Small House Plans – 1200 Square Feet

We promised you small house plans analysis so here is the first one… Don’t make common mistakes when selecting a small house design..

Small House Plans – Country Living Plan Review #1

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We promised you small house plans reviews so you can be ‘in the know’ when selecting your own floorplan. Here is the first one… an extremely well thought-out 1200 sq. ft. small house design.

First I’ll show you the floor plan and then explain what makes it so great, along with places I’d consider changing. Architect details here.

This small house plan is a perfect example of how you can live big in small spaces. It truly has some of the best small house design features I’ve seen as I’ll explain.

Photo Credit: ArchitecturalDesigns.com -1200 Square Foot Country FloorPlan

The design is about as inexpensive as you’ll ever get. Why?

* Eight foot plate (the outside ceiling height that the roof rests on.)  Now you could make the living,dining,kitchen area seem bigger by bringing the ceiling up to nine or ten feet in the center.  This adds volume without costing too much extra.

* Simple roof design.

* Minimal cuts.. As we’ve mentioned before, multiple cuts add to the cost.

* Two car garage but about as narrow as you can get and still hold two cars.

* Tiny front porch and a patio in the back instead of a porch.  One thing people often forget is that every part of your small house costs.  A 1200 square foot house with 525 sq. ft. extra outdoor space is a heck of a lot cheaper than 1000 sq. ft. of additional outdoor living space.

* One sink in each bathroom and only a tub in the master bath instead of separate tub and shower.

* No fireplace

* Looks like it has mainly 3050 windows.. 3’wide by 5’high (which you’ll see in the Elevation images further along) and they are a standard window size to be picked up from Lowes or Home Depot without special ordering.  Anytime you special order, it’s going to cost more, plus there’s generally a no return policy on those items.

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Quality small house design features.

* Just enough front porch for a welcoming bench and great street appeal.

* No wasted foyer space along with a living room capable of multiple furniture configurations.

* Love the Living room, dining room, kitchen layout.  Couple of items to note.  I would not recommend double french doors from the dining room unless you add a porch (roof) over the patio.  I don’t care how much money you spend on double doors, they can leak if the rain hits just so.  Better to opt for a standard door here.

And you might consider making the counter space from the refrigerator to the dining room into a nice pantry.  Or shift the fridge to the right and create a corner pantry.

This house plan also has one of my all time favorite features.. a window in the kitchen!  I just love having a window in my kitchen and if you notice, that’s a little hard to find in today’s stock plans.

* Moving to the right of this small house plan, the secondary bedrooms and bath are without flaw.  The bath layout is even “right”.. meaning it doesn’t have my number one pet peeve; seeing straight into the bathroom from the living room.  See how we had to flip a bath to fix that problem here at 5 Mistakes not to make in Small House Plans – Mistake #3.

Now, the bath is pretty small so I’d definitely put in a cabinet above the commode.  Just don’t put a big clunker where you bump your head every time you turn on the tub water.  The other option is to carve out shelves for the bath from Bedroom #3’s closet.

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Now, granted the second bedrooms are not too big.  But the spacious closets will help offset that by getting your stuff into the closets instead of cluttering up the rooms.

* Over to the master suite.  I appreciate how it’s a little offset, and NOT directly off dining area or living room as many are with such small floor plans.  Thoughtful design element.

Very spacious master closet although you’re not going to get rods on both the left and right side with a 5’2″ width closet.  Hanging clothes take up about 2 feet, so better to have right side (wall with the closet door) with a bank of 12″ shelves.  We put see-through baskets on our shelves to hold socks, under-garments, belts, shoes, etc.

Phew.. OK, if you’re still with me, you might want to stop a minute and sign up for our awesome weekly FREE Magazine.

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Let’s talk master bath:  Couple of points to think about.. Try and shift the sink to the left so you can get small stack of drawers at right side.  Also, you might just want a shower instead of the tub.  As long as there’s a tub in the second bath, you’ll have one tub in the house; it doesn’t necessarily have to be in the master bath.

* Laundry Room.. can you believe the size of the laundry room for this small house?  It’s a fabulous laundry space!  And I love the location, too.

* Even the hallway from the garage is useful.  Note the area for extra storage or perhaps a bench to sit down and take off your shoes as you come in.  You could still have cabinets above and a place to hang your keys.  I personally love having that little bit of space for coming and going.

* Lastly, the garage.  I’m telling you, I think this architect thought of everything.  It’s a two car garage, which most everyone would want, but with the width and 23’8″ depth layout it’s just enough for two cars and extra storage at the  end.. or an extra long truck.  That way you have a garage that functions ideally without additional cost.  Sweet.

Now we  check out the elevations (front and back views) of this small house plan.

Elevations

ArchitecturalDesigns - Country Front Elevation

This small house plan front elevation does NOT disappoint! It’s a simple, classic design that never goes out of style. And because the architect was careful to give it only enough gables to make it appealing, he/she has kept the construction cost down for you. Additional cost-saving measures are the standard size (3050) windows along with the low pitched roof.

ArchitecturalDesigns.com - Back Elevation

Here’s the back of the house. Remember the floorplan showed a big patio.. not a porch. Let’s talk about that for a minute. First off, you can keep it that way and if you pour the slab for the patio instead of as a whole with the house, you’ll save about half the cost on that part of the concrete. Typically a house slab will cost twice what ‘flat work’ or driveways, patios, walkways and the like will cost.

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However, a porch would definitely be a delightful living space. In that case, your contractor will pour the patio slab as part of the house and extend the porch roof by way of a gable.. At least that’s how I’d do it. And frankly, if it fits the budget, I’d add the porch.. and most definitely add a porch if the back of your home faces the west sun.

You might wonder what qualifies me to critique it? Well I’ve built homes.. small and large, for most of my adult life.. After putting numerous houses on the ground and watching them grow from paper to ‘real life’, I’ve developed a pretty good barometer for what works and what doesn’t. That said, of course, there are elements of a small house plan that might bug me but are perfectly fine for you. No problem; I just want to point them out to raise awareness and then ultimately you must decide.

[note color=”#FFFFCC”]All info about this cool small house plan can be found here.. including ordering instructions.

If you do order this house, we get a commission (so thank you!) and please share with us so we can add your new home into our Small Home Gallery.[/note]

Small House Lover, Darlene 🙂

Waterfront Living in 1200 Square Feet

Take a tour of waterfront living in 1200 square feet to get great design ideas for small spaces. Who says you can’t have it all when downsizing?

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Ready for some awesome design ideas for your small space? Downsizing never looked so good when it’s dressed up with a panoramic lake view.

