Empty nesters do it. Newly married couples have been known to do it. An older couple may even do it after retirement. We’re talking, of course, about downsizing. The trend is actually called the tiny house movement, and it means these homeowners are trading in their average 2,600-square-foot houses for spaces between 100 and 400 square feet.
But “the minimalistic nature of tiny homes does not necessarily mean living a Spartan life,” says the National Hardware Show and the North American Retail Hardware Association. “Many small homes pack in a multitude of features and products that would fit well within a much larger house. Smart design, dual-purpose fixtures, smaller-scale appliances and efficient utility functions are all part of the package.”
Regardless of home size, the tiny house movement is inspiring many homeowners to downsize areas of their lives or take advantage of smaller decorating touches, NRHA suggests, including:
Lawn and garden: Living in small spaces doesn’t mean foregoing greenery’s benefits. Wall-mounted planters allow plants to grow indoors.
Storage and organization: One innovative idea spawned by homes with smaller square footage is thinking vertically when it comes to storage – indoors and outdoors.
Home automation: Automated home systems are gaining ground. From security features to appliances to lighting, these products give homeowners the ability to monitor and control home systems remotely, allowing for better control of resource usage and energy costs.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in May 2016 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.