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#271 of 790 Old 01-08-2008, 07:20 PM
 
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Does anyone else feel like they have a ton more room now that the holiday decor is down? Whew!

I just needed to share that with someone.
I hear ya, mama! We have a huge (to us) 6.5 ft tree and it really took up a lot of space in the LR. And it blocked a TON of light coming in from my windows. When we took it down, we were quite surprised by the difference it made.

I love this thread. We live in an 850 sq. ft. 2+1 bedroom, 1 bath home. We *love* our home. We've put alot of work and love into this place to make it "ours" in the 2.5 yrs since we bought and have absolutely NO intention of moving for quite a few years, even with a 3rd little one due in May. Living in such a small place has made us realize we don't need a lot to be happy.

Once I get the rest of my decluttering/purging done (it's a never-ending process in a small home, eh?! ), I'll try to get pics up. I love looking at pics of everyone's cozy homes!

Mama to my 3 wild things.

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#272 of 790 Old 01-10-2008, 08:43 PM
 
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What do you think is essential when designing a small house?

Mudroom? Laundry room? Three tiny bedrooms or two bigger ones? A porch?
Under stairs storage? What couldn't you live without, or what do you wish you had thought of before building? Or what do you wish the builder had thought of in the house you didn't build?

dust.gifFour-eyed tattooed fairy godmother queer, mama to my lucky star (5) and little bird (2.5). Resident storyteller at www.thestoryforest.com. Enchanting audiostories for curious kids. Come play in the forest!
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#273 of 790 Old 01-10-2008, 08:50 PM
 
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well, we're not in our small house yet but some of the things i have had heard are:
-space for dining room table, not just a small kitchen table
-outdoor space is important too, aside from hard winter months families seem to spend a lot of time outside

other important things for us:
-garage
-separate office space, DH works from home
-room to expand if we ever decide
-outdoor space for us

things i wish we had:
-2 car garage
-mudroom
-laundry room!
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#274 of 790 Old 01-10-2008, 11:50 PM
 
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What do you think is essential when designing a small house?

Mudroom? Laundry room? Three tiny bedrooms or two bigger ones? A porch?
Under stairs storage? What couldn't you live without, or what do you wish you had thought of before building? Or what do you wish the builder had thought of in the house you didn't build?
-Definitely a covered deck/patio.. it can be a total sanity saver on rainy days... can take the kids out and let them play loudly without driving you nuts inside!

-Depending on how many people live in the house, a powder room separate from the main bath would be handy for the morning rush. OR Have them build the bathroom aussie style.. the bath/shower & sink are in a room together and the toilet is in a smaller room, usually adjacent but not attached.

-Storage of things built in to the places you will use them. Linen cabinet IN the bathroom (or ample storage under the sink etc) and *organized* closets.. not just big open spaces, but shelves/drawer units built in.. then you can do away with the dressers

-separate laundry IN the house (our old one was in the garage.. could barely get a car in because it took up length that the car needed) with a door as well as room for a laundry hamper)

-something *I* would do is put built in bookshelves w/ cabinets at the bottom, in the living/dining room. I think having them built in makes it less visually cluttering in a small space.

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#275 of 790 Old 01-11-2008, 12:15 AM
 
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definitely built in storage. I love our little house, but we are having to make modifications to add storage ourselves. There are no linen closets at all, and the kitchen looks much smaller now that my stuff is in there. We already put up a shed for the laundry and storage, but we are going to need another one I fear. I don't like the clutter that comes from moving from a large house with a garage to a small house without a garage.

We will be getting rid of more of our junk and adding more storage as we can. I remember living in old victorian houses that were turned into apartments, and the amount of built in storage was amazing. Why can't modern builders do that?

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#276 of 790 Old 01-11-2008, 01:14 PM
 
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If I had to do it over again I would make the mudroom bigger.

We'd really like a porch and/or deck (when we win the lottery).

I have lots of closet space but I would love a built in bookcase/cupboard-to-hide-the-TV-and-a-place-to-stash-toys in the livingroom.

I'm really liking my small house right now. I have some improvements I want to make(hardwood in the living room, paint, actually decorate DS's room).

