How to live large in small spaces

Men laying new hardwood flooring

America has ‘right-sized.’ Following decades of growth in the average home size, the trend ended rather abruptly in 2007 due to “a severe housing recession, concern over rising home energy costs and changing lifestyles,” according to a study by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Downsizing is expected to continue as homeowners adjust to a new “normal.” Here are some strategies for making the most of what you have:

Smart Space-Planning

“Homeowners are still investing, but they are spending to responsibly enhance their lifestyles,” says Buckhead architect Jeffrey Baker, AIA. “I have had four clients in 2011 reclaim wasted space by remodeling their basements.” An ongoing trend among remodelers is to rip out an existing bathtub and replace it will a glass shower enclosure. This frees up room and helps make a small space appear and feel larger. Out with cookie-cutter, in with customization.

Upgraded Interiors

Homes are becoming more like luxury hotel suites: efficiently laid out, well-appointed and filled with amenities. Homeowners “want to come home to a space as clean and refreshing as the resort where they spent their favorite vacation,” says Buckhead interior designer and antiques dealer Summer Loftin. “I provide value and inspiration for my clients by endowing their spaces with gracious appointments such as wide-plank floors.”

Steve Kleber is the president of Kleber & Associates (K&A), a full-service marketing agency which specializes in the home and building channel, and president of the National Remodeling Foundation. Kleber is a frequent speaker on consumer behavior and trends at a variety of key industry events and a contributor to noted industry publications.

recommended reading


Right-Sizing Your Home
By Gale Steves





get the look

Homeowners are demanding quality products to accommodate their changing lifestyles, and home and building professionals are responding in kind. The result is value-oriented, distinctive and multi-use products that make life easier and spaces more usable.




➤ Roda by Basco glass
shower enclosures can
be customized to fit
any size bathroom.






➤ Gerber’s Avalanche Elongated
One-Piece Toilet has a compact
design and is WaterSense certified
for efficient performance.









➤ Carlisle Wide Plank Floors,
available in pines, hardwoods
and recycled woods, offer a
contemporary look.

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