When you think of a small space, you might think of the 500-square-foot tiny homes that have become a popular option for those looking to really downsize. But there are benefits to living in a smaller home — and you don’t have to take your square footage to extremes to enjoy them. Proof: Consider the 1,000-square-foot home. It’s smaller than the average house (according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data, the average size of a newly built home is 2,657 square feet), but not so small that you need to subscribe to a movement (and buy a Murphy bed!) to live there.
While we’re at it, let’s rethink the term “downsizing” and all of its negative connotations. “Whether you’re an empty nester moving from a house into a condo, or a renter trading in a two-bedroom for a studio and a shorter work commute, many people now see downsizing their home as a step forward, not backward,” says New York, NY–based designer Heather Higgins, who frequently handles projects in the 1,000-square-foot area. “Requiring less time, energy, and money, smaller living spaces provide greater lifestyle flexibility.”
From real estate in Baltimore, MD, to Jupiter, FL, we spoke with a few homeowners who live the smaller life, along with a few design and real estate experts who can speak firsthand to the other benefits of trading larger living for smaller spaces.