Small Houses




I’ve always been partial to small houses, beginning with the bright red playhouse with the dutch door that my Dad built in our  backyard when I was 7.  And my predilection was confirmed when I ran across Sarah Susanka’s enlightening book, The Not So big House.  She describes houses built with economy of space, putting the resources into great finishes and brilliant use of every inch of the home.  Inspirational!  So when we bought out home, we thought 1500 square feet was just fine, even with four growing kids in tow.  I love, love the snug little house in the photo above.  We are talking about painting our house soon and I’m thinking these colors would look grand on 314 J. Street.   Thanks “You Are My Fave” blog* for paint idea.

So why do I love small houses?
#1.  Well, first of all they seem more friendly, more cozy.  There are not hallways off to unseen clusters of rooms.  I love the modest, home sweet home sort of feel.
#2.  And, of course, it’s easier to clean.  Fewer floors to sweep, fewer bath tubs to scrub. Oh, and thankfully, fewer windows to wash (you can tell that is not done too often here).
#3.  It forces you to edit your “things.”  Fewer cupboards, gives you the chance to pare down to the things you really do need, love, things you think are truly beautiful.
#4.  I like the feel of a “full” house– When friends crowd around the dinning room table, or pull in extra chairs in from the kitchen to sit around the coffee table and talk.  A little house fills up quickly.
#5.  It keeps the family in touch–sharing bedrooms, crowding round the kitchen table for breakfast, all ending up in the family room at the end of the day.  When spaces are small, you end of up sharing them–more time together.
#6.  A small garden also keeps you from spending all your Saturdays weeding and tending.  Just enough room for some shade trees, a sunny spot for sweet peas, a patch for  tomatoes and a little spot to set out a table for summer dinners.
#7.  A smaller version of the style of house you love is jus plain cheaper (Sorry, Jill, I mean “more affordable.”)  Less for maintenance when it’s time for a new roof or painting rooms…  And that leaves more for eating well, travels with family, giving money away…

That’s it.  I love our little house at 314.  It’s just the right size for Larry and me.  And when the kids come home, or friends come for meals, I’m glad to gather people in crowded around the smallish table…  I am thankful.

*Been enjoying the blog “You Are My Fave”– so bright and inventive, makes you feel like you’ve got a fresh stock of fun ideas after you sit and read it.  Here’s the link:

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