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#277 of 790 Old 01-11-2008, 01:30 PM
 
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When we built our little house we spent a lot of time thinking about how we use each room. For example, in the master bathroom we wanted enough room for all the towels and blankets so we built two tall cabinets to store them in. In the kitchen I planned out where I wanted to put things before we built the cabinets. We also made scale drawings of our furniture and then tried then on the house plans to make sure they fit. Because in our county we are charged fees for each square foot of the house we did not want any wasted space. There are no hallways in our house. The bedrooms open straight into the living space. There is a small hall between the kitchen and garage and we designed it with a built in desk so the hall is also a office area. Another thing we did to save square footage is put the laundry area in the back of the garage. We didn't want to pay for a room just to hold a washer and dryer. We have lots of natural light and big windows which I think helps make it feel bigger. There is a 6 foot window in the dinning area and then a sliding glass door and the front door is all glass also.

We did some things that I feel are upgrades compared to other houses because it felt important to use. Such as both bathrooms have 2 sinks so more than one person can be in there brushing teeth or what ever at a time.
The girls bedroom is a bit bigger than most kid bedrooms because we knew they would always be sharing it.

We also planned ahead for an addition just in case. We plumbed in a bathroom in the garage and made it so that one day the garage could be turned into more living space. I'm really glad we did this because a few months after moving into the house I got pregnant with suprise #4.
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#278 of 790 Old 01-11-2008, 02:43 PM
 
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Designing a small house:

Plenty of built in storage!

Architectural details! Lets you get away with less furniture/decor while still looking interesting and beautiful.

Plenty of little cubbyhole corners to get away from people. I really like the idea of a staircase with a bookshelf/window seat on the landing. Perfect little place for a person to cuddle up and read. Or, a little playhouse/fort under the basement stairs.

A separate play area for kids while adults have a place to talk and visit in peace.

Outdoor area! Deck, porch, veranda, whatever. (But don't use it for extra storage and jam all kinds of clutter into it! Too many people I know do this to their porches.)

Plenty of natural light. A home feels open and larger with big windows. Feels less closed off.
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#279 of 790 Old 01-11-2008, 03:12 PM
 
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So appreciated ... thank you!

dust.gifFour-eyed tattooed fairy godmother queer, mama to my lucky star (5) and little bird (2.5). Resident storyteller at www.thestoryforest.com. Enchanting audiostories for curious kids. Come play in the forest!
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#280 of 790 Old 01-11-2008, 03:14 PM
 
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Heather ... You're in Canada?
Have you built? If so, do you mind me asking if you bought your plans, and if so, where?

dust.gifFour-eyed tattooed fairy godmother queer, mama to my lucky star (5) and little bird (2.5). Resident storyteller at www.thestoryforest.com. Enchanting audiostories for curious kids. Come play in the forest!
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#281 of 790 Old 01-11-2008, 08:00 PM
 
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we live in Japan, so there are some cultural points.
our bathrooms/bath/toilets are as someone called them aussie style.
We have a toilet right off the entrance, and another upstairs.
The bath/shower is off the laundry area, which is off the kitchen.

The entrance area has a large closet for coats and shoes. Shoes are not worn in the house, so all stored by the door. Makes it easy to find your shoes in the morning.

Our bedroom has a large closet for all our clothes, and linens. There is hanging and drawers. Bedroom has only beds. In the future I want a nightstand, but not a dresser.

We have a lot of built in storage, bookshelf near the kitchen for cookbooks, cabinets in the living area for toys, shelves for toys, space for craft stuff.

There are no basements here b/c of the earthquakes. We do have some space under the stairs.

I love my bay type window in front of the kitchen sink, nice for herbs and sprouts, and other plants.

we have lots of windows (and little wall space...) and a ceiling light and window.

my mom has a nice *light* in her windowless bathroom. I guess it is called a sun tunnel.
http://www.veluxusa.com/inspiration/...ls/default.htm

think about what you have, where you will use it, where you want to store it.

oh yeah, recycling was a biggie for us. here we have to separate the trash, so lots of different bins needed. Garages are not common here, we have a carport.

