Are you one of the millions who have down-sized in recent years? If you are, what made you decide to move into a smaller home? Was it financial motives that lead to your decision, or just the fact that you no longer required a home full of rooms that collect dust and never get used? Whether you are a first-time home buyer or a downsizing retiree—there is a definite trend toward people buying and building smaller homes. It’s a fact, houses are getting smaller. It seems there is a new world-view developing—people are shunning the ideals of bigger is better in exchange for a more modest lifestyle, despite what is in their pocket books. Let’s look at the many reasons that people are heading towards smaller homes, exchanging vast opulence for the little luxuries of life— And maybe you will discover that a more modest home is in your future, too. The pictures alone will make you realize that good things do come in small packages.
Aging Population With the hopes of retiring early from his job as a school teacher, Doug Immel decided to downsize to 164 square-feet of living space, yet still managed to create a dream home with cathedral ceilings and cherry wood floors. This is the viewpoint of the aging population— they want to retire; they have their eyes on the prize and are doing whatever it takes to get there—including downsizing. The Administration on Aging says that by 2030, there will be approximately 72.1 million persons 65 years or older in America alone. This is a vast populace of aging citizens who will be looking to downsize, either for financial reasons or physical ones—the physical ones mainly being the desire for a small, stair-free home that is easier to get around in. We can all take note from this senior population, learning that bigger is not always better, and that life’s luxuries can be enjoyed in even the smallest of homes.
Economy A CNN report offers a practical reason for the trend in downsizing— People are recognizing that by buying a large home, they are consequently living paycheck to paycheck in order to cover their immense mortgages. Who wants to live month-to-month just so that they can have a big house? The financial crisis of 2008 , acted as a wake-up call to many, prompting them to reassess their lifestyles and begin dreaming of a new, more modest dream. Devastating foreclosures forced many out of their homes, but also brought about a happier, less stressed world-perspective—gone were the worries of climbing the corporate ladder in order to realize the dream of the bigger house or the faster car—ideals were changing and people were discovering a new road to happiness. Being forced into a smaller home, makes you become inventive; you learn to use small spaces in amazing ways, and you learn that you really don’t need all those big rooms in order to make you happy.
A Greener World-View Young people can be powerful agents when it comes to change, and in numerous ways they are being emboldened with the knowledge of their environmental footprint and how they impact the natural world around them. We are developing into a society that is more aware of our natural surroundings and our ecological encroachment on the world. With this new-found awareness comes the challenge to live a greener lifestyle; this challenge is being met, in part, through the trend of small, eco-friendly homes. Now, it is almost commonplace to hear of someone building a green home with reclaimed materials; salvaging them from dumpsters or tear-downs of older buildings. Eco-friendly technologies allow for us to build a home that is energy efficient and produces less waste. Naturally, we are discovering that smaller homes consume less energy versus a home full of unused and unnecessary space. Imagine what the next, younger generation will do!
Good Things Do Come in Small Packages Houses are getting smaller because people are realizing that high-end luxury and style can be achieved in even the smallest of spaces. There is plethora of do-it-yourself designers who offer-up unique ways to create a luxurious space despite small surroundings. It seems that designers have responded to the smaller housing movement, showing us that luxury can be achieved in the smallest of homes, with a little help from the experts. In turn, this designer response may perpetuate the realization that we can still have it all, just in a smaller home. There are so many inventive small-space solutions! Let’s consider trying some in our own small homes today!
There is a definite trend of people buying and building smaller homes. Whether it is for ecological reasons, health reasons, retirement reasons, or simply a more design-savvy public…the movement of bigger isn’t better is here and it seems to be taking off. Consider looking to the numerous online sources that can help with your small space design solutions. Declutter your lifestyle—you will quickly see that you don’t need immense rooms filled with things in order to be happy. Do you plan to downsize in the near future? What is your ideal square footage?