This upscale 1200 +/- square foot home is a perfect example of how ‘down-sizing’ can be just the right size for folks who want it all. Get ideas for your small house as we tour this gorgeous Horseshoe Bay lake front condo with just the right living space and a plethora of amenities.

Photos & info courtesy of Realtor.com MLS# 113928 – Contact at end of post.

Front

Above is a good shot of the condo exterior. Whenever you’re considering a condo (as well as a single family home), you want to think about the aesthetics of the exterior. Does it make a good first impression? Does it have the desired curb appeal?

I will say one thing about this particular area.. Horseshoe Bay Resort.. It has an absolutely fantastic presence as you drive through the entrance. It breathes money with it’s lush tropical ambiance. If that matters to you, make sure to weigh it in when you’re considering different properties.

Living Area

Waterfront Condo Living Room space: Can’t tell too much about the living room other than it looks like you can get a full set of furniture in it. If you like to entertain, that’s important, or even if you simply want the feeling of a bigger home.

Living Room

Ahhh.. now we’re talking! First off, the living and kitchen spaces are open to each other while establishing boundaries with the kitchen bar. In my book this is a must in small living spaces. Otherwise you’re going to feel boxed in.

The second biggie is the view! Personally I could definitely downsize with a lake view like that. What’s so amazing about this view is that it looks like you get a wide open expanse of water, and not a puny canal where you’re looking across at your neighbor’s house.

Kitchen

Modern Well Designed Kitchen – Yes, very nice! It’s eye candy to be sure. Modern, with stainless appliances, built-in pantry and good color choices. It also has one of my favorite design features. When you have a good size pantry like this one, put it next to the fridge like you see here. That helps the fridge look semi built-in. A little more custom look, you know?

The only element I’d possibly change in this perfectly appointed kitchen, is the pantry door. I’d prefer it to open in the direction of the kitchen and not the other way. Check the swing of your doors if you’re building your own small house. It’s the details that matter.

Dining AreaOpen Dining and Living space – OK, we couldn’t see this so well before, but now we get a visual on how the living, dining and kitchen all flow together. Excellent design for this smaller square footage.

BedroomWow, even a water view from the master! Must be a pretty good size room if it’ll handle the big sleigh bed. But when you can cast your sight to a water expanse such as this one, I just don’t think it’s quite as important to get hung up on extra space because you will feel like you have the space.  Of course, crummy design can disappoint even with the killer view.. so you do want to look for a small floor plan with good design, such as this one.

BathroomI’m guessing this is the master bath because of the two sinks, although I’ve certainly seen two sinks in a second bath. Super storage with the long vanity.

Bedroom 2Here’s a look at the second bedroom with good size closet. I like closets with double doors like you see here so it’s easy to get in and find everything.

DeckBack Deck – Very important element to consider when you’re buying a condo as your small home. What kind of private outdoor spaces does it have? Here, you have a generous sized balcony. There’s room for a table and chairs, and even lounging chairs to soak up the view.. OK, I know there aren’t lounge chairs in this picture; I’m just saying there’s plenty of room for them. 🙂

Horseshoe Bay ViewOMgosh, are you kidding me?  Now do you see why we have condo lovers? This is an aerial view (I think it’s aerial) of the Horseshoe Bay Resort.  Actually I just found out that this picture was taken from the balcony of the condo and not a plane in the sky! LOL  Wow.

Of course, it’s possible to buy a single family home in a spot like this but typically you’re going to pay more.. and part of the appeal to small house life is downsizing the cost too.

Lakeview

We end this tour with yet another fantastic view of the water. Plus we have all the contact info below. FYI, the listing agent is a friend of mine, and she will take excellent care of you!

Oh, I almost forgot to mention one VERY important question to ask when looking at condos.. What is the parking situation? I believe this one has a garage which is a definite perk.

Courtesy of Realtor.com MLS# 113928 – Listing Agent Jan Busse 512.755.3889

One Bedroom Condo Packs in Big Living

A small home doesn’t have to be a small house. Sometimes a condo works better, as we see here in this light and bright one bedroom condo with study

A small home doesn’t have to be a small house. Sometimes a condo works better, as we see here in this light and bright one bedroom condo with study nook. The benefit of a condo versus a house is they are often in highly desirable areas with shopping and restaurants and shows all close by. Not that a house can’t also have the same perks but the cost would typically be much higher.

Let’s dig in and see what this small condo (949 square foot) has to offer. Does it use it’s space efficiently? Can  you get ideas to use in your own small space?

Photos Courtesy of Realtor.com MLS# 7826172

Living RoomSmall Living Room – Unique floorplan with open kitchen, dining and living area.  Several decorating elements we like about this living room.  The unit has a large window overlooking a garden area, and we like how the window treatment spans the entire wall; top to bottom.  The glass coffee table helps open up the space as well as positioning the sofa against the wall.

Kitchen and DiningKitchen/Dining Space – Good size kitchen and dining area.  A nice butcher block island would be a welcome addition to the kitchen… not only for increased counter space but to also define the kitchen from the dining just a little better.

Dining RoomBuilt ins are always a smart choice to increase livability in a small space.  Above, the floor to ceiling bookcases doubles this dining room to include a library.  Double purposing rooms is a must for maximum use of small spaces, as we describe in 5 Mistakes Not to make with your Floor Plan. (It’s addressed in #2 if interested.)
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KitchenBetter Picture of Kitchen – The pale kitchen cabinets combined with similar  in color hardwood floors does create an illusion of space but we think it came at too high a price.  Too vanilla for our taste.  Looks like great kitchen layout.  Could have brought the upper cabinets all the way to the ceiling for optimum storage use.

Bedroom StudyOffice Nook – It’s awesome to have extra space that can be used as an office nook.. music area, sewing corner, etc.  Anytime you can carve out  extra space like this, we say go for it.  It can make the difference between ‘needing’ an extra bedroom, and not!

BedroomMaster Bedroom – Once again big windows to bring the outdoors right inside your small home!  Floor to ceiling window treatments give a ‘big’ feel, and how about the light and bright fun picture over the bed?  Love it.

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BathroomSmall Bathroom – White is always a great choice for a small bath.  The solid glass door on the tub opens up the space visually.

View from the insideView – If you decide to make your home in a condo, go for the view!  It can make the difference of how you feel about your day to day life.. This condo has a garden view to enjoy, but city views are pretty amazing too!
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Community Features - Pool
Condo Amenities – Other pluses with condo living are pools, hottubs, workout facilities.. and the possibility for all kinds of perks that would cost a lot extra if you had to purchase individually for a single family home.  Just something to consider..

