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Home DesignIf you have ever watched one of those television shows about tiny homes (those under 500-600 square feet) you may have been tempted to downsize. There is a growing trend in the U.S. to choose a smaller home design than was typical just a few years ago. The desire for a smaller carbon footprint, having less to clean, enjoying lower heating and cooling costs, and wanting a lower build cost are typical reasons for going smaller. If this sounds good to you, the question then becomes how to get the most from a smaller home design so you don’t feel cramped or boxed in. Here are a few tips:

  • Vaulted ceilings — Any room with vaulted (also called cathedral) ceilings will feel quite a bit larger. There are different styles you can go for, including barrel-vaulted and dome-vaulted.
  • Open floorplan — In order to get the most from less square footage, eliminate doorways and walls as much as possible. These take up space and make the home feel smaller. A nice open floor plan is ideal for family togetherness and entertaining as well.
  • Window selection — Choose window number and location to optimize the indoor/outdoor connection and allow plenty of natural light inside, which will make spaces appear larger. Clerestory windows are an excellent choice as well as large sliding or French doors to patio areas.
  • Built-in storage — The biggest enemy of a small home design is clutter. Having appropriate storage will go a long way to keeping that in check. Also, opt for minimalistic styling rather than formal and lush styles that can make a space appear smaller.