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Natural Awakenings

Cozy Digs: Living Large in Small Spaces

Nov 01, 2009 02:00AM

The desire to live simply, a cornerstone of the Small House Movement, has led to interest from architects and builders who are now providing smaller housing alternatives, according to For example, Florida designer Ed Binkley, who used to design mansions, now offers a Shelter Series that includes homes ranging from 600 to 900 square feet, reports Orlando Sentinel writer Jean Patteson. Binkley describes them as “comfortable, affordable and green.”

Jewel box houses are another design being marketed to young professionals, empty-nesters, retirees and newlyweds, writes Patteson. Specifically designed to suit the owners’ way of life, they feature “top-quality materials, upscale detailing and custom built-ins.” With a modest size of less than 2,000 square feet, beauty and function are valued over accumulating stuff and the space to store it (tips at

The trend is reflected in an annual Mayflower Transit Van Lines study, which reports that the average household moving weight has decreased by 10 percent since 1997, including a 2 percent drop from 2007 to 2008. Jennifer Bonham, director of Mayflower’s marketing communications, says it’s due to homeowners “transitioning away from McMansions to smaller, more sustainable living environments.”

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