Photos Courtesy of Realtor.com MLS# 7826172

Downsizing from our Big House

Downsizing from a big house is a lifestyle choice my husband and I are excited to make. We take you from our big house to the decision to simplify..

If all goes according to plan, we’ll be downsizing from our big house to a smaller home. Yep, we have sold our beautiful Tuscan home and should close on the transaction on Halloween at the end of this week.

This is a picture of our Tuscan house.

Downsizing from this Big House
Downsizing from this Big House

Some people may not consider it a big house but 2600+/- was too big for just hubby and myself.

Shoot, we raised our two kids in a 2200 square foot home with both of us working from home. We certainly didn’t need a bigger house than that, now with the kids gone.

So how did we end up in this house only two years ago? By not getting clear on what we really wanted in life. Just kind of coasting along not putting a lot of thought into the lifestyle we wanted to life.

Some of you may know that my husband and I are home builders.. He builds the spec homes by himself now but of course I still get involved on our personal houses, and I used to build specs by myself years ago. So we’re constantly thinking about what we want to build next.

We hadn’t built an amazing house for ourselves in a few years so I got the idea that it was time. If I had stuck with the original plan I had designed, we would probably have stayed here. It was fairly modest but had everything we needed. We hired an award winning home designer out of Austin, TX. He is an outstanding designer, but the house kind of grew as we went along. And not just in size but in expensive detailing in the house.

Probably the two most expensive details we did, were the rotunda entry way and the bell tower leading to the front door. Here are pictures of other areas that we went over the top.

Living Room of big house The arches are actually a fairly inexpensive way to get a great look.

No, here the over-do was lifting the living room plate to 14 feet and adding extra windows. The window package in this house was double what most of our homes are.

Also, because of all the twists and turns in the design (along with the bell tower) our exterior stone was double the price. For me, now.. with the way I think, it was just overboard. If we had built this house without all the cuts, we could have used the extra money somewhere else.. like maybe exploring Europe for six months! Yeah, no lie.

Master bath of big houseAgain, as you can see in the master bath, we had an overabundance of windows. There were eight windows total in our master bath. Crazy, and unnecessary.

We also had a curved whirlpool tub.

Hint: Curves are cool in a house but anytime there’s a cut or a curve (instead of straight line) that’s going to cost you extra.

Big House Kitchen

Next I want to show you the kitchen. I really like the kitchen and will take some of the components and downscale them when we build our small house.

I envision our downsized house modest in size and with simple lines (to keep cost down) but with some special detailing that will make it charming.

I don’t know that we’ll have room to make the arch over the stove top but I do want a hood like you see in this picture. BTW, the hood is a Cavaliere and I will not purchase that brand again. The main reasons I purchased it was because it was supposed to be quiet and whisk the cooking odors right out of the house. Not! It didn’t do either. So, for $800. bucks, I got a cool look but without the function I expected.

[note color=”#FFffe0″] If anyone knows of a great brand of range hoods that looks like this one BUT is whisper quiet and eliminates odor, please share with us. [/note]

I love the subway tile in the kitchen. What’s so special about it? The sheer simplicity of it, I think. In my new small house I’ll have a more glossy tile but I plan to go with subway tile, maybe even the same biscuit color.

Subway Tile in the big house

It’s farewell to our big house. In a way it’s bittersweet because it was fun living in it and we thought we’d live here indefinitely.

The truth is.. the idea of downsizing our home and simplifying our life is SO dang appealing that I’m super excited about it. Of course, we’ll take you along for the journey.

Top Reasons we decided to downsize our home

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  • We want a home that reflects more of who we are now.
  • We will either have a tiny mortgage on our new small house, or none at all.. oh yeah!
  • Downsizing will free us financially to enjoy life more.  Do I hear travel?

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In the spirit of our new lifestyle choice, we are taking off literally on the closing day.  Hubby Gregg is taking me to the airport for a preplanned trip I had made with a girlfriend before we sold our home.  Then off he goes in the truck with pooch, Elvis as his traveling companion.

The three of us will hook up later in the week for a visit to his mom and an extended road trip.  Don’t ask me where we’re going or how long we’ll be gone because I don’t know exactly.  We’re putting our furniture in storage and taking off for fun and adventure.

Entrance to the big house

Bye, bye big house.

Hello world!

Cute as a Button Small White House

Come along for this small white house tour that we just added to our Small Home Gallery. Only 1450 square feet but it packs big living in..

[adrotate banner=”30″]This cute as a button small white house joins our Small House Gallery!  Even at approximately 1450 square feet, it manages to pack in three bedrooms and two full baths.

A quaint home built in 1949, but recently remodeled, as you’ll see from the pictures. 

Speaking of pictures, all images in this post were obtained from Realtor.com mls#2583761.  OK.. so let’s get to it!

front of house

“Charming” is the word of the day on this small house. White is always a good choice. Maybe black or red shutters would add a little spice to the exterior. And a painted front door could dress it up too.


VERY nice job on the small kitchen!  Sleek and modern but not overdone.  Natural wood cabinets and under bar adds warmth and is a balance to the slate floors and stainless appliances.  Retro bar stools coordinate perfectly.

Notice they have a combination of closed upper cabinets and glass cabinets.  That’s a nice touch, and if budget allows, it’s cool to have lights in the glass cabinets.  I see they did put in under the cabinet lights in this kitchen.  It’s hard to tell about the kitchen counter-tops, but they are Blue Pearl granite.

Dining Room
Above, you get a different view of the kitchen with the dining area.  I like that the homeowner was not afraid to blend two separate floor materials in basically one space.  If it’s done right (like here) then the different floor elements can help define the space and look fabulous.

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In this case, the kitchen enjoys slate floor tiles while the dining area has light to medium toned Hardwoods.

Jenn-aire glass cook-top with downdraft that I am seriously considering in my next house, and here’s why:  I visited my cousin in Alaska a few years ago and he had the Jenn-aire with a downdraft.  It was in the kitchen bar, and I kid you not, he sauteed garlic shrimp while we sat two feet away, and you could not smell the shrimp.  Now I don’t know if all Jenn-aires are that good but I’ll let you know what I get and if it’s as great as his.

Dining and breakfast nook
I included this extra picture of the dining area above so you could see the efficient built in to the right.  Similar to the built in alcove in our black and white bathroom, in that it illustrates how to carve out extra space in a small home.  (It’s the 7th image down if you go look.)  Every square foot counts, so take advantage whenever you have the opportunity to do so.

Living Room
Great view above of the open floor plan of the living room, dining and kitchen.  Note (to the right) how yet another built in was carved out of a small space and put to work greatly enhancing this small house to live big.  It eliminated the need for a bulky piece of furniture to house the media components or art work.

