"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." - Leonardo Da Vinci
To live with less is quickly becoming revolutionary. Economic hardships and ecological concerns are forcing generations to reconsider their behaviors. The inexpense and arrangement of your home decor may enhance personal growth. Storing everything away creates a spacious environment with psychological benefits. Select visual stimulus with a discerning eye. Release tradition towards innovation. Here are a few ideas:
Lofts may be impractical with age or injury. A one-story building with a vaulted ceiling, recessed lighting and skylights creates spaciousness. With a vaulted ceiling, decrease the height of a building. Try an arched window on the peaked side of a building. Try a flush-to-the-wall heater.
Porches and decks are not really needed - try a simple awning and sit in the yard. For indoors and outdoors, try a folding lawn chair with a decorative cushion. Store a portable screen house and garden tools in the trunk of your car. Reposition a screenhouse to enjoy different outdoor scenes and far away picnics.
Replace office supplies, books, entertainment centers, art, alarm clock, etc with a handheld computer. Shelving may not be needed. Rather than a desk, try a clipboard. Rather than an end table, try a wall or floor lamp. Store handy items in a tote bag, on a window sill or small folding shelf. Hang a tote bag on a nearby hook. Try pull-out storage baskets under a daybed, sofabed or chair. Baskets are easy to transport - such as to the laundry mat, to pick up toys, to the top of a bed when dressing, to a kitchen counter when cooking. Rather than baskets, try cardboard boxes with slotted handles. Cover an underbed storage area with a small curtain. Store blankets in decorative pillowcases on top of a bed or couch.
LIMIT CLOTHING: 3 tops x 3 bottoms = 9 outfits. Omit accessories. Rather than an ironing board, iron clothes on a towel over a kitchen counter. Rather than use a hanger, iron an outfit and wear it. Try one pair of dress shoes, sneakers and boots – or go barefoot. Rather than a hat or umbrella, try a hooded jacket. Try coat hooks near an entry door. Closets may not be needed.
KITCHEN: Rather than a dining room, eat/entertain with a plate in your lap on the couch. To dine, try a small folding shelf under a window sill. Try a collection of one-pot recipes. Store a portable stovetop, stackable pans and weekly dry goods under a kitchen sink. Store stackable pans in an oven. Store an eating/cooking utensil basket on a window sill. For extra counter space, try a large cutting board over a sink, stove or under-counter appliance. Try a pull-out cutting board. Use a cutting board as a desk, ironing board or tray to serve / dine. Use a pot as a mixing bowl and a mug as a ladle. Use a spoon or mug to measure and a fork to whisk. Rather than a plate, use just a bowl. Rather than a glass, use just a mug. To beautify, stand decorative plates and glasses vertically on open, narrow shelving over a counter top. Add mug hooks beneath the lowest shelf. Store a set of dishes in a dishwasher. Rather than a dishrack, dry dishes on a towel. Rather than a towel rack, dry wet dish towels on hooks under a kitchen sink. Extra cupboards may not be needed. A standard-sized, single-bowl kitchen sink, with a hook neck faucet, creates a larger work area. Rather than kitchen cupboard doors, try a set of small curtains on a spring-loaded rod. With under-cunter appliances, try windows across the entire kitchen counter. For convenience, try a small, under-counter combination washer/dryer.
BATHROOM: Try a small, 12" - depth, corner sink without a vanity. Store towels and cosmetic baskets on open, narrow shelving over a toilet or sink. Try a clothing hook and full-length mirror on the back of a bathroom door. A medicine cabinet, with a small mirror, may not be needed. Rather than towel racks, try towel hooks near the bathroom sink and shower. For a wetbath, use a shower curtain to keep the room dry.
Rather than curtains, try a small shelf over a window for a few keepsakes. Position a mirror to reflect a beautiful outdoor scene. Try throw rugs - they're quick to clean in a washing machine.
Here's a link to various floor plans using these new ideas: http://tinyhouseforum.com/topic.php?id=117&page=2