Small house thread - Page 17 - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-28-2008, 01:02 AM
 
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I haven't read the whole thread so I apologize if there has already been a lengthy discussion about this.

My kitchen is making me nuts. Seriously, I cannot prepare one meal w/out cussing about something in that !#$%^ room. I've had small kitchens before, but that was before I had a DH and DD to cook for. I have really tried my best to eliminate unnecessary items, so I really don't think that's the problem. It's just such a freakishly small space. Please tell me how you organize your kitchen. Any tips or tricks? Any can't do w/out item? BTW, we are not in a position to spend much, maybe around $100 or so. If you have a creative, inexpensive way, that's even better!

TIA.
Can you take pictures of the kitchen. It's always helpful to see the space that needs help.
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:25 AM
 
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Can you take pictures of the kitchen. It's always helpful to see the space that needs help.
Good idea. I'll try to do that this afternoon.
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Old 07-29-2008, 03:28 PM
 
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I haven't read the whole thread so I apologize if there has already been a lengthy discussion about this.

My kitchen is making me nuts. Seriously, I cannot prepare one meal w/out cussing about something in that !#$%^ room. I've had small kitchens before, but that was before I had a DH and DD to cook for. I have really tried my best to eliminate unnecessary items, so I really don't think that's the problem. It's just such a freakishly small space. Please tell me how you organize your kitchen. Any tips or tricks? Any can't do w/out item? BTW, we are not in a position to spend much, maybe around $100 or so. If you have a creative, inexpensive way, that's even better!

TIA.
I wonder if there are things that you can hang on the walls. Every time I go to Ikea and study their little fake houses, I notice that every possible hang-able item has its own little hook or holder. Pot racks, dish towels, I even saw a pot LID rack (cheap too) last time I was there.

I haven't completely moved into my tiny house yet, so I don't know how helpful my advice is, but this is a goal for us. Our new house has no pantry whatsoever, so all our dry goods have to find a place in our kitchen cabinets (and we're kind of buy-in-bulk type people too

We'll see what happens! I'll try and post pics soon!

Rachel, mommy to Ella (10/19/06) and Kaia (1/4/10), wife to Michael . Just another vegan, attachment parenting, homebirthing, UU & Buddhist, CLWing, bedsharing, vegetable gardening, Bay Area crunchy mom!
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Old 09-08-2008, 04:29 PM
 
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bump!
How are all my small house mamas doing?

Sabrina , mom to 4 fab kids!

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Old 09-08-2008, 04:50 PM
 
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Doing well here.

I've been decluttering and doing my fall cleaning.

When the weather is dry, breezy and cool I get really motivated.

DH has done some insulation in preperation for winter and we're waiting for a wood delivery.

Amy at Stone Fence Farm
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Old 09-09-2008, 10:13 AM
 
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I am, quite frankly, getting frustrated and wishing I could afford a three-bedroom, two-bath house with a normal-sized living room, like most of the people we know have. My mother visited us for 2 months this summer and we managed to squeeze her in, but she really needs a handicapped-accessible bathroom and ours is too narrow for that and, well, I already have enough issues with body fluid cleanup duty as it is. Plus when dd woke up in the middle of the night with whatever sort of problem, I couldn't just lie down with her for any length of time because that bed is the only place in the house that's safe for my mom to lie down on. So either mom had to sit up, or dd and I had to sleep somewhere else. I totally want my mom to come back because she and dd are best buddies and my mom's not going to live forever, but I'm shuddering at the thought of cram-packing everyone again.

I need to do a declutter, but I just started a new job and school and there's just not much time or emotional energy left over. Especially since at this point, the difference it would make would be only slight. We decluttered the major stuff years ago and I'm tired of sitting around thinking "should I donate my mutes to the high school band? will I ever play in an orchestra again? maybe?" and "how mad will mom/MIL/SMIL get if these toys disappear?" Especially since dd is now old enough to notice and remember things.

I'm sorry, I know this isn't positive and I should make the best of things, since our house is cute-looking and in the perfect location, with a very small mortgage payment. But I do think we've just about outgrown it.

