Oct 25 2007
Architect, Sarah Susanka, has helped reduced the popularity of McMansions by introducing a quainter lifestyle, beginning with our homes.
Her book, ‘The Not So Big House,’ embraces the idea that less is more and that luxury does not have to mean excess. So what does this have to do with green and energy efficient homes? How can a smaller home work for you?
A small, modest home means less heat, less air-conditioning, and less lighting. A home with fewer square feet is more efficient because a smaller amount of energy is needed to run the A/C, provide hot water, and perform other energy consuming activities.
So what can we do to make the most of the space we have?
In comes the multi-use room. A smart layout, multi-tasking furniture and storage can combine several tasks into one space. For example, tile is great in a laundry room for easy clean up and would also be beneficial in a craft room. So why not combine the two. Add storage for materials and laundry supplies and a large table that doubles as a folding station and craft table. Or check your email while cooking dinner by adding a small work station to your kitchen.
Smart storage and a flexible furniture arrangement can turn your media room into a formal space for entertaining and a playroom too. Taking small steps like these can combine several tasks and functions without adding to the overall space of your home. Heating, cooling, and lighting one room as opposed to three will surely save energy and help to reduce utility bills.
If clutter or furniture arrangement is a concern, there are many tips and tricks to seamlessly combine and reduce space without feeling cramped. Check out Real Simple’s advice.
While we may miss our super sized rec rooms and built-in theaters you probably won’t be missing those oversized utility bills. Learning how to live small can be a challenge, but enjoying a greener lifestyle also means embracing the idea that less is more