Another living room picture
This living room view highlights the Hardwood floors that run from living to dining area.  Also, we can see how nicely the windows cased out.

Small bath
Unique secondary bathroom is big on style; glass vessel sink with wall mounted faucet.  Just make sure if you go with this look, that you adjust the cabinet height accordingly.  [adrotate banner=”29″]This type of sink will add several inches before you get to the rim, so if you vote for the higher cabinet height that is so popular now, you could end up with a ridiculously high sink.

FYI, to give you an idea of measurements, we went with a 31″ tall bathroom cabinet with a 6.25″ high glass vessel sink in a house my husband and I built.  The other bathroom cabinets in the same house had typical drop in sinks, and for those we did 34″ high cabinets.

If you are enjoying the Small Home Gallery tour, you’ll love receiving a copy of Small House Life magazine.. delivered to your email every Sunday..

master bedroom picture
Attractive master bedroom with a continuation of the Hardwood floors.  Nice how the wooden patio doors ties it all together.  I want you to note how the bed is against the windows.  Personally this is not my first choice, but I don’t mind the look at all.  Another way to use a bed against windows is to cover the wall with ceiling to floor curtains.
master bedoormOh my, this view of the master bedroom shows how efficient storage was carefully implemented throughout this small house.  They might of goofed a little on the size of that TV..  🙂 but they did a fantastic job, nonetheless.  The glass closet doors still hide the contents but give us better visual to open up the room.

Smart window treatments, also.  The shades that close from the bottom up or from the top are pretty darn handy.

master bath
Nice how they managed to get two sinks in the small master bath.  Again, as they did in the secondary bathroom, they used ultra fun wall mounted faucets. 

And if course if it’s in your budget, the under-mount sinks (as opposed to drop-in) are preferably for a slick look with easy cleaning.

master bath shower
Roomy shower with tile inset within the tile walls for shampoo and toiletries.. and my bet is the lower tile is the perfect height to rest your foot while shaving.

extra bedroom
Remember our ‘Cute as a button white house’ has three bedrooms.. and the idea is to use the extra rooms in a way that works best for YOU.  In this case one of the extra rooms was regulated to an attractive office.

As we noted in 5 Mistakes not to Make in a Small House Plan, if at all possible go with three bedrooms in your small house.  Generally you can find unique ways to use the rooms that suit your lifestyle perfectly while retaining best resale value.

outside deck and yard
This small house sits on an oversized lot (about a quarter of an acre) and whoowhee don’t you see that here?  This shows the back door view.  I don’t know which way the house faces but if the back faces west, I’d certainly spring for a pergola to filter the hot sun.

deck outside
Back elevation just goes to show that not a detail was overlooked.  It’s truly a charming home front, back, inside and out!

[note color=”#Ffffcc”]Do you have a small house you’d like to share? Contact us here.[/note]

Small Kitchens Styles with Big Personality

Who says small kitchens are boring? Check out these kitchen styles from light and bright coastal, to sleek modern, friendly farmhouse, unique

[adrotate banner=”30″]Showcase of small kitchens styles with personality bigger than Dallas! All the images in this post are from Kraftmaid.com. We strive to include whatever cabinet specs were listed so that if you want to look at a particular cabinet it should be easy to find.

While we appreciate how gorgeous the cabinets are, this article is designed to highlight different small kitchen styles to give you ideas for your small home. That means we’ll go through and tell you what we like as well as what we don’t like about the various features.

Small Kitchens Kraftmaid Farmhouse Style
Photo: Kraftmaid Farmhouse Style

First up is a modern farmhouse appeal in the picture above.  You have to be fairly bold.. read ‘neat’ to go for the open shelves.  I’ve never had open shelved upper cabinets myself but have always liked the way they look.  And of course you also need some pretty snazzy dishes to pull this off.  Mismatch won’t do.

Check out the farmhouse apron front sink in this small kitchen.  Another feature I’ve yet to experience but love.  We thought about putting it into our Tuscan house but didn’t because of the cost.  They are about three times the cost of a conventional sink. If you go to Lowe’s kitchens and search ‘apron front kitchen sink’ you’ll find the least expensive is a stainless steel sink at about $445.. And I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I looked up the price of a farm sink like the one in this picture with the raised back.. $1,750! Yeeeaah, pretty but pricey.

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Notice the kitchen table right smack in the kitchen instead of a typical bar. I think it makes for a cozy farmhouse appeal. Cabinets are a maple cabinetry in Biscotti with Cocoa Glaze with a matte nickel hardware.

Small Kitchens Kraftmaid Modern Style
Small Kitchens Kraftmaid Modern Style

Very slick contemporary kitchen.. and how about that back-splash? Almost looks like a tin of some sort that you can get in sheets to go on the ceiling.. Not sure I’d want that for the long haul. Cool bar design, though. You have the taller part and then shorter size just perfect for dining for two.

Modern, natural finish, quartersawn cherry cabinetry. Slab doors add a dynamic feel to the space. With Contemporary, less is more.. and the lean look is ideal when you’re short on kitchen space.

Photo: Kraftmaid Coastal Style
Photo: Kraftmaid Coastal Style

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Ahhhh, pretty, pretty! Bright and coastal kitchen. Again, open shelves but they added a row of cabinets at the top with doors. Nice how they are lit inside. Kind of the best of both worlds with open shelving and then the closed ones to compliment.

My favorite part of this small kitchen is the floor! Love it. Just pick out two different wood colors and put them together for contrast.  I like the sharp contrast in this picture but it would look good in a slightly less contrast, also.

Cabinetry in Biscotti with Coconut Glaze and warmly lit satina glass doors.

Kraftmaid Black and White small kitchen
Kraftmaid Black and White small kitchen

OK, folks, you know I LOVE black and white!  The black in this kitchen is used sparingly so as not to overpower.  Glass doors with contrasting black back panels create a dramatic backdrop for putting special serving pieces on distinctive display.

The white marble counters give a formal feel.  You could go a little more casual with a different counter.  Maybe granite?

Kraftmaid Scandinavian kitchen
Kraftmaid Scandinavian kitchen

Speaking of casual, this small kitchen is that and more.  Long rows of open shelving for dishes, light woods and beaded cabinet doors give this kitchen a smooth Scandinavian feel.  I’d probably go with a tile floor because the wood is a bit overdone between the cabinets and wood floors.  Even a brick pattern tile would look good.

Kraftmaid Marquette small kitchen
Kraftmaid Marquette small kitchen style

Not sure those counters are blue above? ..but except for the possibly blue counters, you’ve got a classic theme here with the dark wood and brick patterned back splash.  A classic subway tile would also look nice.

