Saturday, January 31, 2015

Tiny Homes

We recently moved from Dallas, TX to Hendersonville TN, a city about 25 minutes northeast of Nashville.  While living in Dallas we had the opportunity to live in two very different styles of homes. The first was a center hall colonial 2 story,  which is a somewhat unique style to find in Texas, as is the snow! :-)

The second was a loft located in downtown Dallas, 2 blocks from Gilley's.  These lofts were built in the old Sears warehouse and featured 15 foot ceilings,  brick walls, open floor plans and an industrial vibe. 

Both of our homes were over 2000 square feet and would definitely not qualify as a "tiny" home.   

When we decided to move to Tennessee,  I wanted to find a loft similar to our loft in Dallas.   None were to be found.  The ones we found were small in square footage and built more like an apartment than the open loft style we desired. Some of the spaces were between 1000 and 1200 square feet, which is not very small until you try to pack 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and an office into the space. We knew we would often have out-of-town guests and we needed home office space. So we chose to move back to the suburbs and into a house. We were looking for a smaller house but were unable to find one in a good neighborhood. So once again we are in a home with a lot of square footage. It is not a bad thing, but it is more than we need.

According to the Census Bureau, the average size of American homes has increased from approximately 1660 square feet in 1973 to 2,679 square feet in 2013. However, there has been a new trend in downsizing living spaces and adopting the "less is more" concept.  Recently, my husband and I have started watching some of the "tiny" home shows. I admire the people who can pack their lives and families into 400 square feet of living space.  Look at a few of these gorgeous spaces.

The shabby chic Victorian-style is my favorite!! I find it fascinating and inspiring that such elegant design styles can be found in such small spaces.  While more square footage definitely has its advantages,  I think the other end of the spectrum is very appealing!  My concern with these small spaces is where to put everyone when you entertain, which we like to do.  How do you squeeze 20 people into less than 400 square feet of space without feeling as though you are trying to win your page in the Guinness Book of World Records? One option is to take the party outside.  An easy solution, right?  But what about when you live in a colder climate and want to host Christmas dinner and it is 12 degrees?  And there is 2 feet of snow on the ground?  See the conundrum? 

During one of these shows my husband asked me if I could see myself living in 400 square feet of space.  I vigorously shook my head no.  500 square feet? 700?  I told him that I could probably do 1000 square feet but it would have to be a totally open floor plan and he would need to live next door in his own space. :-)  Although, it has started me thinking about our next home (we do move around due to my husband's job) and how much space we actually NEED as opposed to how much space we actually WANT.  What about you?  Could you live in 400 square feet of space and not feel claustrophobic or cramped? 

If you want to see some adorable "tiny" homes, please check out these links!

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