Friday, September 10, 2010

The Pulp - Living Smaller

They say everything is bigger in Texas; I have to say they are right! But we aren't they only ones who like things big.

Here's a home in Tusla, Oklahoma for sale for $4.2 Million. It has a 6 bedrooms, 11 baths, pool, sauna, gym, movie room, tennis and basketball courts and an elevator. It is 14,000 sq. ft.

Now, is this really necessary? Do we really need a room for every task? The sleeping room, the sex room, breakfast, lunch and dinner room, the pantry, butler's pantry, the kitchen, beverage center, bar, his toilet, her toilet, urinal, his shower, her shower, shoe closet, media room, living room, family room, gathering room, hearth room, game room, outdoor living room and the list goes on and on...

I would say if you are Oprah, then yes, you need a very large house to accommodate your guests and parties. Most people don't need as much room as they think they do. Remember, someone has to clean all that square footage! As George Carlin says "A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff."

Having all these rooms and out buildings is an internal approach to life. If you have the pool, tennis courts, media room, sewing room, spa, gaming room, and gym, then you don't ever have to leave your home. You are missing out on being apart of a community and socializing. Just maybe, we are contributing to our kids being so entitled and lazy. They never want to leave, it's too good at home.

Also, it's making us fat! We have to have a refrigerated drawer or under counter refrig in the living room, so we can get drinks, instead of getting up and walking to the kitchen 10' further to get it. We have made things too convenient.

If you are in a house you can't afford or are looking for a house, keep the following in mind:

1. Get rid of stuff first. If you have a storage space you rent then you have too much stuff. If you have box on top of box and you don't even know what you have, you have too much stuff.

2. Think about the kind of space you want to live in and the kind of family you are.

Is it serene?

Or active?

Maybe the whole house isn't one or the other but you can have spaces in the home that reflect each individual that lives there.

3. Think about the spaces you use the most and are most important to you. Kitchen, Living, Bedroom, whatever. Those should be the spaces that you should maximize square footage in. If you spend all your time in your kitchen, then why not make it an eat-in kitchen or have an open living plan, where the main area of the house is open.

Here's a great eat-in Kitchen!

Open Plan

4. Don't waste space on rooms you don't need or use. Analyze each space and whether it is important to you. Prioritizing is good. Turn another space into something you will use. Make that formal living you never go into, a study or craft room. Make your spaces multi-task oriented.

This Bathroom seems to be a very inefficient use of space

The Guest Room - Do you really have guests? Is it worth adding on to your home and spending $30,000 for guests you only see at Thanksgiving and Christmas. You could pay for a hotel for 6 nights @ $200 a night for 25 years. Is it really worth it? There are people that having a guest room is essential and then I say- go for it!

The Living Rooms - Do you really need two or three living areas? Having these multiple rooms divides a family. This allows less interaction between you. Yes, it is great for the kids to have another room to play in but isn't it good to know what your kids are up too.

Do you really need a bath tub if you never take baths? Especially a jacuzzi? or a $10,000 aromatherapy bath tub? (I would say yes, because I love taking baths!) Don't use your tub for a cat litter box holder (sorry Nan) or a dust experiment or dirty clothes hamper.

Do you really need top of the line appliances if you don't cook? You can get good appliances that fit your home without wasting money. I love to cook, but I am not Julia Childs, so I don't need an Aga.

Do you really need a pot filler in the kitchen? You are going to have to empty the pot filled with water at some point. Are you just trying to save yourself that one trip? You know it is a good workout to lift a pot filled with water and walk 5 feet.

Yes, I am being a bit harsh, but you really need to question your decisions. Is it a status thing? A need to acquire thing? Everyone has different needs or has a past memory that has shaped their idea of what they need. You can really get a great house by condensing the spaces you don't need or don't spend time in. Say no to McMansions!

Here's some great small spaces!!!

Great Banquette in Kitchen- My favorite!

Perfect Nursery! This was a breakfast nook turned nursery.

Chic Living Space (the TV is too high though)

Cool idea for a closet

~ Brandy
(Thank you Diane for some of this great advice!)


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