I’m glad they went with large tile on the floors.  Wood would have been a bit much, don’t you think?  Then Marquette cabinets in Sunset Cherry warm up the kitchen with a layer of rich woods to make this a traditionally styled kitchen. Accent lighting under the cabinets imparts a cozy glow.

Kraftmaid Galley small kitchen
Kraftmaid Galley kitchen with floating bar

Now this kitchen above has a nice blend of a rich wood for the hardwood floors and creamy white cabinets.  I think a granite counter to pull the dark wood and light cabinets togehter would actually look better than what they have.

No wasted space with cabinets even in the bar.  Smart move in a smaller house that’s for sure.

Cove molding and the square raised door panels add quite the architectural interest to this bright and spacious kitchen in Kraftmaid’s cream Thermafoil.

Kraftmaid Kaffe cabinets
Photo: Kraftmaid Kaffe

Clever use of space in the galley kitchen above.  The bar isn’t a bar in the traditional sense.. with the lovely glass cabinets you can’t exactly scoot up and have a cocktail.   But that problem is solved with the cute table height eating space for two.

Tall wall cabinetry in warm Kaffe resembles beautiful art on these walls and provides much needed storage to a small kitchen.

Kraftmaid transitional kitchen
Kraftmaid transitional kitchen style

Fun, fun!  I left the most unique kitchen for last.  There are many interesting elements to this striking kitchen.

Sleek, contrasting door finishes with 4′ slate tile back splash.  Now I do have to warn about a slate back splash.  Slate is somewhat common in Texas.. less than it used to be because people started noticing the problem I’m getting ready to tell you about.  Here’s the BIG negative: It’s porous.  And porous materials absorb everything including grease and spats from cooking.  You can’t get it out so it starts looking splotchy.  If anyone tries to tell you it has sealant on it and it’s fine, I’m here to strongly disagree.  I’ve never seen a sealant yet that can stand up over time.  Your lovely slate will start looking dirty; trust me on this.

Notice how the microwave is built into the right side of the bar.  Smart.  Hubby and I often finish out our kitchen bars with the panels like you see here.  It gives that ‘furniture’ component.  Much better than painted sheetrock that gets kicked while sitting at the bar stools,  and starts looking tired.

Well, that’s it.  I hope you liked our journey through all the different small kitchen styles.

If you want to peruse the Kraftmaid cabinets, you will find them at Home Depot or Lowes.

How Someone Else Can Pay Your Mortgage

How to get someone else to pay off your mortgage. A simple, conservative way to have your small house mortgage paid off by downsizing and using..


small house with keysSound radical? It’s not…

I’ll show you a simple, conservative way to have someone else pay off your small house mortgage by using your home equity wisely.

It all began with a phone call from a dear friend in the real estate business. She called to update me on what she’s doing in our troubled economy and we got to talking about downsizing. My husband and I are currently selling our big fancy house to simplify our lives. She and her husband are considering downsizing from their big fancy house.

We got to talking about our different options and what downsizing to a smaller house could do for us financially.

I suggested an idea to her and she liked it so much, she encouraged me to share it with my readers. Of course!

Alright, here’s the great idea! 🙂

Take the equity from selling your big house and pay cash for a modest home. Well, what’s special about that? This home is not going to be the one you live in. You’re going to lease it out.

Now, find a small house that you want to call home and purchase it with a mortgage.

Your renters will pay off your mortgage. You might say.. well, if I just used the equity to pay cash for my own home, I wouldn’t need renters to pay it off. True. But look at the difference in the two scenarios.

BTW, we are using equity for cash but if you like this idea, you can use any funds available.
[box title=”Get qualified advice before proceeding!” color=”#336699″] Figures below are ESTIMATES for illustration purposes only. This article is designed simply to consider possibilities. I am not a licensed financial planner or accountant.[/box]

PLAN A – $160,000 Equity

157,000 pay cash for new home
3,000 closing cost
——————————–
You now own your personal home free and clear.

Hurray!! Actually this is pretty darn cool and there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing it. We just believe there could be a better way.

PLAN B – $160,000 Equity

157,000 obtain mortgage for new home
4,000 closing costs are typically more when acquiring a loan
8,000 down payment
———————-
$1,211. monthly payment <<approximate only! I figured this at 4% interest, 30yrs. and with high Texas property taxes. Interest rates fluctuate, as do taxes, insurance and such.. These numbers are meant to give you an idea of how this can work.

$145,000 pay cash for new rent home
3,000 closing cost
———————-
$1200-1300 monthly rent <<have qualified real estate professional advice you on what this price home would rent for in your area.

Use the rent money from your tenants to pay your mortgage.  Sweet.

Added Benefit: Once the mortgage is paid off, you also own an income producing property that can enhance your quality of life. Double sweet!

In a nutshell, here is the difference between Plan A & B:

Plan A, you own your own home without debt, and in thirty years you are in the same position financially.

Plan B, you own one home without debt and another one with a mortgage.  In thirty years (or 15 or however long it takes to pay off the mortgage)  you have an extra house that provides income.

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NOTES

You might wonder why we used the personal house with a mortgage and rent house free and clear.  Generally you can get a better loan on a personal house as opposed to an investment property.

If you really want to be prudent when considering Plan B, you’ll set aside approximately 10%  of the monthly rent each month for potential repairs and vacancy. Being a landlord is not for everyone, but it can open up some interesting financial possibilities.

I’ve owned rental property almost my entire adult life and I’ve found the key is to properly screen potential tenants.  Also, so that I’m not chasing down rent checks, I use an auto debit company that takes the rent out of the tenants bank account and puts it into mine each month.  Plus when you sign on thru this link, we both get two free months of service! Sweet. 🙂

Amortization Calculator to figure different priced houses, interest rates, etc.

Small Houses in Salado Texas

Take a tour of small houses in Salado Texas that come big with Texas charm.. From beautifully restored historical homes to newly built small..

[adrotate banner=”30″]Hubby and I took a road trip to see small houses in Salado TX a couple of weeks ago. Well.. actually we went to have lunch at our friend’s new restaurant TheSaladoPatio.com.. and took the camera along so we could snap shots of fun and funky Salado houses for our Small Home Gallery.

This first small house is one of my favorite and I’m sure you can see why. I think the home owners hit it spot on with the green color. You really have to have a good eye for color to choose the right green. Accent it with crisp white and then they used a deep maroon for pop. Not too much, but just the door and top of the columns.

