Future homeowners have a common objective: to keep construction material and labor costs down. This is not necessarily because they undervalue the home building process. Instead, rising costs and shrinking budgets, along with a desire for more simple living and sustainability, are leading homeowners in the direction of a new trend. The solution? Small home floor plans.
While there are both economical and practical reasons for homeowners to choose small homes, there are things to keep in mind before making the choice to go small. We will explore how small home floor plans can benefit you, as well as how to maximize your square footage when you’re low on space.
Benefits of Small Living
There are some key things to look for when searching for a good small home floor plan. In sum, a good small home floor plan prioritizes the quality of the design rather than the amount of space which is included in the design. When working with a small space, each distinct area will be in use every day, so it’s more advantageous for the best small house floor plans to focus on higher quality details within an area rather than the number of rooms that can be squeezed out of a specific degree of square footage.
By focusing on the details rather than blowing out square footage (as is the case with larger homes), homebuyers with a smaller budget can opt for higher quality design elements within their available space. In the end, buyers can find themselves with a home that’s full of charm without blowing out their budgets.
How to Make a Small Space Work
Even though a home may be small by square footage standards, it doesn’t have to feel or look small. The key to maximizing the feel of a space is regarding the layout of each room. Open concept design goes a long way in terms of providing flexible, versatile areas within a single room. Rooms that aren’t constrained by too many unnecessary walls and include open sight lines can give the feeling of more space without adding money to a budget by adding square footage.
When working with a small space, it’s also important that areas can perform “double duty.” This means that one space can function for several activities. Instead of building big (and therefore filling up large spaces with equally large furniture pieces), small homes call for spaces to accommodate several different activities at once, rather than requiring separate rooms for each distinct function. Home offices can also serve as guest bedrooms, and dens can become playrooms. By using adaptable rooms and spaces that are designed to fulfill multiple functions, every room will be able to be put to use at all times.
Living Large in a Smaller Space: Other Design Choices
There are other design choices you can make so that, even if your home is low on the overall square footage, it doesn’t have to feel small. One design adage is true: “When you can’t go out, go up.” Vaulted ceilings provide a simple way to make any room feel much larger. There are several design choices to add elegance and flair to your home, such as with a barrel or dome-vaulted ceiling.
Whichever style you choose for your vaulted ceiling, the room will feel more spacious as a result.
As mentioned earlier, open concept design is another way to maximize floor space when working with a smaller home. Since doors and walls take up space and reduce sight lines, opening up the major living areas, like the kitchen, living room, and dining area, can make a major impact on the look and feel of your home. You can also add other elements, like clerestory windows that are placed above eye level to make the room feel taller, more open, and allow in natural light. An added benefit of clerestory windows is that they won’t compromise your privacy.
Look for ways to capitalize on the outdoors by connecting your indoor space to the exterior living spaces of your home. Large windows with simple, light window coverings can strengthen the indoor/outdoor connection within your home. Also, look for house plans that include sliding doors,
French doors, or folding glass doors for more natural light and bigger access-ways to outdoor areas. Another practical idea is to make another living area—outdoors. Plans that have built-in patio areas or screened in porches offer another option for living space that’s perfect for socializing or relaxing within your home.
Finally, to maximize space and efficiency within your home, consider a minimalist design with streamlined, appropriately-sized furniture to combat clutter and congestion. Contemporary design which incorporates built-in storage can go a long way regarding adding functionality and efficiency to small spaces.
Small homes are a multi-purpose, functional option for today’s conscientious consumer. In addition to reducing your carbon footprint and lowering the financial impact on homebuyers, small home floor plans are practical, efficient alternatives to the mega-sized homes that are also popular today.
The key to a functional small home is in smart design. Focus more on the interior details of the home rather than its overall square footage.
Contact us to connect with a specialized architect who can work with future homeowners to make their dream design a reality, no matter the size.