The Small House Movement is Here to Stay!

The Small House Movement is Here to Stay!

Oh ye of the interior designer mind-set, as much as we love our collections, our stuff, our large spaces, there is something (actually a lot) to be said for the small house movement.  This doesn’t mean the trend is for everyone to move into a 420 square foot apartment in Soho (like in the unbelievable video below), but the information here might give you:

  • pause for thought
  • ideas for making better use of your existing space
  • great plans for a small apartment or home that you or the kids would love and could afford easily
  • or this might be your answer for that extra ‘guest house’ or office you need
Small House Movement Connor Homes Vermont
At 1720 square feet, this panelized carriage house includes a two car garage and workshop. Connor Homes, Vermont

Lifestyle predictions for the next ten years are to live simpler and within one’s means. The Roaring ’90’s gave households tons of disposable income, big houses and outrageous lifestyles.  We lived big.  With the economic changes in the last 10 years, people have given their lifestyles a closer look.

The result is a movement that is really about the changing lifestyle trend of easier, healthier and cleaner living.  Think about what it would be like to dedicate your spare time to family, sports, travel and the activities of your choice instead of spending time and money on home-keeping.

The Small House/Easier Living movement will help homeowners of all sizes with innovative lessons learned that can be universally applied:

  • New and creative great storage ideas
  • structural organization
  • new design elements for today’s lifestyle
  • incorporating energy saving elements into your home

So whether you want a 1000 square foot home or a 6,000 square foot home, you are going to benefit.

Building Options

The expanding Small House movement has earned its place in architectural history.  As early as the turn of the 20th century, the Sears Home Kits produced small, well designed family homes.  In addition, they were the first panelized house where they cut, measured and numbered all the materials for a specific house plan.  Sears homes were stacked and loaded on train beds and shipped all across the United States.  When they arrived at their new home, carpenters would put it together like a numbered puzzle.  The materials included the entire structure as well as moldings, fireplaces and kitchens.

The Sears plans are still around or you can search out such companies as Connor Homes in Vermont that design and build panelized traditional New England homes.  The create them in their factory and truck them to your location. Everything is there – including the kitchen sink.  You provide location, foundation, electrical and plumbing.

Additionally, you can go along the old stick-built route for your dream cottage and  hire your favorite architect or you can choose from the huge selection of house plans via Southern Living  or Coastal Living.  Architects,  Ross Chapin or Eric Moser have some wonderful plans for sale that you will love as well.

Resources and Research

Small House Movement Cusato Cottage
Cusato Cottage were originally designed for the alternative to the FEMA trailer. Called Katrina Cottages, they have gone on to become a favorite for a low cost home, guest house or summer cottage. Courtesy of Country Living Magazine
Small House Movement Small Big House Modern Farmhouse
Small House Bliss is where you can find inspiration, ideas and storage concepts. Their article on a modern farmhouse by FAB Architecture is a great reference for a family home in 1500 square feet.
Small House Movement Little Diggs Container Home
Little Diggs A blog that caters to homes under 500 sq feet. From container homes, mobile, pre-fab or studio apartments, Little Diggs has inspiration for small space living. It is a great resource for small home lifestyle including this portable beach cottage!

Treehugger.com has never been on our radar before but it is now and they have taken Green into the credible realm of normal.  They have practical informative articles and they make sense. Visit their site but before you do, watch the video below.  It will make you want to buy a 420 square foot apartment in the best neighborhood in your favorite city.  You’ll see why.

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