Tuesday, August 7, 2012


I have been hearing the word Downsizing quite frequently these days.  It is the result of and reaction to the tumultuous economic times in which we live.  I suspect that what comes to mind for most people when they hear the word is the corporate type, lost revenues, workers laid-off.  What I am more aware of is how often the word downsizing pertains to our homes.  Thankfully, it seems the McMansion days are becoming a thing of the past.

Whether driven by economic factors, life style changes or as an environmentally conscious choice people are choosing smaller homes.  Decorating magazines are also promoting this concept as House Beautiful's July/August issue was again dedicated to small spaces.

I love that the design community is embracing this trend and showing readers that bigger is not necessarily better and that smaller spaces can be fabulous.  Achieving proper scale is also an important concept in Feng Shui where the goal is a space that is neither too large nor too small but like Goldilocks just right.

I too am becoming part of this trend as I recently downsized to a new home this summer. Though my old house was a modest home of approximately 2,000 square feet, my new home is smaller and has fewer rooms. Not having a dedicated room for my office in the new house was a challenge but it has forced me to be creative with my use of space.  Now, instead of having a formal living room that is never used, I am claiming the nicest room in the house as my office and it is now used almost as much as the kitchen.  As a decorator it seems a waste to create a beautiful room and never use it.  As a Feng Shui practitioner I see an unused room as a stagnant space which is not beneficial to a home.

People may dream of having the big house but in terms of actual living we tend to spend most of our time in the coziest rooms. I remember helping a client who lives in a large, beautiful, waterfront home re-uhpolster a pair of club chairs for their favorite room.  They had a big formal living room and a large family room off of the kitchen yet their favorite room was a tiny cozy den.  Perhaps we will begin to seek out homes comprised only of the rooms we really spend the most time in and do away with these unused spaces.

I am glad that people are becoming aware of the appropriate use of scale and I look forward to exploring this concept both for myself and for my clients. Personally, it feels good to be in a home that is just right and I hope to help others achieve that feeling as well.