What makes a 'smaller' home on this forum?

lavender_lassJuly 13, 2013

I love the smaller homes forum, not only for the very nice and supportive people, but the great storage solutions and clever design ideas. Whether we like tiny homes, smaller homes or even medium to large homes, there are many wonderful people and ideas to be found on this forum.

So this got me thinking, does it really matter how many square feet we have in our home? Not all families are the same size, some people work at home, others entertain friends and family, while others do not. The size of the home isn't as important as the way we utilize our spaces, IMHO.

Built-in storage ideas, flexible living spaces, detail-oriented design and not replicating functions are all great ideas. Trying to keep heating and cooling costs down are always an incentive and living greener is another. Recycling and reusing items, using less resources, buying slightly used items and going through our own items and donating what we no longer need are all topics I find interesting...and often on this forum.

I guess my point is that living 'smaller' is like living in a 'Not So Big House'...it's not just square footage, but a way of living. I don't want to see the forum divided into square footage requirements. Square footage may be how it started, but I don't think that's the only thing that defines our forum, today :)

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
marti8a

I think you are right. It seems that the topics on this forum are more about using space efficiently rather than decorating. With our addition, we are technically over the limit for the small house forum, but I still feel that we are in a small house. Certainly still have small rooms and lack of storage. I have no intention of leaving - you all are stuck with me. lol

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 10:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
flgargoyle

The size of a house is relative to a several factors.

First, it depends upon the number of people that live there. A 2,000 square foot house would be pretty tight for a family of 10, but ridiculously large for a person living alone.

Secondly, climate plays a role. Here in FL, you just don't need as big a house because there is so much outdoor living available. In the far north, a small house can lead to cabin fever during the long winter months.

Finally, some houses just live larger than others. The way it is laid out, number of rooms and windows, and good storage all contribute to the relative size of a house.

Tiny houses are an interesting experiment, but don't translate well for the American lifestyle. Many times, the person 'living' in a 125 square foot house is found to have considerable storage elsewhere. That's kind of cheating, IMHO.

To me, a 'small' house is one that is appropriate for the size of the family living there without a lot of extra space just for bragging rights. I'm building a relatively small house at 1250 square feet, but I think it is luxurious for two people, having only a few large rooms, a full basement, and lots of storage outside of the living envelope. The master closet could be used as a small bedroom! The good news is that the size keeps the initial cost down, reduces property taxes and HVAC costs, and should be easy to keep clean and maintained.

It's interesting to note that in almost 60 years, I've never lived in a house even close to 2000 square feet, yet I never felt deprived, and we certainly had more than enough stuff in any of those houses.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 2:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ellendi

It is all what you are used to. I grew up in small apartments, even though my house is small, it doesn't feel small to me.
I have a friend who lives in a house well over 3,000 square feet. She is looking for a vacation home and can't see herself in something small. Yes, it will be smaller than her home but certainly not what we consider small here on this forum.
Lavender, it's not that people will become divided by square footage. it's just that once you get over a certain square footage, you really don't have the challenges as a small home owner. Such as storage, size of furniture etc.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 4:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
desertsteph

' I have no intention of leaving - you all are stuck with me.'

that's a good thing!

I think it says 2000 sf and under = small home.

We don't come measure to be sure tho. At least, I won't!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 9:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nancyinmich

I can see us now, Steph, going home to home with our measuring sticks and kicking folks off the forum ----NOT!

It just ain't neighborly, and we at the Garden Web, and we Small Homers especially, are neighborly people. And we LOVE full sentences and lots of pictures.

A smaller home to me is one where there isn't room to "float" the furniture away from the walls. I wondered, Ellendi, if your friend with the 3000sq ft house was having difficulty with downsizing because she could not stand having furniture near the walls and not having vast open spaciousness around her. I think that we small homers sometimes get the opposite problem. We rearrange things and find an open space, and before you know it, we have something sitting in that open space!

I have been inside a few big houses when I have been doing Craigslisting. A lot of those people in those big houses don't have them decorated or planned out at all. They have a family room "set" floating there, a TV on that wall or above that fireplace (don't they get sore necks?) and there they stopped. A picture or two on a wall, but the room looks like a furniture store plopped down a set into a space and a house was built around it. Maybe a table in a foyer that is far too small for the space. I see this in real estate ads, too. No flow, no sense of proportion, no feeling that actual people live there. I know they tell people to declutter and put away personal items, but doesn't anybody have Aunt Betty's chest or an interesting thrift store find anymore?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 6:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Shades_of_idaho

"A smaller home to me is one where there isn't room to "float" the furniture away from the walls. I wondered, Ellendi, if your friend with the 3000sq ft house was having difficulty with downsizing because she could not stand having furniture near the walls and not having vast open spaciousness around her. I think that we small homers sometimes get the opposite problem. We rearrange things and find an open space, and before you know it, we have something sitting in that open space!"

Very interesting thought Nancy, I think this is what I do. might answer why I have so much crammed into our house.Maybe why I like a smaller house. And yet our house is not all that small at 1375SQ FT.

Right now I am sitting in the middle of a HUGE mess. I have the sewing /guest /office room unloaded into the living room dinning room and laundry room with a little spill over into my studio. This is only a 13 by 9 foot room I had to clear and yet it takes up so much space in all the other rooms. Course I do have that other room space to put it in but it is very uncomfortable feeling now for me. Too closed in cluttered. And yet all that furniture back into it's space does not feel too cluttered for me. hummmmmmmmm

We do have a love seat floating in our living room. It is a long room and I use the love seat to make a kind of entrance way at the side door. Also gives me added wall space.

As I sit here with a 4 foot painted white china cabinet from sewing room in living room I am really liking the look of the white against the very soft greenpainted walls. Dang it all. That gun cabinet might be good oak but I am getting very close to painting it white. It is a great big dark piece of furniture. Also paint the secretary white and I think it would make this room look so light and airy which is the look I really like. I think it's dark oak days are numbered. LOL

Chris

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 12:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nancyinmich

Chris, you don't know how much discipline it took not to add this sentence to the above quote:

"Except for Shades, who will paint it white before she puts it in that empty space!"

Now that you have said it, I can admit to having that thought! LOL!!!!!!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 1:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Shades_of_idaho

LOL @ Nancy.Yep I am into all things white.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 4:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
desertsteph

"I can see us now, Steph, going home to home with our measuring sticks and kicking folks off the forum ----NOT! "

lol! AMEN. So many days I have problems getting back and forth between my bdrm and the kitchen. And getting the pup out to her pen - and then back in later. Today I slept so late she about licked me to death trying to wake me up. I remember giving her my hand to lick and nibble on while the rest of me hid under the comforter sleeping.

I can't even find my tape measure half the time...

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 9:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mama goose_gw zn6OH

When the guest room in my house is finished, the total SF will be hovering at 2000, but the individual room sizes and style are still that of a small bungalow. No soaring ceilings or open concept spaces here, although I've tried to improve the traffic flow between areas, old and new.

After reading the link on the tiny houses thread, I'm thinking about running away from home and living in a gypsy caravan. ;)

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 12:41PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Help for me coming soon...
My family and friends have been praying for that all...
desertsteph
lavender_lass
So where are you? New house? Still looking?
lov_mkitchenIOWA zone 6b
ML - your new kitchen (or DR?) light fixture
I think I just saw one like it... somewhat anyway....
desertsteph
xpost interior storm windows
I posted this on the windows forum but not getting...
lov_mkitchenIOWA zone 6b
Mama Goose - a question?
Hi Mama, I saw in one of your posts that you have painted...
idie2live
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™