Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Small and simple


Tea did a series on living simply. I loved it and have been thinking tons about it. We are in a season where living simply is our only choice. A new business and little children mean that things are tight financially. And I don't mind. It's been a season of "decluttering" and almost purification. Sounds wierd but without a lot even the small things take on significance.

As I am a designer I think about spaces a lot. A lot! And I have been thinking about our house. Our house is small- 98sqm. When you fit two adults, two children and a business into the space there isn't a spare centimeter. So it does needs to be bigger but how much bigger?

In western society we seem to move to bigger and bigger houses. The bigger the better is the mantra. But is it? I don't think so.

I read an article by Stella McCartney which made me think. Her mom came from a wealthy family and her Dad created a lot of money. So they could have afforded huge houses. But they chose to live in small houses. She said they lived in a two bedroom house when she was a child. She also said her mom would have had them all in one bedroom if she could. It struck such a chord with me. Why do we look to purchase bigger and bigger houses? In most cases it just creates separation between family members and a waste of space. Do I want a bigger house with loads of bedrooms and rooms? Rooms like entertainment rooms, billiard rooms, rumpus rooms etc? No. No I don’t.
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I like living simply and that applies to my house too. I want a house where we live together, not separately. I don't want a house where we can co-exist without seeing one another. And if that means we have less space rather than more, bring it on!

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2 comments:

tea said...

Sammy, I love looking at those small houses. They are so neat. I agree with you. In our society it is so easy to get caught up in the bigger is better mindset, but I think there is really a lot of peace in being content with smaller and having less stuff. I'm still working at decluttering our house. It's been a slow process, but I will be so glad when it gets done. I'm so glad you liked those posts. I felt like I went out on a limb sharing them, so that makes me feel better. :)

Gail said...

I really enjoyed Tea's posts on this too as our home is also small and I'm forever trying to reorganize things to help them work better! Getting rid of "stuff" that is unnecessary helps. I do want a bit more space.. but it's not that important to me. If it happens it happens, but we're not going to break our backs or further consume time we don't have working to pay off a mortgage. What is important to us is that we have a home that is family orientated. It is at the moment - though as the kids get better and require more personal space we will have to address that too.

I did go through a stage (and to be honest, I revisit it!) where I felt embarrassed with the size of our house - a friend once said to me that we would have to move if we had more kids and I took it to heart!

At the end of the day, anyone who owns a home is in a privileged position. There are people literally living in overcrowded rooms the size of a small garden shed. We are blessed to have what we do. I try to remind my kids of that often.. and in doing so remind myself!

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