Updated: Nov 18
It is undeniable that newly built homes are getting smaller due to soaring home prices, therefore bringing down the purchase price and property size together with it. I agree that urban dwellings have limited land size, but one argument that I don't buy is that urbanites, or Gen-Y and beyond, prefers a more minimalist lifestyle (belongings, need for home maintenance) or that they prefer renting.
While the definition of a small space/ home depends on individual subjectivity, my approach is that when the space in a home is insufficient for your lifestyle (where it's family members, belongings, or aesthetics), then it should be coined as small. Yes you may try to use smaller sized furnishings, but it can only be that small before it becomes unusable.
Short of moving to a bigger home, which is always theoretically ideal, here are couple of concepts or ideas that may inspire a new way of living in a smaller space;
1. Integrated storage
Intended storage area may not be sufficient.
Nothing wrong with spreading the storage 'load' to the other parts of the house that may be bigger.
In a small home, there is no such thing as inappropriate storage. Storing cleaning items in the living/ dining area is OK as long as it is covered.
2. Occasional use items
Start to really question the need for items that is not frequently used, but taking up space at home, especially if its for guests/ non-occupants
Usual suspects: lounge chairs @ Living, extra storage @ Guest Room(s), work/ study desk in the bedroom
Make space a priority for yourself and not others, unless you can integrate or hide these pieces into the existing conditions (stool hidden below coffee table for the occasional guests).
3. Multi-fictional area/ built-ins
Active integration: Usually gadget/ technology reliant
Can be interesting but not cheap due to new tech
Available products: coffee- dining table, bed-cum-sofa/ work desk, extendable dining table.
Passive/ design integrated: Reconfiguration of old usage which may require less adjustments than needed
Examples: Using kitchen island as dining, using platform for storage & bed frame
It's time we cultivate a culture of making the home work for us, and not cling on to what our parents, family or friends define as what a home should be or look like. It's for your long-term sanity.