Ron from OilCrisis.com sent a link from the July 18 Wall Street Journal titled "The Newest Cottage Industry, Buyers Snap Up Small Homes; 1,000 Square Feet ...
The article talks about a family of six doing fine in one of these little jewels. Now it happens that my family and I live in a 1,000 sq. ft. double-wide mobile home with another 200 ft of deck space and a small outdoor shed. There is also a covered carport. We have one small and two tiny bedrooms and two baths.
In general it is comfortable and we do fine. It is well insulated and heating bills in winter are low. But I would like it to be larger. Not so much larger, mind you, but a bit larger would be nice. I have owned a 1,700 sq. ft. house with large double garage before, and I do not need that much space, and I neither need nor want one of the bankrupting McMansions. Maybe 1,300 ft. would do very nicely.
Our 11 year old daughter has her own room. It has a singe bed on one wall and a dresser on the other. In between is is about 5 feet, and a computer on a stand with barely enough space for a monitor and keyboard just about fills that space. The fourth wall is a closet. There is no work space, or space for an aquarium, or much of anything else. It is very basic, but adequate in a minimalist kind of way.
I do think small is fine in general. But it is not simple to fit in enough walls for bookshelves and art and windows. Storage is a biggie. I spent most of the day reorganizing 'the bodega', which is jammed to the gills. There are tools and various kinds of supplies and a plastic Christmas tree and the list goes on. I suppose a lot of people would not need all of that. With 100+ ft devoted to well thought out storage, bins, shelves, possibly moving shelves as in a library, to maximize space use, the 1000 ft house could be made to work pretty well. It would definitely help if there were a central gym with table tennis and pool tables and other sharable facilities.
Some skylights would be a nice touch. And a nice garden would be highly desirable, even though growing any significant amount of food takes significant time and attention.