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Old 09-09-2008, 10:30 AM
 
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Hey I just found this thread! We are a family of 6 living in 796 sq. ft. I had to do an online converter to find out just how little 74 sq meters is

It's a 2 bedroom apartment. The babies are still in our bed partly because it's easier that way but also because I don't know where to put them! I'm trying to figure out how to put in a tiny room in the corner of our living room. Or putting up dividers in one area and putting the pack and play behind that. Our dream is to buy the next door neighbors apartment, knock a hole through it and put us up to 1200 sq. ft.

Storage is a big issue. Like kid stuff, Christmas stuff, clothing too big/small, washer/dryer. We rent a tiny apartment upstairs for things like that. Super cheap and then when company or others need a place to sleep for the night we have a bed. It's kindof a small ministry for us doing that.

ALL of my friends tell me we should move into a bigger house, what will the kids do when bigger, etc. We own our apartment and have NO payments! We have a beautiful garden outside. DH and DD can walk to school in 5 minutes. Why would I move? I like having to not have so much junk, not much to clean, being creative with the space I have. I'm always trying to find new ways to make everyone fit.

Someone above mentioned asking what to do with an older child's space. For DD she sleeps on her top bunk and we're installing shelves up there so she can put her own personal things up there so they don't get messed up.

I'm gonna love this thread!

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Old 09-09-2008, 11:08 AM
 
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Heyla all! Thanks for the bump!

We're getting ready for winter... we put up new siding (a benefit of a small house is being able to do that yourself I guess ) and although the trim isn't up and it's not painted (non stop rain since we brought the paint home!) it already looks better and feels more snug. We're getting estimates on the roof since it leaks/is falling off and estimates for some folks to pull down a few dead trees that are uphill and hanging over the house.

De-cluttering has come to a slow point though. We got a small shed up (since we have no indoor storage) but we need more space. We're planning an IKEA trip soon and exploring different ideas for storage. My favorite idea right now is to get stacking bookcases (the "cube" style) and stack them from floor to ceiling to create a storage "wall" seperating the "living room" from the "kitchen". That way we'd have the storage, there would be some visual privacy from the kitchen, but the openings in the bookcases would still let light/air move around. Has anyone tried something like this?

(for new mamas... hi!... we [4 people, 1 dog] have a ~850sq/ft house that is one room on the ground floor and a sleeping loft upstairs. So while we have more footage than a lot of mamas here we have less defined space. And we're converting the space from a garage to a home so there are certain things "missing"... like no kitchen sink, a bathroom that is just hidden behind a curtain, etc )

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Old 09-09-2008, 11:39 AM
 
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We still live in out tiny house though I'm overwhelmed at the moment. on top of the normal everyday stuff I need to do the small space makes the house look extra smashed and I'm still organizing....I just could use some Ideas :P
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Old 09-09-2008, 01:54 PM
 
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Hi mama's. Just found this thread. DH and I live in a 960 sq foot home with our 2 dogs. We have 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, no garage, no basement, no attic storage. So therefore my 2nd bedroom is our storage room. We are currently ttc #1 so if that happens soon its gonna get interesting. We do own our home and I love our house.
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Old 09-11-2008, 07:22 PM
 
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Mrscompgeek,

Our house is similar to yours except it's even smaller. We do have a shed out in the back yard, which helps a lot. Is that an option for you? I will say that we are making far better use of the space in our house than we did pre-baby. We basically got rid of everything in our second bedroom while I was pregnant. It's now a regular bedroom for dd and it's also nice enough for her grandparents to sleep in when they visit.

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Old 09-11-2008, 07:56 PM
 
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Mrscompgeek,

Our house is similar to yours except it's even smaller. We do have a shed out in the back yard, which helps a lot. Is that an option for you? I will say that we are making far better use of the space in our house than we did pre-baby. We basically got rid of everything in our second bedroom while I was pregnant. It's now a regular bedroom for dd and it's also nice enough for her grandparents to sleep in when they visit.
Hi Juliacat! We do have a shed out back but the owners before put it in and its really small and not very good for storing items. Its got huge holes and we have rabbits, snakes and mice so I cant store items in it. Its awesome for our mower, yard stuff though. We are hoping one day to get a new shed that I can store things in but for now we dont have money to spend on it. Our spare room is def going to have to have a clean out, the problem is that I am photographer and all my supplies go in there since I really dont know where else to store it. . The closet is full of my christmas deco, dh golf clubs, extra chairs. . . .
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Old 09-12-2008, 10:54 AM
 
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I don't know what your money situation is or what kind of shed you want, but we got ours at Home Depot on a 0% interest card for 12 months, which we paid off before the 12 months was over and then canceled. We store our lawn equipment and bicycles there as well as suitcases, boxes of clothing that my niece has outgrown but dd hasn't grown into yet, and a few other odds and ends. Something like that might work for the golf clubs and extra chairs.

