It’s All Relative

Posted March 1st, 2010 by Lelly and filed in Issue 16: How To Design & Build a Home

Tiny Victorian front

So, you’ve decided that everybody else’s designs don’t quite fit and you want something completely unique, right?  You want to design it yourself so you get exactly what you want.  Now how do you begin?

First, I suggest taking a long hard look at the life that you want to live after you move into your small space.  You must be realistic about your space requirements. Do you want to entertain people? Do you need a home office? Do you like to cook?  You MUST be completely honest with yourself and don’t hold utopian ideals about how your life will be once you’re settled.

Next think about your storage requirements.  Are you a minimalist who has only 3 shirts, 2 pairs of pants and 1 pair of shoes?  Are you a seamstress or a crafty person who needs alot of storage?  Once again, really consider your storage needs.  And don’t forget to factor in those items that are easily forgettable: toothbrush, toothpaste, et cetera.  I would make a list of everything you want to pack around with you in your little house.  My personal goal is to be able to pack every thing I own into 3 medium sized boxes.

While you are designing, take into consideration not only floor plan but also think about things like your water heater, your home heat, all the tiny details. And we like to think that looks aren’t everything but lets face it, we all want a pretty home so don’t forget aesthetics!  I like to plot everything out on paper first and then I like to tape it out on the floor so I can get a sense of scale.  Then I whip out my Google Sketchup and go to town drawing it up.  I haven’t had a chance to actually build a home yet, but it’s on my to do list.

I also recommend making a list of the reasons why you wanted to go small and keep them by your side as you design.  That way you can keep your goal pure and create your perfect home.

Also don’t forget to use the tips and tricks featured in last month’s edition of SLJ!

Live free!    Lelly

chalet floorplan 2