I had to give you a close up because this little house wallops a whole lot of charm with the painted ivy around the front door. What an awesome idea! Whimsical and tasteful. Look at the front door.. That is not an expensive front door at all, but is perfect for this quaint small house.

I love this next house. Kind of looks like a renovation to me. Almost a 60’s house. What do you think? Nice inviting front porch with lots of space for relaxing in our hot Texas sun. Notice the white wicker chairs that brighten it up.

Now this is a little blue and white house we came upon as we went around the corner of a quiet street. Wait until the next picture. You won’t believe the vegetation surrounding this cute home. But before you go, check out how the front door is off to the side on the right.

Whoa.. here we go! The house was practically hidden behind trees and ivy.
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Notice the low Texas stone wall surrounding the property in the front here. Who needs a picket fence when you can have this gorgeous stone ‘fencing.’

Remember I said this small house was on a corner?  Here is the left side of the house.  I wish I could have gotten a closer picture of the side door.  Can you see the stained glass bordering the inside glass?  And how about the flowers at the door?  I love when you see old houses with the shed roof line that goes down low like in the back (to the left.)

Here we have again a green house and they also did the maroon accents.  Front door in red, just like our first house but they took it a step further and painted their wood windows red, also!
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Just a little country house with a welcoming front porch.

I almost didn’t put this next picture (below) in because the house is almost totally obscured by the tree and it’s hard to see.   But you don’t often see the Caribbean style here in Texas so I thought I’d show you anyway.

It’s got the hip roof and double french entrance doors with french doors flanking side by side.  The white rock you see is definitely Texan as it is one of the most popular stones in the state… mainly used in the Texas Hill Country because it’s quarried here. .

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So they have a blend of island flair meets TX!  ..I just had to show you.

Salado Texas stone plantation house

This little house was in the same neighborhood as the one above. It’s obviously a fairly new home. Huge gable that is saved from being monotonous with the medal Texas lone star. Modest, tidy home.

Salado newer small home

Our last small house in the Gallery is a cute (what I like to call ‘Grandma’ house) of slate grey and white.  Notice the fish scale siding in the gable on the left.  I’ll get you a bigger view of that in a minute.  I like the transom over the front door for added light.  And of course, who can resist the white picket fence?

Salado house grey w white picket fence

OK, so here you can see the detailing of the fish scale. And look at all the other detail in this lovely small home. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a half circle quite like that under the gable. And check out the gorgeous window glass.

Salado house w fish scale

Well that’s it for our very first Home Gallery tour.. I think the beautiful small houses of Salado Texas did us proud.

For those of you not from TX, Salado is a quaint town just north of Austin as you’re on the way to Dallas.. off Hwy 35.

[note color=”#FFffe0″] If you have a small home you’d like to share, we’d love to add it to the Home Gallery. Just Contact us HERE! [/note]

Cool Water Features for Small Spaces

A simple way to add pizazz to small spaces is with a water feature. Most of the water fountains can be used for indoors or outdoors..

A simple way to add pizazz to small spaces is with a water feature.  Most of the water fountains in this article can be used for indoors or outdoors.  I once saw a wall fountain in the foyer of a model home.  It was gorgeous but I noticed when I installed an outdoor fountain at our Tuscan home, the water sometimes splashed on the floor.  So that is something to consider.

These fountains can be found here >> Garden Fountains

Wall Fountain
Corinthian Wall Fountain at our Tuscan Home

Sometimes I like to add flowers to the fountain.. I can pretend I’m in Italy! Usually you’ll just want to leave the flowers in for a day or two so as not to muddy up the water.

Water Feature with Flowers
Water Feature with Flowers

My favorite place to buy water features is at Garden-Fountains because they have a huge selection at reasonable prices. The fountain in the above pictures is called ‘Corinthian Wall Fountain’ ($149.00) which was perfect for the old world charm of our Tuscan home. I think the Corinthian would also look good in a small house bungalow or craftsman style.

Apparently the Corinthian is one of their best sellers which I didn’t know when I purchased mine.. but I can certainly see why it is!

Water Features for your small space:

Water features are defined as anything water related in your garden or home decor.  That can include garden fountains, small pools and ponds, waterfalls, and cascading water.   Today it’s easy to find a water fountain that fits your style, whether it be classic, modern, beachy.. there are lots of unique water features available.

Archimede Lite Wall Fountain
Archimede Lite Wall Fountain

The Archimede Lite Wall Fountain from Garden Fountains is a modern twist.  Here you see it in a silver lead look but it also comes in a blackish iron look for a more rustic setting.

The water trickles from a little spout on the classic backplate into a relatively deep well basin.

Clean simple lines on this fountain and the single water spout make for a soothing water experience.

Along with the variety of different styles of water fountains, they each come with their own unique sound.  Do you like the distinct sound of a solo spout or would you prefer the sound of multiple water streams?

When you shop at Garden Fountains, they usually have YouTube videos so you can hear the different water sounds of the fountain you’re considering.

Now the table fountain below has a distinct Grecian flair.  The Cara Classica Fountain as it’s called, brings just the right touch of Old World elegance to your garden or patio.

Water Fountain - Cara Classica at garden-fountains
Water Fountain - Cara Classica at garden-fountains

So you can see with this table water feature above.. you don’t have to have a lot of room to pack drama into your decor.  I’d much rather have a small home with one of these cool water features, than a large, plain house.

When you downsize to a smaller house, you’re more likely to have additional funds to add extra perks such as these.

Flower Angel Wall Fountain at Garden Fountains
Flower Angel at Garden-Fountains

<< Now this one to the left here, is a delightful fountain with intricate flowers and even an angel.

It has an antique limestone finish and the water flows out of the bowl that the angel is holding and cascades down onto the ledge..

Then look how the water flows out of seven smaller spouts into a larger basin right below that, creating a soothing, beautiful water element. So you get two water falls, one in the basin the angel holds and then the seven spouts.

I might have bought this one if it had been available when I made my purchase. Well, I guess there’s always next time!

I really like the angel and the row of seven water spouts.

Water Fountain Installation

There are two different ways to install your water fountain for your small space.

1) Most fountains are made where you simply have water recirculating within the fountain. No plumbing is needed and you just plug into any standard 3-prong electrical outlet.

The beauty of this method is that it’s easy to install. The only negative is that you have to watch and make sure to refill the basin with water when it gets low.

2) The second method is where you hook up to a water line in your house. This is obviously more difficult to install but you never have to worry about the water level and possibly buring out your pump. And in a hot Texas summer, that can matter.
[note color=”#FFFFE0″] All the water fountains featured in this article, can be found at Garden Fountains. We bought our fountain there because they had a huge selection and great prices.