For the other stuff, you might have to get creative with shelving and figuring out what little things could go where in other parts of your house. We have a shelving unit in our dining room that takes up a ton of space but it's worth it because it stores sooooo much. Photography supplies may be tough to find a storage spot for, but just do a big declutter and then look at your house with an eye towards what could go where....

Hope this helps!

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Old 09-14-2008, 02:44 AM
 
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6 kids, 5 at home.

Two bedrooms.

Alaska in the winter. All kids are homeschooled.

I think I need to sub to this thread.

love, penelope

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Old 09-16-2008, 07:07 PM
 
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I'm in....soon to be at least. We are downsizing to 1300 sq ft cute cape with more land to farm/etc. I'll tell you how it goes....we wouln't mention my huband is a drummer.....drums take up more space than kids I think!
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Old 09-16-2008, 09:30 PM
 
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Our new small house is so wonderful! I don't even know that it qualifies as a "small house" since it feels pretty spacious (it's about 1,200 square feet). Our last house was 3,000 sf so it's a big change, but we really much prefer it this way (and we haven't even gotten to winter yet when I'm sure we'll really appreciate the change). Everything is right within reach! Every space feels so useful. We are keeping it much cleaner than our last house since just a bit of mess makes it feel really messy.

The biggest challenges have been not having any closets (the house was built in 1823, apparently pre-closets), not having any counter space in the kitchen, and only having one bathroom (my twins *always* have to go at the same time), but these really haven't been a big deal. We put up shelves for our clothes (just with brackets and wooden boards), bought a butcher block island that fits perfectly in the kitchen, and the boys can run next door to my mom's house in a real bathroom emergency!

I don't ever plan on living in a big house again!

Lex

Mindfully mothering SIX kids (ages 5, 6, 8, 9, 11 & 11) in a small house with a lot of love.
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Old 09-17-2008, 01:17 AM
 
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Lex, 3000sq ft is huge! We stayed with family this summer - they have 3400 sq ft. Seriously our entire apartment would fit in their master bedroom! All I could think of was: what's the electricity bill, and why would someone want to clean that much!!!

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Old 09-17-2008, 09:17 AM
 
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Lex, 3000sq ft is huge! We stayed with family this summer - they have 3400 sq ft. Seriously our entire apartment would fit in their master bedroom! All I could think of was: what's the electricity bill, and why would someone want to clean that much!!!
Yeah, it really was huge--FIVE bedrooms huge! We knew when we moved in (as renters) that it was more space than we needed, but the location was perfect, and everything else we looked at seemed too small. But after living there for one winter (and seriously using up all of our savings paying for heat), we realized that we'd be much happier in a smaller, cozier house. We ended up closing off 3 bedrooms to try and reduce the heating cost, and saw that we didn't need nearly so much space.

Never doing that again!

Our new house is pretty perfect because we still have all the rooms that we need, they're just small (a small office, a small playroom, a small living room, etc.). I used to think that I preferred an open floor plan, but I'm not sure that I do in a small space. It's nice to have some separation between the different spaces in order to help keep things organized.

Lex

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Old 09-17-2008, 09:48 AM
 
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See, I want a house that's 1200 square feet or so. I think that would be perfect. (I also don't think it would qualify as small, at least not for my family of 3-4 people and a cat.)

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Old 09-17-2008, 11:51 AM
 
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Yay! I am so happy I found you all!

We live in a small house by choice! It is close to downtown so we can walk to parks, museums etc. so that takes care of the mini yard aspect. The first floor of our house is rented out as a 1 bedroom. The second floor is 4 very small rooms (as in can barely fit a loveseat in the living room area) and then we have a loft ladder up to the attic which is where we sleep. I think my dh said about 800 sq ft. We have one closet up in the attic and a front and back porch (which rock though we have long winters).

