Living in Smaller Homes

Updated March 24, 2018

Less is more.

Whoever came up with that saying never bought a house in Texas.

We like to say everything is bigger in Texas, and when it comes to buying a home, bigger is becoming the norm.  Drive through an older neighborhood, and you’ll eventually see a property where an older home was torn down to make way for a house that fills as much square footage as zoning ordinances will allow.  Often, that also means newer construction feels like it is looming over the adjacent lot.

We were reminded of this recently when we were engaged to help re-configuring the floor plan for a home recently purchased in one of Dallas’ older neighborhoods.  At just over 1300 square feet, most home buyers would simply scrape the old structure off the lot and start over.  Or at least add on to create a “livable” home.  A phenomenon that is already occurring in his neighborhood.

However, the owner opted to maintain the original footprint and see what could be done within the space he had.  How do you take a home built in 1955 – when we didn’t require gourmet kitchens, great rooms, master suites, and televisions in every room – and make the same home function for how we live today?

The task was accomplished by removing the wall that separated the kitchen from the living space. In its place a large kitchen island was added. The island helped create an “entertaining zone” where guests can gather but not be in the way while dinner is being prepared. The island also served as the dining table as there was no room for a separate dining room. The ceiling was vaulted to make the rooms feel more spacious and the windows were enlarged to bring in more natural light.

To hear more about this project, be sure to check out Episode 40 of The Architecture Happy Hour Podcast, “Living in Smaller Homes” available on Apple Podcasts or find it here.

 

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