wish you luck when the litter is born..how exciting for you.
I'll be watching for a picture one of these days.
Hi, we just bought an 834 sq foot doll house and I love it! If you don't count the utility room, which is a porch conversion, it is around 700 sq feet. Mostly open plan. 2 bedrooms (small ones) TINY bathroom, and wonderful, well equipped kitchen with tons of built in storage. We got rid of almost everything we owned and could not be happier. I would love to send pictures to anyone interested. My bills are the best! Here are some links to photos. I don't know how to put them here.