As we’ve mentioned, we live in a fairly small apartment. It’s a one bedroom, and we have a little bit less than 500 square feet of space in total. However, the smart layout and open floor plan paired with high ceilings, big windows, and light colours makes it feel spacious and comfortable.
While we will be looking for a little bit more space when there’s more than just the two of us (not any time soon, don’t get any ideas!) what we have now feels more than sufficient for two people and two cats.
When we do eventually buy a place of our own, we’re ideally looking for something up to 1000 square feet, but no larger. This doesn’t put us into the territory of the tiny house movement (although we admire their ability to live small and reduce their carbon footprint!) but by North American standards, that’s a small house, especially for a detached home. The average new home in North America is about 2300 square feet. That’s 2300 square feet to fill up with stuff, 2300 square feet to clean, 2300 square feet to heat – no thanks! As a contrast, according to the BBC the average home in France is 1200 square feet, in Spain it’s 1000, Ireland 950, and the UK is 800 (perhaps we’re on the wrong continent?)
Here’s a few adorable small houses I’ve come across lately:
And here is my absolute favourite. Designed by Jessica Helgerson, this 540 square foot house is located on 5 acres outside of Portland, Oregon, and is home to Jessica, her husband, and their two children. The entire house was built with reclaimed materials, and features a living roof. They raise chickens and keep bees on the property, as well as maintaining a 1200 square foot vegetable garden. Gorgeous and inspiring!
Living in a smaller space gives us a great sense of freedom. We have more time, more money, and more energy when our lives are less focused on the accumulation and maintenance of stuff. It forces us to be particular about what we bring into our home, and as a result we find we significantly reduce mindless consumption. On that note, I’ll leave you with some closing words:
Have a great long weekend!