Kathryn
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#282 of 790 Old 01-11-2008, 08:28 PM
 
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Heather ... You're in Canada?
Have you built? If so, do you mind me asking if you bought your plans, and if so, where?
I'm still in the planning stage. I haven't built yet and have NO idea what to do. Everything seems so expensive! I'm almost, kind of, leaning towards this

small house plan with a full basement... but my plans change weekly. :
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#283 of 790 Old 01-11-2008, 09:38 PM
 
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I'm still in the planning stage. I haven't built yet and have NO idea what to do. Everything seems so expensive! I'm almost, kind of, leaning towards this

small house plan with a full basement... but my plans change weekly. :
I've seen that one and bookmarked it myself! This is the one we have our eye on:
http://www.bcmountainhomes.com/catal...dex&cPath=3_60

But we'd like to work a third bedroom or office into the plan without needing more square-footage.

dust.gifFour-eyed tattooed fairy godmother queer, mama to my lucky star (5) and little bird (2.5). Resident storyteller at www.thestoryforest.com. Enchanting audiostories for curious kids. Come play in the forest!
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#284 of 790 Old 01-11-2008, 11:47 PM
 
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You can count us in! There are three of us living in a 965 sq ft apartment, with hopefully another on the way soon!

There are two bedrooms and 1 and a quarter bath. There are 3 coat closets, 1 linen closet, a closet in dd's room and a spacious walk-in in the master bedroom. We have a garage, which we are situated about (I love this part!). We have a nice little foyer and a stairwell that leads to our dining room and kitchen on the right. As of now our space is very organized and clean. We have a place for everything and plenty more opportunities for storage if need be.

Right now I am focusing my attention on getting our daughter a new bed. I am planning on making an upholstered headboard and allowing enough space underneat to tuck a trundle bed. That way once we have another child I can make a duplicate bed since they will be sharing a room. Then I will make a customized bookshelf to put in between the beds and a play corner to allow storage for toys and a place for creativity.

For a long time I have really wanted a bigger place, but to be honest I hate cleaning this place and I would hate even more having a bigger place to clean. I am in a good routine to keep this place clean and tidy and a bigger place would just be so much harder. I have always wanted a homey cottage like house. With loads of character and built ins. Thats my dream...hopefully it will happen one day

Jessica, Single Mama to Lailah(4) and Christopher(2)
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#285 of 790 Old 01-13-2008, 10:28 PM
 
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Here are some pics of my small house. Just the bathroom/laundry (yes, that is the same room!) and the kitchen/dining area. I will post the living room and other spaces later. We have about 950 sf of living space, that we are actually in. The remaining 450 or so is garage/entry hall/tiny at present unused den.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/22612133@N07/
LOL! i think its great that YOU think 950sqft is huge
great pix!
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#286 of 790 Old 01-14-2008, 09:24 AM
 
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I just wanted to pop in and say hi! We have a family of four living in 980 sq ft. We have 2 bedrooms and 1 bath. This space works for us now, but I am sure that we will have issues when the kids are bigger since they are opposite gender and will want privacy when they get older. Actually this space would be fine for us if the layout were different.

I am really going to work on decluttering and try to make a serious dent in the stuff we have. I don't know where it all comes from! It is a big source of arguments in the house, dh feels that the kids need to get rid of stuff they get upset etc. The problem is that dh isn't home much so his stuff isn't out, whereas the kids are here all day and they pull stuff out to use so it is more visible.

Sigh. It never ends, no matter how much I get rid of and how much I stop from coming in there is always so much to purge - I don't get it. It much multiply at night.

Anyway I am glad to find some kindred spirits to counteract all the advice from family that we need a bigger house.
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#287 of 790 Old 01-14-2008, 10:18 AM
 
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I should post some photos and our house is bigger than some here (so is our family) but the last post got me thinking. We thought we could have the kids share rooms according to gender at any time. We had to rethink that due to age differences. First our older two shared (boy then girl). Wehen the older two began needing more privact and space this summer we tried putting the three girls together and it didn't really work to have a 9, 4, and 2 yo share. Now, the older two have their own rooms in the attic, we have a nursery (think Mary Poppins) for the younger three (4, 2, and baby boy) and we converted the living room into a bedroom where dh and I sleep with the baby. (Just his 'stuff' is in the nursery with the girls and all the toys). Best laid plans... but we continue to make the house work for us rather than expoanding so here is where I come for support. Like a few other posters our house is small given the norms here.

