Thursday, 22 March 2012

Downsided to Dinky

Louis' best chummer Henry came to tea last night.  He's the son of an ex-Navy officer and lives with his parents and two sisters in a rural pile the size of a planet.

 'Excuse me,' he said 'I don't like to be rude...'

I'll pause here. Last time Louis started a sentence like this he told me that I had a great big bottom!   I braced myself for what was to come.

'....but isn't your house a bit small?'

Phew! that wasn't too bad at all.  My new home IS on the dinky side.  Of course, there is the fact that I'd be unlikely to afford rent for anything bigger.  But even if my fortunes change I'm not sure I'd upsize again - unless Mr Right and this ten children come along!  For now though here's some random thoughts-tips about making the adjustment to life with a much smaller floor area than you've been used to.

  • Think motorhome, caravan or those ridiculous IKEA photoshots where six smiley people are living in an area the size of a toilet without killing each other.   Think storage, storage when you're kitting the new pad out.  Choose furniture with hidden nooks and crannies to stow stuff away to compensate for the lack of the space that you've been used to. 
  • Galley type kitchens are the dogs!  Loads of cupboards and you don't have to walk miles and miles every time you need another ingredient or put the washing up away.
  • There's not so much worktop space though so appliances that used to be to hand in the much bigger kitchen at Lovelygrey Villa have to be stowed away otherwise there'd be no room to cook.
  • 100% open plan living needs to go out of the window.  There need to be spaces that you can shut yourself away from the rest of the hords.  
  • Accept that the place will look untidier much more quickly.  The upside is that it'll spruce up nicely in much less time too.
  • Of course it goes without saying that overheads such as heating, lighting should be much cheaper.  I'm astounded that the £50 credit on the electricity meter that was there when I moved in on the 1st February hasn't yet been topped up.
  • You don't need so much stuff to make a house look like a home. In fact with too much, it'll look like a junkyard.
I hadn't planned for Louis using the lounge as his near exclusive chillout zone rather than retiring to his uber-cool bedroom with his mates.  But ho-hum!  Here's my adult space - a little conservatory which doubles as my sanctuary and well lit craft room.  Did Sally, Henry's mum, share his reservations about my lack of space. Did she heck.

'This is lovely' she said, feet up with a glass of wine. 'You won't have to spend all your spare time cleaning like I do!'


  1. So wonderfully positive -- very inspiring. It's just reminded me of when I had to do a year in Italy as a student, in Siena. Accommodation was v hard to come by and I'd found a terrible little room where the shower was literally over the loo and there was no fridge. I remember making a list of the 'positives' which included 'save time in the morning' and 'lose weight'...

  2. I was thinking: "less to clean"........... and I will bet that little fellah LOVED visiting you and yours!

  3. A year ago my husband and I moved from a 3 bed house to a smaller 2 bed one. It has been quite liberating, the lack of space has meant that we have had to do without some things but the simpler life has also been an eye opener. We are on the verge of taking a year out and exploring Europe with our motorhome, another severe downsize! Good luck to you, I think there will be many people who will realise that sometimes "less is more".

  4. Looking lovely! Shall see it soon I hope xxx