Small space living is a hot topic. It’s making headlines in Sunset Magazine, Dwell Magazine and many articles in newspapers devoted to this new way of living. Not that it’s actually new because up until the 60’s and 70’s homes were smaller…people lived with less…children shared rooms. Then along came the 80’s – the age of consumerism and homes began to grow much like our waistlines. McMansions became a source of pride and the bigger the better attitude gained in popularity.
But finally…that time of filling our homes with stuff has grown old and become a sense of embarrassment. Whereas the rest of the world lives smaller, uses less space and resources, Americans are just beginning to catch up with this idea. Urban environments are gaining appeal. Imagine living in a converted loft and walking to work, shops, the dry cleaner and the café down the street? We can get out of our cars, begin socializing again and find out what being a neighbor really is.
Along with small space living comes small space decorating. My home is only 1400 square feet, plenty for my husband, my college age daughter and two friendly cats. The smaller space has advantages like:
1. Less cleaning
2. Less furniture
3. More outdoor time
4. Less clutter
5. Less unnecessary purchases
I know people who have five sets of dishes…one for company, one for every day, and three because they just had to have it. That’s not necessary. Small space living makes the choice for you because when you find something you like you need to consider whether you have a place to put it and if you buy it then you need to consider getting rid of something.
Small space living is kinder to our environment.
1. Less garbage
2. Less water
3. Less electricity and gas
Living like this actually makes one much more creative. We discuss and research every bit of décor in our home. With less wall space each piece has meaning rather than simply filling up space. Our wall décor is acquired through gifts, travel and pieces we have made. Our floor coverings and furniture are carefully chosen to maximize space and we use decorative mirrors to enhance space in certain areas. In a small bathroom we decided to work with the small interior rather than try to make it something that it’s not. We painted the wall dark graphite and only kept the ceiling white. We used a larger mirror to reflect light and glass tile to enhance the decor. This room is more than a bathroom…in fact it’s like a small room that just happens to have a toilet.
Make the most of your space by using the qualities that already exist. Take risks, use paint liberally and read every article you can get your hands on about this wonderful new way to live.