Downsize is a trending buzzword in today’s home-building lexicon for good reason. Currently estimated at 73 million and growing, Baby Boomers, a.k.a., the silver tsunami, are buying and building smaller homes. Gone are the four to five bedroom homes of their prior life. Replacing them are smaller homes designed for the way Boomers live today. Yankee Barn offers design concepts for clients wanting to bring light and space to a smaller floor plan.
Use windows to allow the flow of light through the house. By defining rooms with furniture instead of walls, light flows freely, allowing interiors to feel larger. Minimize the use of hallways. Their walls block light and restrict movement through a house.
Incorporate long sight lines
This is a good way to make a smaller plan live large. If possible, a vista from the front door to the back of the house makes a nice statement. One could place a window at the end of the sight line for maximum effect. The human eye is drawn to the light, and the view now extends beyond the confines of the home to the outdoors.
Zone the floor plan
When designing for families, there should be a parents’ zone and a kids’ zone. When designing for empty nesters, it would be the owner’s zone and guest zone. Then, within each zone, focus on privacy and connection. Always provide an acoustic buffer between the master suite and the rest of the house.
Employ a private path between secondary bedrooms and a shared bath. The ultimate goal is the path to the master not cross the path to secondary rooms and their bath.
Amplify the kitchen
With today’s kitchen at the center of family life, it needs to serve activity better than in the past. The large kitchen island has become a gathering space. The use of the island has the added benefit of creating two entrances into the kitchen, allowing family members to flow through the kitchen without clogging up the work of food preparation. Within smaller footprint homes, this idea may seem counter intuitive. It is not. Dress the kitchen up and allow it to flow into the dining/living areas.
Maximize flexibility with duel use rooms
In a limited footprint, the luxury of including multiple rooms is limited. An alternative is to create dual-use rooms. With the clever use of furniture, one space can function as a guest room, office, and/or TV room.