The look of design today is driven by a turn toward modest, meaningful living. We see the shift mostly in the emerging nester generation, although mature homeowners, in downsizing, are also drawn to simple, customized designs. In smaller homes it is often easier to focus on multiple details, and to get big impact from less complicated changes.
Most importantly, in considering smaller home living, many of our clients are discovering what we have detected in nesters of all house sizes: that people are naturally happiest in the nest within the nest, those crucial communal spaces such as kitchen and family room, or in restful places like bedrooms and studies. The endless caverns of lower levels, master bedroom sitting areas and of second family rooms are often neglected in favor of primary rooms close to the hub of the house.
In recent years, many of our clients have purchased and redesigned mid-century homes, where low-slung rooms and sincere use of space is often more satisfying than size for size’s sake. In newly-built smaller homes, the details speak to function and modesty. Great rooms joined with kitchens are still prized; single level floor plans are more attractive than multi; and storage is compact and organized.
The word often used today in design is ‘bespoke’. It means to have something made to order, tailored to need. It requires thought to be conceptualized and craftsmanship to be rendered. Realtors and builders often said to clients in the early 2000s: “With all this countertop, how could you ever run out of workspace?”
Today, we’re better served to approach design another way: “How do we live? Let’s suit that.”