Monthly Archives: April 2008

More on small houses

I remember way back when I lived in Seattle, in the early 1980s, someone I knew lived in a small detached homes in a cluster of 6 to 8 small homes nestled between Lake Washington and a hillside.  They were all rentals, I think, old and not in the best of shape.  But the whole thing, the community of small homes, seemed wonderful to me.

Well, an architect in Washington has been creating similar communities, dense clusters of small cottages, in the Puget Sound area.  It was written up in Metropolis.  Here is the site plan for one of the newest communities, Spring Valley Cottages, located in Port Townsend.  

Spring Valley site plan

The homes range from 600 to 1,200 square feet and the parking is in an open lot.  Prices range from the low $200,000s to the low $400,000s.  The architect is Ross Chapin Architects.


Mandating small homes in Marin County

They’re not exactly forcing builders to build small, but making it more challenging to build large. Since 2002, any new home or addition built in unincorporated Marin County, California, larger than 3,500 square feet must be designed to use no more energy than a 3,500-square-foot home.

Maybe 3,500 sq. ft. is not your definition of small. But relative to many new homes, it is.

The law essentially forces builders to build with more energy efficiency as a goal, through the use of materials and alternative types of energy.

See Do monster homes use more energy?

Is smaller getting bigger?

There is an up-tick in demand for smaller, more efficient floor plans among new home buyers according to two big builders, Pulte and KB Home.  The demand for smaller furniture may also be rising.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Nancy Keates (03/21/2008 )


Smaller Floor Plans in Big Demand


American’s appetite for big homes and over-sized furniture appears to be shrinking.


New-home buyers began asking builder KB Home for smaller floor plans right after the collapse in subprime lending last year, says CEO Jeffrey Mezger.


The demand for a huge, high-ceilinged great room is giving way to the desire for special-purpose rooms, including media rooms and home offices, says a spokesman for luxury specialist Pulte Homes.


In three of its four new sofa collections, Younger Furniture is offering “apartment size” sofas, which are about 10 inches shorter than full-sized ones. Citing a trend toward smaller homes, Rowe Fine Furniture says it expects its Mini Mod line will account for a quarter of its collection this fall.


“They’re finally getting it,” says Jodi FitzGerald, owner of Door Store Furniture, an 11-store retail chain in metropolitan New York that specializes in small-scale furniture. She estimates the number of smaller offerings has grown by about a third over the past year.



Amazing architectural photography


Hey Richard!

Hey Richard!

Originally uploaded by jenn32807.

Another great X New Orleanian