"Not everything that can be counted counts,
and not everything that counts can be counted."
I used to think bigger is always better...until we found our home by the sea. I never thought I would prefer a smaller house. But it was like love at first sight (as with all our homes:)). I remember previewing over 20 properties in one weekend. I also remember 2 homes that stood out from the rest. They were completely opposite homes...one was big and exquisite while the other, now our home, is a smaller single level home that nurtures the soul. I am so glad I followed my heart (or should I say led my heart...since my then "bigger is better" mentality was trying to confuse my disposition). By the grace of God I was guided in choosing a home that feeds the spirit. My used to be "bigger is better" perspective is now superseded by a more refreshing and inspiring outlook on our not so big home I now call..."smaller with bigger soul".
3 Benefits of a "Smaller with Bigger Soul" Home:
1. Favors the quality of its spaces over the quantity.
We used to have a 3,642 square foot home that had a lot of wasted and unused spaces. Of the 5 bedrooms, not including the retreat off the masters nor the office loft, we only used 3. Our family love staying together in one room. We also only used 2 1/2 of the 4 1/2 bathrooms. Our formal spaces were only used pretty much when we have company. Then there was the separate third car garage I converted into a craft room (check out photo here) only to find out I felt so detached from the rest of the family.
Our present just-a-little-over 2000 square foot "smaller with bigger soul" home has each space in use every day. It feels so nourshing to the soul to see the whole family at work in every space. Our formal dining room is a conducive study area. The boys room doubles as a play room, while Isabella's room doubles as a dance practice room. Both rooms even work overtime as a guest room when company comes. Our master's bedroom has an area for home office and an area for "retreat".
2. Nurturing and welcoming over impressing and overwhelming
The grand entrance of our then bigger home, with its curved staircase and soaring ceilings spanning 2 levels and more, is designed to impress and overwhelm.
Our now open and inviting home is designed to nurture and welcome. Though the ceilings do not boast of soaring height, its 11 foot ceilings and open floor plan invites a lot of natural light in, bringing warmth to its gleaming hardwood floors that say "come on in". Comfort is born of smaller scale. Whenever I pause and sit down to savour the warmth and beauty of our "smaller with bigger soul" home, I feel its warm embrace anywhere I am in the house.
One of the biggest benefit I found in downsizing from a big house is efficiency. There’s less square footage to heat and cool, fewer rooms to declutter and clean. A big house becomes just one more chore to maintain. A smaller home inspires me daily with feelings of appreciation for the richness that abound. A great example of "Less is More". Less time cleaning, more time to enjoy the fruits of my labour.
Looking back now, I can't believe I thought I would not prefer a smaller home. And I can't believe I even thought I would grieve downsizing from our big home for a long time (confession time). Thank God for turning what I thought would be grief to joy beyond words. Our "smaller with bigger soul" home invited me into solitude bringing me to a whole new me.
These are just my own perspective from my personal experience in downsizing.
What about you? Would you prefer a smaller home over a bigger one?