You know what I *LOVE* about living in a small house! When we make improvements its so affordable to get exactly what I want. When we bought the house it had old wall to wall dirty rugs and I choose the most gorgeous bamboo and it was still so affordable. We used these beautiful clay paints for all the walls. It was more expensive than regular paint but we didn't need so much. Same thing when we tiled the bathroom floor. We found some leftovers from someone elses big project. I feel like anything I want I can have! Also, our utilities are really low. We use natural gas and spent about a hundred dollars a month last winter on gas AND electric! : (we have long winters here so that is such a bonus!)

The challenge is that I feel like the furniture has to almost be custom picked for each corner so to say. I have lots of ideas that would make the the space really functional, but its not like I am going to run out and buy all this furniture all at once. So we are looking for "perfect" items one piece at a time and winging everything else.
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Old 09-17-2008, 12:09 PM
 
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Yay! I am so happy I found you all!

We live in a small house by choice! It is close to downtown so we can walk to parks, museums etc. so that takes care of the mini yard aspect.
Same here.

We moved from a 600sq foot apartment with two bedrooms to a 1100 sq foot three bedroom house last September. It's amusing to me that some thing 1200 sq feet is small, when our 1100sq foot house seem so huge to me! I can't believe how much more spacious the house feels over the old apartment. The house has a good layout that makes good use of the space. The kitchen, dinning, and living room on the first floor have a very open plan. Upstairs are three spacious bedrooms (10x16, 11x11, and 9x15) which feel huge compared to the 9x9 bedrooms in our apartment. Right now the third bedroom is our office. We only have one bathroom, but at least it has an open plan and doesn’t feel cramped with all three of us are in there at the same time . Personally, I wouldn’t want any more space to clean. Also, our lot is only 23 by 110 feet. This is just the right amount of space for me to landscape and maintain. I love it!

We don't have a garage though - poor DH. But we did build a great 12x12 foot shed in the back for his motorcycles and gardening equipment. I recommend Lowe’s line of wooden shed kits. The other bonus of our house is a fairly decent full basement. DH and I are in the process of setting up a woodworking area in the basement so that we can build some furniture and kayaks.

BTW: Does anyone else get annoyed at those home magazines that special "small house" issues where they talk about downsizing into 2000sq feet! WTF?!
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Old 09-17-2008, 12:14 PM
 
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We are moving to a 700 sq ft apartment.


My strategy is to only keep what I *love* to see and use. Keep it simple, simple, simple. And we are remodeling in a very euro-efficient style so although things are going to be smaller than our current 1200-ish sq ft country home, they are better laid out with better cabinets and storage throughout.

Grace Comes.

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Old 09-17-2008, 01:16 PM
 
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I don't know what your money situation is or what kind of shed you want, but we got ours at Home Depot on a 0% interest card for 12 months, which we paid off before the 12 months was over and then canceled. We store our lawn equipment and bicycles there as well as suitcases, boxes of clothing that my niece has outgrown but dd hasn't grown into yet, and a few other odds and ends. Something like that might work for the golf clubs and extra chairs.

For the other stuff, you might have to get creative with shelving and figuring out what little things could go where in other parts of your house. We have a shelving unit in our dining room that takes up a ton of space but it's worth it because it stores sooooo much. Photography supplies may be tough to find a storage spot for, but just do a big declutter and then look at your house with an eye towards what could go where....

Hope this helps!
Good idea about the shed but we have vowed not to buy things on credit anymore. Dh had alot of credit card debit when we got married and we are finally getting it paid off, plus we are still paying on his school loan. So that really isnt a option for us.
I dont have a dining room- we eat in the kitchen so thats not really a option either.
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Old 09-17-2008, 01:23 PM
 
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Our house is 513 sq ft. Honestly, it's not a bad size for the 3 of us (me and two kids). Our house has no closets so that is our biggest challenge. We have to declutter all the time in order to keep things manageable. My kids have the two bedrooms and I have a futon in the living room. I want to get a full-sized loft bed though to save space in here as soon as I can, which means sometime next summer probably when we have more money.
: our house is 500 sq ft. tooo
and also no closet here.... i must admit i have been going a bit nutty latley with 2 adults, 3 kids, 2 med/lg dogs, and a cat i find myself constaintly waiting for someone to move out the way... and i've run out of places to put things long ago... but other then that its wonderful the size of the yard makes up for the tiny house and i live iin a nice neighborhood.

