Sunday, May 9, 2010

Downsizing to 351 square feet! What more could you want?

     Real Simple magazine featured an article this month called Happily Ever After in 351 Square Feet. I found it interesting that the magazine found this so extraordinary. The young couple  lost their 1400 square foot house to a fire and decided to use insurance money to build a work space on their property instead of a new house.  They took two small cottages that had been given to them and joined them together creating a small home.  They chose to remain childless so the neatnik couple were managing perfectly.  The design for their house was not what I would choose.  They created a kitchen that was oversized and lived in a separate room that included a combined living room and  bedroom.  I think that if they had taken a look at our Park Model design they would have found some very good ideas for optimizing their space.  After all, these little houses are designed to use every inch of space either for storage or for living.  The kitchen you see above has a full sized stove and sink.  The young couple admitted that they did miss these amenities...I don't.  We have an apartment sized stove and dishwasher.  I like that a lot.
Typical Park Model Design by Cavco
Our fire place fits in corner cabinet.
     Downsizing may be something you dread but it really is a wonderful choice.  We have learned that living with small things...appliances, closet, bathrooms, and kitchens does not mean we have sacrificed comfort or even luxury.  We have a tiny fireplace that heats the living room/kitchen and a dishwasher that washes all the dishes even when we entertain for 6 or more.  After living in 350 square feet in Arizona for 7 months of the year our condo here in Hillsboro, Oregon feels enormous and we can not imagine ever having enough dishes to fill that dishwasher.
     Unfortunately, we are like gold fish...we grow to fit the size of the space we have.  Before long I am filling the dishwasher every day and sometimes twice a day.  My closet become cluttered with things I don't want or need and, because I have a separate room to iron in, I let the ironing go until I am absolute out of anything to wear...even pajamas! I have come to see it as wasteful and unnecessary.  We will downsize here in Oregon too when the time is right to sell our condo.  I love living in a space that has everything on one floor and I can smell the coffee brewing in the morning.  I like it when I can sit in the next room and still talk with my husband.  All I really require is enough room to cook, some kitchen gadgets and a few pots to plants herbs and flower in.  I am a very simply woman.
     We have always tried to live small even when we owned bigger houses.  It will not be hard for us to live small wherever we are.
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