Living and loving small

I read the title, 5 ways to make your home look bigger, and clicked this link with interest.  But the article wasn't what I expected!

I thought this would be about additions, or converting the garage to a teen's room, or space usage.  See, I've never thought about trying to make my small house look bigger. I did make two rooms look bigger by knocking out a wall, thereby making one room out of them. The space might look bigger, but I lost a bedroom. No amount of fooling the eye will bring that bedroom back.  

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I guess the reason I don't think about making my house look bigger (with colors or mirrors or working on a diagonal) is that I like it small.  I embrace the smallness. Why? Well, let's see...

1. Less to clean. I detest cleaning, but a small house is do-able. Most of my friends have huge houses and cleaning people, but with a small house you can forgo the staff.  Or have less staff.  

2. Less time to clean means more time on the couch.  

3. Less guest space. Do you want guests? Be honest. I love guests, particularly for a short period of time, which is why my guest rooms are not that comfortable. I have a friend whose daughter, husband and four children have been with them for four months while they are in transition. Why not? Her house is big enough to sleep them all. It's like she sent out an invitation. My house doesn't even sleep a "couple" guest - only singles. Crazy like a fox, baby. (In picture 2, my "only" table seats three comfortably. Problem? Nope!  Buffet only in my house, and guests sit wherever they find a place.)

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4. Less furniture to buy, less paint, less flooring, less lighting, less everything. Just sayin'. If you have a problem finishing projects - you know who you are - a small house is probably a good option for you. (In picture 1, my small living room contains a couch and coffee table - no room for other furniture!)

5. You (will hopefully) accumulate less crap if you have no place to store it.

What do you think? Can you embrace the small?  First step: try painting your tiny bathroom or bedroom a dark color and keep the mirrors to a minimum. It won't feel small - it will feel intimate. Cozy. And all yours.

Portlander Nancy Ranchel is a self-described accountant, design fan, serial re-modeler, compulsive re-user and blog writer.

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