Also in the spirit of full disclosure, if you make a purchase through our links, then SmallHouseLife.com makes a small commission. [/note]

Black and White Small Bathroom Ideas

Black and White Small Bathroom. Get small bathroom ideas with black and white images, tips, suggestions. Lots of great storage and appealing..

For a timeless look, go with the black and white bathroom.  It looks so fresh and I love the crisp, clean classic style.  You can jazz it up by giving it pops of color.. red, yellow, blue.

We bought lots of products at Lowes. Shop Bathroom at Lowe’s

Small Bathroom Black and White Image
Small Bathroom - Black and White

My husband and I built this tiny bath as a seldom used upstairs bathroom. It was in a Tuscan home and I wanted the style to look as good in twenty years as on the day we built it.  This small bath size measures 8′ x 5’3″.

And of course, we wanted the illusion of space so as not to feel confined.

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So, one of the ‘space enhancing’ features of this small bathroom is extending the mirror over the vanity the entire width of the wall.

BTW, the vanity cabinet is 34″ wide.

Then we put a fun, vibrant picture on the opposite wall to reflect in the mirror as you walk in.

Having a large mirror also reflected the lights over the mirror.  I think that vanity light had 6 bulbs, so in essence, it seemed like we had twelve lights which gave off a lot of spark.

The light was purchased at Lowes. The counter is black granite.

Notice that we brought the tile up on the walls for continuity. You can see how it is behind the toilet and on the opposite wall as seen reflected in the mirror.

Small Bathroom mirrored medicine chest
Extra large medicine cabinet 26h x 20w

Speaking of mirrors, to further the look of wide open space, we used a mirrored medicine cabinet. We accomplished two objectives with this particular medicine cabinet (purchased at a close-out sale at Home Depot.) It also greatly extended our storage space. I loved how the entire cabinet was mirrored inside as well as out.

And we used a really big medicine cabinet for just that much extra storage for our small bath. As noted, it was 26″H x 20″W.

Small Bathroom black and white paper towel
Give guests the option of using paper towels.

Something we like to do with a guest or hall bathroom is to give our guests the option of drying their hands with paper towels. You can see to the left how we did this for our black and white bath.

You can even use a wall mounted paper towel holder.. but if you do that, make sure it goes with your overall theme like the one we used was black iron.

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Peek a boo Shower Curtain gives a bigger feel to bath.

For the shower curtain, we bought (online but I think I even saw this one at Walmart!) one that allowed us to see through to the bathtub wall. We did this for two reasons. One, once again we wanted as much feeling of space as possible.. but also so people could see how pretty the tile was.

When going small you need all the help you can get, so we added an inexpensive shower ledge for shampoo and such.

Black and White bath storage alcove

The built in counter and storage alcove that you see in the picture above illustrates how you can create ‘big’ in a small room.   This was not part of the original floor plan and indeed I had to convince both my husband and our framer because they both thought it was too insignificant a space to be of any use.  This ‘dead’ space measures 23″ wide by 18″ deep and I want you to just look at how much it adds to this small bathroom.

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In my opinion, it’s the difference between a tiny cramped bath, and a small yet functional, enjoyable bathroom.  In that small space, there’s now a nice counter area with an electrical outlet.. a good size drawer, and big storage below and above.

Black and White Hexagon Floor tile
Black and White Hexagon Floor tile

Above is the close up of the black and white hexagon floor. This is a fairly easy tile to find. And inexpensive too!  It was about $3.00 per foot at Lowes.

TIP: Use charcoal grey grout instead of white. It’s much easier to keep clean. I was a little worried about the dark grout when my husband suggested it, but I think it turned out great.

Another element I want you to notice is the black tile used as a border all along the bottom of the wall. There is actually tile you can buy for this area. It has a little curve along one side and you’re supposed to put it along the bottom next to the floor. I just used regular 4×4 tile there instead because I didn’t want that curve.. it would serve as a dust catcher in my opinion. Going with the regular tile saved money too, because any time you go with something a little different, it costs extra.  That’s one way the manufacturers make extra profit.

As mentioned, we purchased a lot of the items for this black and white bath at Lowes. Click here to check out Lowe’s current promotions.

[note color=”#FFffe0″] If you liked seeing our small black and white bathroom, come visit us on Twitter.com/SmallHouseLife or share this page! Thanks, Dee 🙂 [/note]

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5 Mistakes NOT to make with Small House Plans

SmallHouseLife.com walks you through five of the more common small house plans mistakes and how to avoid them. Get these elements right

blueprint floorplan
Photo credit: Can Stock Photo Inc

So many small house plans to choose from; how do you decide?  Selecting the right floor plan for your small house is essential to the enjoyment of your new home.

Get this part right and you can enjoy your small house for years to come.  Get it wrong, and it can be a huge disappointment.

SmallHouseLife.com walks you through five of the more common floorplan mistakes and how to avoid them.  You want every square foot to flow, live large and be functional.

Small House Plans –  Mistake 1

Not enough planning and preparation.  You’re excited about building a new home and you dive right in there looking at all the cool floor plans without taking the time to drill down on the essential elements that will work for your family.  Yes, you’ve decided on the number of bedrooms or that you want an office, but have you stopped to consider exactly what your needs are?

Only once you determine the particular desires of your family, can you get a clear picture of which floor plan will work best for you.

My suggestion is to sit down with your spouse (if applicable!) .. and even the kids (if you have them!) and have everyone write down what they want in a house.   Separate bedrooms for the kids?  Office.. or two? Outdoor living space, big kitchen, little kitchen, quiet reading spot?  The list is endless, but it’s also unique to each family.  So take the time to write down everyone’s wish list.  You will have to trim the list, especially because you’re building a small house, but the important thing is to get it on paper.
[note color=”#FFFFE0″] TIP: Separate the needs from the wants. List what is non-negotiable and what can be scratched if necessary. [/note]

Small House Plans – Mistake 2

Not considering how rooms can perform double duty.
Once you’ve figured out what your small house plans wants/needs, you’ll want to start thinking about how you can get them all into your small floor plan.

Frank Betz Small Floor Plan
Frank Betz - Nickerson floor plan - 1627 sq. ft.

So you must have a formal dining room?  Uhhum.. ok, but can you also use that space as a card room or library?  Need a separate guest room so your guests can be comfy?  It could also be the place to go for your quiet reading (when guests aren’t occupying it.)

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<< See the floor plan to your left?  We’ve built this house several times and lived in it once.  We used the ‘Dining Room’ as an office and put our huge 7 foot dining room table in the ‘Vaulted Breakfast’ area.  Our teenage daughter was in ‘Bedroom 3’ and my office and workout room were in the front ‘Bedroom 2’ for the morning sun.

