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The Size Dichotomy

Recently, I cannot help but notice a huge dichotomy in home size. On the one hand, it has become very popular to get rid of most of one’s belongings and live in a “Tiny Home” typically only 8 feet wide and around 20 feet long. On the other hand, we have more and more homes exceeding 4,000 square feet with garages adding another 2,000 square feet. As a home designer, I have thoroughly enjoyed designing a Tiny Home as well as homes over 6,000 square feet. However, building costs have been rising quickly in the last couple years which means that every square foot needs to be meaningful in your new home design, and many homes need to be designed for the increasingly forgotten middle road. Unless your budget has no cap, consider the following advice to help you work with your home designer.





1) Focus discussions on the activities you perform in your home rather than a list of rooms. It is surprising how many activities can comfortably use the same space with another’s perspective.

2) Give furniture dimensions to your designer rather than fixating on arbitrary room dimensions. I often hear a request for rooms such as a master bedroom to be 20 feet by 30 feet. When I come to measure the master bedroom furniture that will be in the new house, it is common to find that the bedroom furniture would fit more comfortably in a smaller space if a seating area is pushed out by the windows or connecting space.

3) Remember that covered exterior living spaces cost money as well. These spaces can be more used than interior spaces but are often overlooked in initial budgeting.

4) Keep in mind a balance between quality and quantity. If you are hiring an architect (which I am not), or a residential designer like me, to design your new home, the difference from a run of the mill tract house is most noticed in the attention to proportion and architectural details. Cutting out a few square feet here and there to accommodate unique details is a decision that will make your home more special in the end.

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