Build Smarter, Not Larger
Building smaller homes has become popular for several reasons, not the least of which is the baby-boom generation is looking to simplify and downsize their lives. While their homes are modest in square footage, expectations to keep them luxurious are in demand. I asked the design staff at YBH to share clients’ expectations when building a well-appointed smaller home.
The Well-Appointed Kitchen
The kitchen will always be the star of the home. The kitchen is where we most often see expectations in quality of finishes from granite counter-tops, to pine floors, to bead board accents.
Kitchens are the rooms where people want to see fine details, notably islands, custom cabinetry, and quality appliances. YBH has seen islands get bigger in homes where people are downsizing. Islands provide additional seating and a place where more people congregate while the homeowner is cooking or entertaining.
YBH clients expect quality in their new home, higher-end appliances and custom cabinets are a standard requirement for them. They want appliances to be the same as those that would be found in a home twice the size and quality cabinets that have hardware and glides that will withstand the test of time.
Smart Design in Smaller Homes
Beyond the kitchen, people who are moving to small homes understand they are giving up physical space—but they don’t want it to appear that way.
Our clients don’t want wasted space. They rely on YBH designers to find ways of using space efficiently. We underscore the need for smart window design to help with the perception of more space. Incorporating more windows throughout the home helps close the gap between indoor and outdoor living while giving the home the illusion of more room.
YBH designers create open floor plans uninterrupted by physical walls, allowing spaces to look and live larger than they are. Vaulted ceilings are often incorporated to further expand the sense of spaciousness.
Storage: The Understated Luxury
Downsizing, no matter at what level, can be a freeing but worrisome experience for a homeowner.
While understanding the need to get rid of things, clients want to hold on to nostalgic items or holiday decorations they might not need every day. Therefore, the luxury a homeowner will not give up when downsizing, is storage. Attics are one way to make up for the loss of traditional basements or storage spaces that take up square footage. This space is often underutilized and is a great place to incorporate extra space that can be used as a loft or for storage.