Smart and Small

We’re big fans of the design philosophy that smarter homes can be smaller. There seems to be a magic zone of square footage where a house is everything it needs to be and nothing more. Taking all of the factors into consideration, that number seems to be about 2,500 square feet of conditioned interior area for a family of four.

Top 5 strategies for smarter, smaller homes:

Overlapping functions. Kitchens that open up to dining rooms, dining rooms that open up to living rooms, home office zones in the living room, etc. By reducing the number of permanent walls, adjacencies become more fluid, blurring the lines between one room and the next, and allowing greater flexibility of use.

Combine the circulation. Circulation volumes, as opposed to walled corridors, allow movement from one room to any other room. These circulation volumes typically eliminate the need for multiple hallways. Additionally, it can become an inspiring space that incorporates large windows, strategic views, and high ceilings.

Compact bedrooms. Keeping bedrooms smaller encourages the family to spend more time together in the common areas. Built-in cabinets and efficient closets help bring down the square footage of bedrooms without compromising the comfort and functionality of the sleeping quarters.

Floor to ceiling windows. Large windows open up the rooms and allow for better daylight and natural ventilation. The added natural light and views to the exterior give a small room the ability to elicit a feeling of being more spacious.

Don’t be afraid of boxy. A boxy exterior is generally the most authentic expression of what the house is actually doing on the inside. Authentic is efficient and straight-forward.

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