This morning, while I was pretending to be sleeping in with Little Man, but actually checking Facebook and daydreaming, two articles in my feed caught my eye. Posted by Dwell: 10 Smart Small Spaces, and posted by Good: Living Large in Small Houses; both articles highlighting creative small space design solutions and conscious alternatives to that Great American Pursuit: The McMansion.
This is something I’ve blogged about before, and that’s because I find it fascinating. Now that we are gearing up for a house hunt, I think about it a lot. Nearly constantly. I love the idea of living in a small house, one that is designed and built specifically for how our family needs to live. My current house is 1200 square feet, and that’s more than enough space for us - it’s just not laid out in a way that’s conducive to our lifestyle. Nor was it built in the last century, which is at odds with our lack of handiness or money.
A central idea of of Sarah Susanka’s Not So Big House Movement is that “Not so big” doesn’t necessarily mean small, it means creating a “home” rather than a “house” by carefully identifying what living functions are desired of the space. On the same continuum but much more extreme are the folks at The Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. These very small, completely adorable mobile homes are taking Portland by storm. They are very very tiny. I think it’s a very interesting concept, but I find the interiors to be claustrophobic.
Wouldn’t it be so nice to break the American commandment about mortgages being “good debt?” Wouldn’t it be just lovely to own a small house outright, and live with just the things that matter? I think so. Disclaimer: I don’t want to give anyone the impression that I want to shed all my earthly posessions and live in a shack with a spoon and a bucket. No. I still crave pretty things. But maybe I’d be able to afford a few Really Nice Pieces if we weren’t owned by a bank and shelling out a grand here and there every few months for (insert home repair of your choice). That said, here are a few not too tiny, not so big homes that I’ve been obsessing over for months, if not years.
1. The Karina House by Karen Delucas for Ross Chapin Architects, 1,606 SF