Homes Plus

August, 2015

Homes Plus

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By Sara Rae Lancaster SPECIAL TO HOMES PLUS Small is big. At least when it comes to the latest housing trend. From the tiny house movement to the baby boomers downsizing to condos, residents are finding lots to love about dwellings that are smaller, more manageable and, in many cases, more innovative. "I think our society as a whole over the past decade has changed our outlook on what we consider to be a better quality of life," said Nathan Wachtl, director of sales at S.J. Janis Company in Wauwatosa. "We're starting to pay more respect to our personal time and family time." And where we choose to live is starting to reflect those choices. According to the National Associ- ation of Home Builders, the aver- age American single-family house will decrease in size by 10 percent compared to the average home size five years ago, down to just over 2,000 square feet. For many people, the reason behind the downsizing is simple. They don't want to spend what little free time they have main- taining a house or yard. "And we all know, the smaller the home the less upkeep there is," Wachtl said. Other residents choose to be closer to the urban amenities they appreciate. "They don't want to spend their time on the road to get to work or the places and activities they enjoy, so often times their choice is a condo in the city," he added. But no one likes to feel cramped. Which is why Wachtl said a little thought and creativi- ty can go a long way when living in small spaces. "Small spaces scream opportu- nity and innovation for a good designer," Wachtl said. "When a space is restricted by size, the design needs to follow the con- cepts of flexibility, adaptability and dual use. Functionality is key." In his home, Wachtl convert- ed a closet in a spare room into an office area. By simply removing the closet doors and installing a desk, file cabinet, some can- tilevered shelves, and a chair that can slide underneath the desk when not in use, he increased the room's usable space. "It's visually appealing when you're using it, and you've added that much more depth in the room," he added. "Plus, you can close it off when it's not in use." Another example involved some of Wachtl's clients, two vet- erinarians who were running out C O N T E N T S Creating diversity in your landscape Enhance livability, home value with these atypical projects A simple DIY: Insulate yourself from the heat Is buying a home at this time the right move? Your Guide to Homes, Home Improvement, Lawn & Garden and MORE! A publication of the Waukesha Freeman and Oconomowoc Enterprise • August 2015 HOMES HOMES WAUKESHA + Downsizing is the new big thing Small spaces offer chance to combine function, creativity Submitted photo S.J. Janis Company in Wauwatosa created a mud room for two veterinarians who have four dogs and a cat, including steps that lead to a shower area. See Small spaces/Page 6 245122003

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