Which actually brings up another very important point: How is the layout in relation to the sun? I built a house one time where the kitchen and breakfast room didn’t get a ray of morning sun. I just never thought about it at the time I picked the house plan. It bothered me till the day we sold because I love sunshine in the mornings.

Thinking of how rooms can perform double duty can actually be fun to consider.. And it is crucial to multi purpose space with small houses.  The key to optimum functionality is creative use of the space. This requires us to think outside the box of conventional room purposes.  We want the rooms in our new home to work beyond the ordinary!

Small House Plans –  Mistake 3

Not considering how the layout will ‘live.’  I’m going to stick with the floorplan in the picture here for illustration of this common mistake.

First let’s talk about what works in this plan.  We liked the layout of the split bedrooms because that segregated the spaces better than having all the bedrooms bunched together..  We also liked the open family, kitchen and breakfast areas because we are casual people.  And we liked the big Patio right off the Family room.

Now let’s discuss what did not work for us and how we changed the layout to ‘live’ right for our family.  This floorplan has one of my #1 pet peeves.  I cannot stand to have a straight view of a bathroom.  Notice how as you come into the Foyer, you can see right into the hall bath.  What we did was flip that bathroom as you see in this little picture. small bathroomSo from the foyer, we were then looking at a wall instead of the doorway to the small bath.. plus because the door opened the other way, even with the door open, you looked into a wall (inside the bath) instead of the commode and sink.

[note color=”#FFFFE0″] TIP: Turn the floor plan around that you’re considering and look at it from different angles. It helps give a different perspective. [/note]

Small House Plans –  Mistake 4

Selecting a small house plan that’s expensive to build.  Of course this only matters if you’re budget conscious, but if you’re thinking of small houses you probably care at least somewhat about cost.  And, what you save by using a simple small house design, you’ll have extra for some ‘must have’ perks like hardwood floors, a country sink or cool water feature.

I remember when I first started building.  I thought it was only about the square footage.  Keep the house small and it would be cheap, right?  Wrong!  LOL.. I had selected the cutest house you ever saw and it was only about 1400 square feet.  But here’s what made it expensive to build:  Lot’s of angles and cuts to the plan, fancy arched windows, lots of outdoor spaces which still cost money even though it’s not part of the interior square footage.
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BTW, the floor plan we’re using for this illustration is relatively inexpensive to build.  It has a very simple, low roof line and fairly compact design.  Here are the areas that add to the cost: vaulted ceiling in the Family room, tray ceiling in the Master suite, the fireplace, and where you see ‘columns’ we made into bulky arches.

You’ll want some small house design extras but just be sensitive to the fact that every one of them costs extra financially.  So pick your spots wisely.
House for Sale

Small House Plans –  Mistake 5

Forgetting that you might want to sell one day.  I can’t tell you how many people I know who are living in their 2nd or 3rd ‘last home.’  Of course, you want to make it your own.  Part of the fun of building a custom home instead of buying a resale house, is that you get to put your design flair touches on it.

That said, I encourage you to strike a happy balance… just in case you do end up selling.

If you want a hot pink bathroom, by all means paint the walls pink and buy vibrant pink towels and accessories!  But I’d suggest the tile (floor and bathtub/shower) be a neutral cream or white.  You can still get the look you’re after without compromising future resale value.  And yes, you’re going to have to paint the pink walls a neutral color before you put the house on the market.

Say you’ve figured out you can be happy with two bedrooms.  If you’re building a tiny house or very small house (maybe less than 800 feet) that’s fine, but anything bigger and I’d probably squeeze a tiny third bedroom in there for optimum resale.  This kind of goes back to Mistake #2.. if you’re rethinking how to use rooms anyway, you can use that 3rd bedroom you don’t need for a sewing room or music retreat.

Small House Size

What is the best small house size for you? We explore tiny houses, mid range, and bigger small houses. There is a size for everyone as..

What is the best home size for you?

 
Here you’ll find a full range of small house size with descriptions to help you decide what works best for your lifestyle. And ‘small’ is relative, of course. We’ve seen people downsize to a 3000 square foot home, but that’s not really what we’re talking about here.

We consider an average small house size to be around 1200-1600 square feet.  Do you think downsizing is right for you?

Photo: Tumbleweed - Zinn

Tiny Houses

Tiny Houses are generally 100-160sq.ft.. can go up to 600-800 square feet.. but can be as tiny as 65sq. feet.  Wheewee, did you get all that?

You may have heard of the teeny house movement. The Tumbleweed Houses (owner Jay Shaffer) perhaps put tiny houses on the map.

Originally the tiny houses were between 65-130 square feet, but recently on his website, I’ve noticed the tiny houses go all the way up to a three bedroom, two bath cottage that is a whopping 874 square feet. LOL My guess is Jay decided to expand his ‘tiny’ idea to incorporate main stream America. Anyway, tiny house enthusiasts can chose from quite a selection of avenues as the wee homes become more popular.  Free house plans found at tinytexashouses.com/?page_id=464

Typical Small Houses


Typical Small Houses are about 800-1600 square feet: This size small house is perfect for those who want to live simply; maybe downsizing from a larger home.  My hubby and I were very happy to downsize from our big house.

This moderate range of square footage is not as radical as the tiny houses, and more people can imagine themselves in this size.. You’ll still have plenty of room to entertain and have over night guests.  And you’ll probably have decent resale value with this size.

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Bigger Small Houses

Bigger Small House Photo

Bigger Small Houses – Anywhere between 1600-2000: We had to include the larger small house because this is a true downsize for someone who has lived in a 5000 square foot home, for example. I mean size is relative and I can remember a time that I considered a 2000 square foot house as ‘moving up.’ Now? I just want to simplify my life so my husband and I have the means to travel and enjoy life more fully.

Being in a small home can free up more cash so we can get out and explore this beautiful world we live in.. and you get to decide what small house size is right for you!

Hello Neighbors!

SmallHouseLife.com has just launched! The date is September 15, 2011. If you love small houses, design, floor plans, photos..

small house launchThis is the very first blog post for SmallHouseLife.com!

The launch date is September 15, 2011.

I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am to be here with you. This will be a journey, that’s for sure.

If you love small houses, house design, unique floor plans, photos and fun, then stick with SmallHouseLife.com.  We plan to bring you lots of information and photos; all about small houses.

[note color=”#FFffe0″] If you want to know more about what SmallHouseLife.com can offer you, head over to our About’ page. or if you just want to learn about your humble editor (that’s me!) then head on over there. [/note]