You don’t owe them an explanation, just a response.
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#288 of 790 Old 01-14-2008, 12:51 PM
 
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645 sq feet/60 sq meters. 4 people.

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#289 of 790 Old 01-14-2008, 01:54 PM
 
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When sq footaage is calculated do you measure each room and then add it all up?
Are hallways included?
Or do you measure one level and times it by how many levels you have?

I would like to try and find the true sq ft I have.

The main floor is roughly 365 sq ft. It is one open space broken up only by the stairs and a closet that is not built into a wall but juts out into the living space.

Decluttering 500/2010
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#290 of 790 Old 01-14-2008, 07:08 PM
 
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When sq footaage is calculated do you measure each room and then add it all up?
Are hallways included?
Sq footage 'formula' THere you go, that explains it a lot better than I could I think!

Pagan  lovin'  WOW playing mum to 5 boys in the wonderful land of Oz ... FOR THE HORDE! hehehe
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#291 of 790 Old 01-17-2008, 12:36 AM
 
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We have a 1200 sq ft home. I love most of it. I don't like haveing only two bedrooms, I'd rather have 3 very small ones in stead of 2 med ones. We have a almost 2 year old boy and a 10 week little girl so it's not a problem yet. I also run a daycare out of our house too.
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#292 of 790 Old 01-17-2008, 12:55 AM
 
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very late addition here.
My FAVORITE thing is our large island in the kitchen. It is just a plain counter space (no sink or cooktop) I use it for soooo many things. obviously kitchen prep, but also to spread out food when we have guests, which is often. I do make your own pizzas a lot, and have all the toppings spread out. It is next to our bath area so when baby was smaller it was the space we got her dressed, I measure and cut fabric on there, spread out scrapbooking stuff... etc.. I do clean it off daily, so it never looks cluttered.
We keep a cooler at one end, sort of a frugal learning tower thing. It is long enough for 2 children to stand on it and reach the counter/island.
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#293 of 790 Old 01-17-2008, 01:13 AM
 
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Outdoor area! Deck, porch, veranda, whatever. (But don't use it for extra storage and jam all kinds of clutter into it! Too many people I know do this to their porches.)
We do this. Actually, DH does it. I see it as a potential living space, he sees it as a garage without walls.

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Originally Posted by ***Heather***
Plenty of natural light. A home feels open and larger with big windows. Feels less closed off.
ITA. IMO this the *the* most important thing. I also think it's important to have a relatively large common area, whether it's the kitchen, the living room, whatever. I don't like it when ALL the rooms are small.

Our house is an embarrassingly large 1200 sf. It has 3 bedrooms and one bath. The kids share a room and the 3rd bedroom is currently a playroom. I like it because it has a big, north facing picture window so it gets nice light. (Secretly I'd like to turn it into an art studio one day.) It has a fairly large closet so we recently took the doors off it and put shelves in there for the kid's toys. It really helped a lot, it's a lot less cramped in there. My favorite thing about our house is our big back yard. I also like the way it's laid out. It has a little hall you walk into when you enter the house, so you don't just step right into the living room. To me that is a much nicer way to come into the house. We have a laundy nook. I wouldn't call it a room.

I want to turn our attic into a loft, too. If anyone has done this, I'd love to hear about it. It would be great for the kids. I also would really like to expand the kitchen/laundry area. Someday, when I have an extra 20K lying around, ha ha. But I like our house, I like where it is, etc. It's plain but it has a very liveable layout. I'm feeling friendly towards it right now because I just did a huge purge of junk and rearranged some furniture to make it work better. We still probably have twice the stuff we need/want/could ever possibly use.
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#294 of 790 Old 01-17-2008, 11:29 AM
 
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I've been reading this thread for awhile but have yet to chime in as our house seems big compared to some of you! We're four in what I think is about a 1200 square foot house. It was crazy huge when we moved in with no children as we had previously been two in 450 square feet.

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very late addition here.
My FAVORITE thing is our large island in the kitchen. It is just a plain counter space (no sink or cooktop) I use it for soooo many things.
We have one too and I love it though I don't think I'm as good about getting it cleared everyday.

