Design and Planning Blog

Smarter With Smaller

Smarter with Smaller

Millennials, unlike Gen Xers, are more aware of the impact they have on the environment and are doing something about it.  The average square footage of homes is far too large and the millennials are looking for smaller.  They want to reduce their carbon footprint by only living in the space they truly need while still having a comfortable space to call home. It has become reality that this is possible. Multi-family homes, tiny homes, shared spaces are more becoming the norm.

There have been many articles written lately that millennials are postponing marriage, they are buying houses with dogs in mind instead of kids, and they are leaving college with a ridiculous amount of student loans. With all of this in mind, they are figuring out what is really important and how they can accomplish their dreams without drowning in debt to get there.

We all need to think like this.  There are a finite amount of natural resources and with climate change due to all of the building we are doing and the size of the buildings and homes, we need to re-examine what is important.  Builders, architects and designers need to start planning for this and really look at what the next generation is asking for and how they can make it work for their clients.  But what about larger families and multi-generational families?

With smaller spaces, it begs the question, can smaller work for larger families?  The answer is an unequivocal, YES!  With all of the organization tools and space planning ideas out there, spaces can be designed to fit every need.  The key is to know exactly what your needs are and start there.  One way to accomplish this is with a bubble diagram.

            The key to a bubble diagram is to layout the rooms you need and the relation to the each other.  When it is laid out, you can get a real look at what you have and if you actually need the space you think you do.  Also, is there a way to make a space multifunctional in order to save square footage?  The bubble diagram is a quick exercise and provides great insight.

There are certainly other methods to use to plan out your space.  The important thing is to be honest with the amount of space your need.  The days of keeping up with the Joneses is over.  It is our responsibility to be more aware of our planet and to do our part to make sure we leave a healthy planet for future generations to enjoy.

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