Can We All Learn to "Go Small"?

We all loved the issue of House Beautiful last month that asked the question is small the new big. We have been debating it around here since the issue made its way into our office. We were taken in by the small spaces and felt honestly that we could do it. Now, I do live in a small space. My family and I share a 877 square foot condo in mid-town. I am in the minority. Most of the girls here, even the ones who live alone or with just one other person, live in homes that have on average 3 bedroom and boast over 1700square feet of living space. New Yorkers and other city dwellers can answer the small space living question with an unequivocal yes! but could small become the new big in cities like Atlanta or Houston where there is plenty of space to expand. Take it form me, as a person who has designed tens of thousands, yes tens of thousands of square feet of living space, smaller even if not small would be a better choice for several reasons. The number one reason being the cost to decorate the space and make it fully functional for your family. I have been in many large homes where they are poorly furnished if at all. There were rooms not being used and they seemed to house tons of random things. Living in a small space causes you to edit what you bring in. It forces you to live only with the things that you love. I know that this debate could go on forever. We certainly have allowed it to go on for sometime around here. Just when I am ready to convince everyone that they could do with less space, I think about my parent's 5 bedroom home in Mississippi. I was there over the weekend with several of my siblings ( I have 6) and our children. I absolutely loved that we were all under one roof and could flow freely into each other's space without feeling cramped and over crowded. Something that could not have happened if my parents would have downsized when we all went away for college.

Images from July 2010 Issue of House Beautiful.

We love how this space is used as both a sitting area and a dining area.
Such a clever use of space and color.

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