Need more space, think again!

The Palm Beach Post - Residences - - Front Page -

At this time of year, many home­own­ers are pre­oc­cu­pied with not hav­ing enough space for vis­it­ing rel­a­tives or friends. Not enough space to cook, not enough space to dine, not enough space to dance.

As a mat­ter of fact, real es­tate agents of­ten hear from prospec­tive buy­ers that there is not enough space to en­ter­tain. Well, do you know what I think of that? As an ad­vo­cate for bet­ter, not big­ger, spa­ces, I say baloney! Why would you need more space?

Any­one who has been to a great party will tell you the best par­ties are the ones where peo­ple are clus­tered tightly to­gether, some­times in a small home or apart­ment or kitchen. Even in much larger homes, for some psy­cho­log­i­cal rea­son, hu­mans, like wild an­i­mals, love to gather and party in packs. So is the no­tion that you need more space, and be happy with what you’ve got.

Sim­i­larly, of­ten small restau­rants – you know, the ones that have year-out reser­va­tions and end­less wait­ing lists – are, in the long run, more suc­cess­ful than larger restau­rants. Larger restau­rants take larger crowds to fill and seem al­ways half-empty. In a smaller din­ing room, you don’t have that prej­u­dice. Most din­ers don’t like to fre­quent places that are empty. A small restau­rant with full ta­bles and a crowd out­side sig­nals that “it must be worth the wait!” There­fore, smaller, more com­pact spa­ces are crowd-pleasers.

Over the years, many folks, as they get older and be­come empty nesters or wid­owed, re­al­ize that so much space is wasted and nat­u­rally come to ap­pre­ci­ate smaller homes. Hu­man be­ings are eas­ily adapt­able in their be­hav­iors. If they are given small spa­ces, that means they will use the space bet­ter. There are ad­di­tional ben­e­fits to smaller spa­ces. Closer quar­ters also make for more fam­ily in­ti­macy.

In smaller spa­ces, the qual­ity of design and fur­nish­ings can be bet­ter. As less fur­ni­ture is needed, one or two im­pact pieces are much more at­tain­able. So you can get a lot of bang for your buck. Smaller also means that you are able to im­prove the qual­ity of your ma­te­ri­als. A splurge on mar­ble floors over tile might be pos­si­ble, or a cus­tom ar­chi­tec­tural built-in can be com­mis­sioned.

In large cities and metropoli­tan ar­eas, smaller liv­ing quar­ters are en­hanced by the ameni­ties avail­able in a city, such as a great li­brary, de­li­cious and var­ied restau­rants, and won­der­ful lounges and han­gouts. In smaller spa­ces, your design needs to be finely tai­lored. Each piece of fur­ni­ture needs to be fit ad­e­quately and serve more than one func­tion, as well. An added ben­e­fit is that less space equals less col­lect­ing and hoard­ing. As a re­sult, your smaller, scaled-back life is eas­ier to man­age.

Next time you’re want­ing for more space, think again!

Joseph Pu­bil­lones

Art of Design

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