Less Home, More Impact

The building industry is placing increased focus on designing smaller homes, but with maximum impact.

According to an article by Claire Easley, senior editor at Builder, recent presentations at the International Builders’ Show discussed the trend toward less square footage but greater emphasis on maximizing space for lifestyle purposes.

As Easley’s article states, the trick to getting smaller homes right, according to consultant Gale Steves who spoke at the show, is to not only use every space in the home, but also to customize the allocation of space so that the owners’ priorities are reflected in where square footage is bestowed.

Building experts agree that today’s buyer wants a home with flexible space—a dining room that can easily be converted to a home office, for example. Or, for those in need of a complete home office, a spare room can be outfitted with a Murphy bed, so that it can act as a work space most of the time while accommodating guests when necessary.

Easley’s article also points out that homebuyers are shying away from redundant spaces, such as an eat-in kitchen and a formal dining room, and that builders are placing greater emphasis on areas of the home that are truly used the most, such as a side-door entrance as opposed to a front door that’s rarely used. Even “forgotten spaces,” such as hallways, can be transformed into useful and/or eye-catching areas by turning them into photo galleries or designing them with built-in storage cabinets.

Not to be overlooked, the smaller-home trend also has significant green implications, as builders strive to create a less-is-more environment with features such as WaterSense appliances that use less water while still looking as good and operating as well as other products.



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