“Bigger isn’t always better” is a philosophy more homeowners are embracing when it comes to their living spaces. Higher home prices are driving buyers to select smaller dwellings, and according to the National Association of Home Builders, there has been a constant decline in average single-family home size since 2016. Also, the demand for small space living, otherwise known as the tiny home movement, is increasing with more than half of Americans considering a living space that’s less than 600 square feet.
If you attended the 2019 International Builders’ Show, you saw that innovative, small living spaces were on display throughout Show Village. Television shows including Tiny House Hunters and Tiny House, Big Living have also shined a light on this trend, highlighting that downsizing comes with benefits including lower energy costs and less maintenance. Plus, small homes are appealing for their environmental benefits, which is extremely important to millennials. Even older generations are looking to downsize to because smaller spaces mean less upkeep.
Here are a few things to consider when building and designing for small spaces:
Simplify the Kitchen
Tons of cabinet and counter space means plenty of room for prepping, cooking and storage, but it can also mean a lot of clutter. In fact, 85 percent of new homeowners are opting for a simpler, more compact kitchen. Galley kitchens, otherwise known as in-line kitchens due to their straight line layout, are popular because they cost less. Having fewer cabinets and less countertop space allows homeowners to spend their money elsewhere, such as on high-end appliances and fixtures.
Invite the Outdoors In
With an innovative design approach, you can maximize an outdoor living space, making a tiny home feel a lot larger. Collapsible doors and picturesque window walls can open up a compact home, making it feel more spacious and airy by bringing in tons of natural light and views of nature.
Use Room Dividers
Small homes don’t necessarily have their own walled off areas, and the kitchen often blends together with the dining room, bedroom and living area. This is where room dividers come in handy. Built-in glass-and-steel room dividers are expected to become a popular small space accent in 2019 because they can section off areas of the home without making a space seem stuffy.
Select Compact Appliances
About 91 percent of buyers want a laundry room in their home - prioritizing laundry more than any other home feature. Compact washer/dryers, like the Whirlpool® 24” Smart All-In-One Washer & Dryer, provide the functionality of full-sized appliances, but without taking up too much space. You can install sliding pocket doors to cover up the laundry area when not in use.
Low profile microwaves are perfect for compact kitchens - saving on space without skimping on quality or performance. For example, the Whirlpool® 1.1 cu. ft. Low Profile Microwave Hood Combination maximizes space by moving your microwave off the countertop with a Low Profile design that fits in the same space as your undercabinet hood.
Whirlpool Corporation recognizes the need for appliance solutions that fit into the small space living lifestyle. Whether it is the kitchen or the laundry space, our portfolio of brands has appliance solutions that fit in small space living. Take our course to learn more about this growing home trend and to find additional appliance options that to fit your space, design and budget.