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Making the Most of a Small Footprint

When you're working with a smaller square footage, it's important to be strategic with your planning.


 Coventry Log Homes photo by Mark Sorenson


Q: We have a long wish list for our future custom home but are trying to be conservative with square footage. How can I make the most of a relatively small footprint?


A: Whatever your reason for building a smaller home (and we know there are plenty of good ones), employing a few clever design tactics can help you seriously maximize the square footage you do have. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Open-Concept Layouts. A simple, wide-open floor plan will not only feel more spacious, it also will create a visually larger space by removing dividing lines (aka, walls). The benefit is two-fold, as this layout lends itself to multipurpose rooms, combining spaces that may not need their own dedicated areas.
  • Lofts. Most small cabins are one story, but many of them incorporate a small loft, which can function as a sleeping zone, a reading nook, entertaining space or storage. Use ladders instead of stairs, or small steps that double as storage space, to reach the loft.
  • Outdoor Spaces. Outdoor living areas can virtually double your living and entertaining space. Modern innovations, like retractable window walls, are a chic and convenient way to interconnect inside and out.
  • Doors and Windows. Plan for taller windows and doors to let in more natural light, making your rooms feel brighter. The extra height creates an illusion that there’s more space without adding an inch to the plan.

See Also: Downsize Your Home, Not Your Dreams

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