Americans are moving on up to smaller, smarter homes
As many now know, housing sizes have peaked, and articles like USA Today’s Americans are moving on up to smaller, smarter homes are communicating a new American Dream that small is in. Listen to what people are saying,
“There’s a shift in the culture. Build what you need. Build what inspires you. Don’t build to impress your neighbors. I don’t feel we need more space. If designed right, less space can work well. There are lots of things that can be done without spending a lot of money,” architect Sarah Susanka, author of the Not So Big House series of books (eleven in all).
“It’s a return to common sense and what really matters. The key to small homes is connectedness. People don’t need as much interior space for entertainment or exercise if they live near parks, shops or other people,” Marianne Cusato, designer of the 308 s.f. Katrina Cottage and four-bedroom 1676 s.f. New Economy Home.
“It’s sad that it took a complete economic meltdown for people to appreciate smaller homes, but at least something good can come from it.”, Michelle Kaufmann, a renowned resource for green development.
“This will remain a trend. I don’t expect this (home size) to come back up. We don’t need big homes. Family size has been declining for the past 35 years.” Gopal Ahluwalia, vice president of research for the National Association of Home Builders. Coming from the NAHB whose members profit from selling bigger homes and whose founders all but invented suburbia, this is significant.
“You’re almost unpatriotic to live so large. Baby Boomers want to downsize, and young eco-minded adults don’t care if they live in 500 square feet. They just want cool stuff.” Interior designer Christine Brun, author of Small Space Living.
I like the design a lot, however I don’t feel this house is too much smaller than most existing 2000 s.f. houses out there. I calculate the New Economy home at about 2200 s.f. including unfinished area or 550 s.f. per person. I agree that homes have gotten way too huge in the suburbs, but 450 s.f. min. per person is manageable for most people. Anything less than that is a place where people spend most of their time outside of their home or have to live that way because they have very little money. If you have children, you need to spend a decent part of your time at home, you can’t be going out all the time like someone who may be single.