A popular trend in custom home building today is creating a dream home in a smaller footprint. Discerning homeowners building a new home to suit their changing family needs are keen on incorporating key luxury features and details while significantly reducing the square-footage and the necessary up-keep associated with larger homes and underutilized space. The main goal is to simplify without compromising desired lifestyle.
For families coming from a large-scale luxury home, a more compact living space may take some adjustment, yet a simplified lifestyle is often a welcome change. Ultimately, a smaller space shouldn’t eliminate but rather emphasize luxury details, in terms of building materials, appliances and fixtures. With fewer rooms to manage, the details make a greater impact. And with less space to cover, the cost of investing in the highest quality materials and craftsmanship is much less as well.
While dreaming up the perfect scaled down luxury home, to simplify everyday life, the following are some additional features/ factors to consider during the planning process:
Significantly reducing the footprint requires eliminating a great deal of “stuff” that was part of the former home. This may not be an issue for new empty-nesters, with much of the “stuff” having been sent off with their adult children. However, for any size family choosing to significantly reduce the size of their living space, creative storage solutions are an important consideration. Half the house means half the amount of closets, less square footage of storage in basements and attics, and generally no bonus rooms that allow unnecessary collections to flourish.
While creative and extremely functional storage solutions are blessings in smaller spaces, it should not discourage homeowners from a likely overdue purge. Reducing clutter and starting fresh in a new, smaller streamlined space should encourage minimalism. The psychological benefits of minimalistic living are well documented, as “physical clutter begets mental clutter”. Minimalism emphasizes less consumption and less of the inessential.
The popularity of open-concept floor plans is a reflection of the more casual living style of the modern family. Traditional, formal dining rooms are on the decline, with new custom homeowners opting for more versatile and practical (everyday) utility of the space. An open flow, with minimum walls and barriers, between the kitchen, eating area and main living space, allows for maximum flow of movement and natural light. A bright, airy open concept flow adds the light and dimension that makes a smaller scale home look and feel much larger than it is.
Homeowners choosing to significantly downsize their living space often give up a few bonus (and maybe seldom used) private spaces. It is completely achievable, and quite a good idea, to plan for private retreats within a carefully thought out smaller home. Downsizing does require the homeowner to strip down to the bare basics; private quarters, reading nooks, a den or relaxation room and always a necessity in a luxury home of any size.