its nice to know i'm not the only one struggleing with a wee home.
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Old 09-17-2008, 06:35 PM
 
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Our house is considered small, but it certainly doesn't feel that way! We have a 3b, 1bth 925sq ft house. Our former rental was the same size, but only 2 bedrooms and the layout made it feel much smaller, more cramped, and not as useful. We have a large eat-in kitchen, an adequate sized living room, one small bedroom that we use as a playroom, the kids have a bedroom that they never sleep in, and a large master bedroom which has our king size bed, a chair, a chiffarobe and still has room. The layout makes this house so perfect for us (4 people, 2 larger dogs). I don't think I'd ever choose to live in a large house- I've told DP that 1200 sq ft would be the biggest house I'd ever want to live in, and we'd have to have at least 4 kids to even consider it!

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Old 09-17-2008, 07:14 PM
 
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I think my final dream home will be in the 1100-1200 sq/ft range. We had 1600 and it was waaaaay too much, and our current 850 is just not big enough. If it was broken up better/organized better but the space has built in limits that wont really suit our lifestyle in 2-3 years.

Still planning that IKEA trip though! And I totally agree... the "small house" magazine specials where the house is in the 2000-3000 sq ft range (especially when they then point out that it's a "weekend/vacation" retreat for a couple or something like that) always makes me giggle/cry. And agree again that layout makes a HUGE difference in terms of how a space feels. I have ideas (which need IKEA to implement) that may give us a little more "visual space". And I'd never want to go back to the 1600+ camp.

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Old 09-18-2008, 11:14 AM
 
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What a cool thread!

We, my son and I, live in a 350 sq.ft rented apartment. One bedroom, kitchen/livingroom together and a tiny bathroom. It`s really, really tiny, but we love it. (I COULD use a second bedroom, though.) We live in Norways third largest city, within walking distance to everything. My son has the only bedroom, and since that room is about half the apartment, his room is actually pretty ok sized. (I sleep in his room, but will start sleeping in the livingroom when he wants more privacy.)

I`ll try to find some pictures.


http://www.byen.org/kavalkade.html We life in the old part of the city, with small wooden houses, almost no trafic, cool and alternative shops/cafes etc. Our apartment is the yellow house in the fourth row, picture to the left.



http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b8...D480/ry%3D320/ This is our livingroom. And what you see is the WHOLE livingroom.

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Old 09-18-2008, 11:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by CrunchyTamara View Post
What a cool thread!

We, my son and I, live in a 350 sq.ft rented apartment. One bedroom, kitchen/livingroom together and a tiny bathroom. It`s really, really tiny, but we love it. (I COULD use a second bedroom, though.) We live in Norways third largest city, within walking distance to everything. My son has the only bedroom, and since that room is about half the apartment, his room is actually pretty ok sized. (I sleep in his room, but will start sleeping in the livingroom when he wants more privacy.)

I`ll try to find some pictures.


http://www.byen.org/kavalkade.html We life in the old part of the city, with small wooden houses, almost no trafic, cool and alternative shops/cafes etc. Our apartment is the yellow house in the fourth row, picture to the left.



http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b8...D480/ry%3D320/ This is our livingroom. And what you see is the WHOLE livingroom.
Wow! What a beautiful city and apartment! I it!
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Old 09-18-2008, 05:34 PM
 
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That is so cool!

Be pretty! Be practical! Be Pagan! Visit Pagan Hearth & Home!
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Old 09-18-2008, 08:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by slsurface View Post
Same here.

We moved from a 600sq foot apartment with two bedrooms to a 1100 sq foot three bedroom house last September. It's amusing to me that some thing 1200 sq feet is small, when our 1100sq foot house seem so huge to me!
Yes, I do think perspective can really affect what you view as small vs. large.

I was thinking that our new house was 1200 sf, but we measured today and it's actually only about 1000 sf. But it does feel plenty big, and we have 3 kids (and are ttc #4). It's hard to imagine how we'd manage with anything much smaller than this, but I suppose we could lose about 100 sf from the second bedroom without too much trouble (especially since the kids only barely sleep in there).

Lex

Mindfully mothering SIX kids (ages 5, 6, 8, 9, 11 & 11) in a small house with a lot of love.
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