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Homes are reworking spaces

Not So Big House by Sarah Susanka

Not So Big House

Reworking spaces in homes is a  lesson from the National Association of Homebuilders annual show that applies to remodeling older homes as well as building new ones. Read their comments about house design for creativity and cost savings.

Formal living rooms and formal dens are being used less. Even home offices are used less as many of us tend to use tablets elsewhere in the house or outside on the patio or dock.  So, more emphasis is placed on a combined activity area in homes: the kitchen, family room and eating area all as part of one large space where we can interact. An office space may be an alcove, a second pantry, or even a window seat.

All these ideas bring me back to Sarah Susanka’s series of books based on The Not So Big House. Her first book, back in 1998, was an eye opener. She advocated quality over quantity, useable space over more square footage. Charm and utility. She parlayed her first book into a series, but my favorite is still her original The Not So Big House.

What brings you happiness in a house? How can you be apart but nearby? How can views allow space to be shared?

As homeowners are more concerned than ever about expenses, from property taxes to insurance to utility costs – great design is more important than ever.

Would you like some help in finding your new home or suggestions for improving the one you have? Contact The Simms Team at ALVA International, Inc real estate.


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Will St Pete kiss these 10 home features goodbye?

Market Watch published 10 once-popular home features you can kiss goodbye. This is a national observation so let’s see how they apply to St Petersburg homes.

Outdoor kitchens and outdoor fireplaces. Outdoor kitchens certainly aren’t going away in St Pete – we love to. cook and eat outside. Outdoor fireplaces have never been very popular here, but we do see fire pits, fire bowls and chimineas.

Sunrooms. These glass-topped solariums have never been very popular in Florida. We have Florida Rooms that let in lots of light through the glass walls but shelter us from the overhead sun. We already have more walk-in closets, linen closets and laundry rooms than sunrooms.

2 story family rooms and 2 story foyers. These never were a big factor in St Petersburg homes.

Media rooms. We did see some homes and condos with media rooms, but it was not a big trend. I agree, we’ll probably see less of them.

Walking and jogging trails in master planned communities. St Pete doesn’t have the land for new master planned communities. I think we’ll see expansion of the public trails rather than private ones.

Luxury master bathrooms. Trading multiple-head showers for double sinks in the kitchen? That seems a bit far fetched for a trend!

Living rooms. For some time home buyers in St Petersburg have preferred great rooms to a formal living room and I think this trend will continue. We may see a study or nooks or a small getaway room, but formal living rooms are on the decline.

Whirlpool tubs. I agree they’re declining but don’t think freestanding tubs are replacing them – I see more people opting for a large shower.

It’s fun to read about trends, but take them with a grain of salt. Apply them to your own area of the country. Most of all, integrate them – or not – with your own preferences.




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