Bigger is NOT always better.

I’m at it once again…downsizing! And it feels so good! We once had a house full of kids, toys, animals, friends…to name a few! But as time has gone on, my babies have spread their wings and left the nest, taking all things associated with them. I’m left with the animals…! Well, that’s not exactly true. I still have my “baby” and of course my other half. But if I’m being honest, in this day and age of busy schedules, much of the time it’s the animals left in charge!

This guy usually keeps things in line!

This guy usually keeps things in line!

But downsizing isn’t just for empty-nesters. It’s for families too. In a time when bigger must mean better and bigger means more successful, I encourage you to seek comfort in a more meaningful way. Your family can have everything it needs but nothing you don’t need. Functional space, lightness and a reflection of nature. Comfort without compromise.

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I’ve always admired Sarah Susanka and her Not So Big House series. An architect by trade, Sarah emphasizes the idea that your home is your haven, in scale and proportion to need. It’s a place where space is used according to purpose. In her own words, when writing about designing her own home with her architect-husband, “We wanted our house to express the way we actually live.” So, it’s not about moving to a postage stamp, it’s about creating a home with each room serving a real purpose. Less can truly be so much more. “Comfort has almost nothing to do with how big a space is,” she had once said.

Not So Big House by Sarah Susanka

Not So Big House by Sarah Susanka

Sarah Susanka’s “Not So Big House” philosophy embodies what I like to do with my design. She would say, “Give me your budget for building your house. Now, let’s keep that budget, but build 1/3 less square footage and put those funds into high quality, meaningful design.”

Maine Cottage Design

My son lived in Spain for a semester with a lovely host family. When we visited I marveled at how comfortably all five of them lived in 600 square feet! They explained that there were two functions of the house: sleeping and the large family meal at lunch time. In Segovia, the town closes down from noon until three. Families go home to have a large, leisurely lunch and nap with the family and then go back to work (presumably refreshed!). The idea is that you spend as much time outside as possible. Be it at work or play, it’s good for your health to be out and socializing.

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I hate wasting space. That extra, unused room always feels to me like the person at a dance waiting to be asked. I’m a firm believer that every space should have a function and every function have a space. 

Our apartment in NYC is a cozy 400 square feet, so we are hardly downsizing here, but we are looking forward to family meals, napping and then getting outside to play!

 Be sure to visit our Pinerest board, Small space interiors, lots of style, for lots of inspiration!