My goal is to get pictures taken today and posted. We've been renovating since we moved in four years ago but it's been slow going. Something about adding twins to the mix...

I've been reading with interest the discussion related to different gender children sharing a room. My two are just over three (and b/g) and currently share a room. The room is 9x13, so longer than it is wide. They have a small walk-in closet but depending on how it's configured, you could pretty easily dress in there. This is years off for us, but if you do think that your children need privacy, has anyone considered dividing a room with a screen to afford visual privacy but not complete privacy? I'm trying to imagine how I would accomplish that in their room. Perhaps with creative lofting of beds? Our third bedroom is a combination sewing room/play room and though we've just set it up since Christmas, I'm loving the space.

Time to go clean out their outgrown clothes!

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#295 of 790 Old 01-17-2008, 12:23 PM
 
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oh i love love love the small house thread. we are 3 in 1000 sq ft, with 3 bedrooms and 1 full bathroom. it is a ranch, but it does sit on a full basement. so i have more storage than i know what to do with. right now we have a master and dds bedroom and the 3rd is a combo guest room and office. we plan to stay here for a while and i am always considering what to do when the next dc come along. maybe take the guest room/office (whihc is the biggest bedroom and closet) and make it the nursery and dd's room into the guest room. (this would force dh to clean all of his "office" junk out...we have no need for a true home office...he just likes to spread out...hehehe). all of our family is out of town but they visit often (at least once a month) so we truly use our dedicated guest room.

so...my problem is the basement. we have enough furniture down there to almost furnish another whole house. it is the odds and ends of dh and mys college apartments and various piees we have replaced in our home now. i am having a hard time getting rid of it...any suggestions? i don't really think we would ever use any of it again. sigh...i know that means it needs to go. why is it so hard?

amanda... lovin' my dh since 2004 and mama to dd (3), ds (18 months) and expecting someone new Oct 2010.
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#296 of 790 Old 01-18-2008, 03:40 AM
 
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abharrington: maybe you could craigslist or freecycle the extra furniture?? donate it to a homeless or battered womens' shelter, a youth center, a local frat house? or, as they do on 'clean house,' have a yard sale and schedule a charity donation shop pickup for the end of the day, so that everything that doesn't get sold goes onto the truck... not back into the house.

just brainstorming...
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#297 of 790 Old 01-27-2008, 12:01 PM
 
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Just wondering how my small house mama's are doing.

Sabrina , mom to 4 fab kids!

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#298 of 790 Old 01-27-2008, 12:38 PM
 
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#299 of 790 Old 01-27-2008, 01:11 PM
 
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I love this thread!
We just moved into a 1100 sq ft 2bd 1ba house. We also have an unfinished basement and a yard with a storage shed. For the last 3 years we lived in a 863 Sq ft townhouse with a tiny storage shed. Our new place feels HUGE!
It's me, dh, dd, two dogs and a cat.
I think living small forces you to declutter...constantly because if you don't you will drown in it. It also forces you to maximize the space and use rooms for multiple purposes. We remodled our old townhome to make it more efficient and use all of the space. When we moved in it had a tiny kitchen (not a single drawer in the whole kitchen) and a tiny dining area which would only fit a tiny table. We ripped it out and built a nice kitchen with plenty of cabinets and counter space and a bar to sit and eat at. It was really nice. 863 sq ft felt too small though because there was no room to entertain. If we had a yard it would have been much better.
We have plans to remodel our new home. It's fun to be able to be so creative with the space.
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#300 of 790 Old 01-27-2008, 01:23 PM
 
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I'm really enjoying this thread -- everyone here is really inspiring.

We've been living in an 1,100 sq foot house for 3 years now -- DH, DS, and DD. . . I think it's plenty of space and would like to add a 3rd to our family. Dh is concerned about the space we've got and wants a bigger house before we expand our family. It's not likely that will happen. . . so I want to get all of us accustomed to and comfortable with the space we have (which, if you consider the size of our backyard and basement, is more than enough).

Monica, mom to Lilly (7) and Carter (4) and rainbow baby Elsa (11/27/10).
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