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Big little houses

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We’ve covered smaller living spaces before, but it’s worth another look.

By now we’re over a year into the current recession. Despite some green shoots of recovery, the future is far from certain. Combine that with a new interest in sustainability, and the footprints of new homes have been shrinking.

Inhabitat’s recent post on small house living features some interesting statistics, such as that home square footage has been steadily decreasing since 2007 and that census statistics indicate that newly constructed homes now have less bedrooms.

Obviously people are heeding the call of the recession and living in less space. However, that does not necessarily mean less money is being spent. As designers like Sarah Susanka have pointed out, quality over quantity can be very valuable when building or remodeling a home. For those that are building less house and putting on smaller additions for the sake of money though, the question is if this new-found aesthetic will last when better times are here.

Or we may continue to see smaller houses as people continue to want to live in certain areas. There’s only so much land, as Japanese builders have known for a long time. We featured this narrow house in a post a while back, but it’s getting some attention from NPR. Who knows? These ultra-small, super-innovative homes might become the wave of the future here!

What do you think of small houses? A necessity or a virtue? Or both?