Small housing
From: Charlene McNamara (
Date: Sat, 4 Feb 2006 16:52:59 -0800 (PST)
We recently moved out of our 700 sq. ft. house and would regularly
marvel at how easily we lived in such a small space. It was a 2 story
house with a staircase in the middle of the house....extremely
inefficient, but there was a big pantry under the stairs and other
large closets up and down stairs. Things were tight, but very
workable. There are 4 of us there. Our 2 boys shared a tiny room under
the eaves upstairs. It was apx 5ft X 8ft., but they never noticed it
was small b/c they are small and they loved living under the eaves. It
made their room more fort like.

We will soon be moving into our "spacious" 1170 sq ft. cohousing home
and already feel that it is not nearly efficient as our old house.
BTW, we moved to that house from a 2000 sq ft about some
serious purging!! I think it is really all the eyes of the individual.
We were perfectly happy with our small space, but know that others
with fewer in their household could not live in the same space.


> Subject: [C-L]_ very small/ compact housing
> At the Port Townsend EcoVillage, well into planning stages, we hope to have
> housing which is attractive, functional, AND distinctly less impactful than
> traditional homes. Plans include a mix of "satellite bedrooms" (small
> cabins, sharing external common kitchen/bathroom facilities), group housing
> (designed for multiple housemates), and separate houses of a more
> traditional sort.
> I'm seeking resources for housing design. It's not hard to find
> small-to-tiny prototypes for singles or the sort of couples who can live
> together in a boat or schoolbus. However, we also want to attract families.
> So we want sample houseplans for 2-3-4 bedroom housing, so that a family,
> say, of two adults and 2-3 kids, with a home-office-based business or two,
> could look at a plan or model and say, "Why, yes, we really could live in
> xxx square feet, if it were arranged like THAT!"
> What is the smallest  2-3-4 BR housing in your experience that can "work"?
> "Work" meaning people don't then feel the need to build storage buildings,
> garages, or move away for lack of space. Do you live in a house that's
> particularly compact?
> Can you suggest books (Japan? Europe?), actual plans, cautions,
> encouragement? Thanks!
> Lynn Nadeau
> at RoseWind, but enthusiastically engaging in this new project in our
> neighborhood, Port Townsend Washington
> ___________________________________________________

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