Pros & cons of small space living

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4 min readAs a blogger who makes a living showcasing the best small spaces around the world on, it’s safe to say I’ve encountered the best and worst aspects of small space living. While I certainly believe there are more pros than cons – I have put my ‘Small Space Design’ hat to one side to objectively look at both the good and the bad when it comes to small space living.

Eco friendly:
PRO: One of the best aspects to small space living is the lack of environmental footprint the owners leave. With less power needed for lighting, heating and cooling your bills will decrease in size and you can sleep easy knowing that your decision to live small has made less of an impact on the world around you.

(Image: Tiny Heirloom )

Open plan living
CON: Small homes often come with open plan living arrangements, which could be a problem if you’re looking for some alone time while you quietly cook in the kitchen or read a magazine on the couch with a cuppa.

PRO: For the majority of the time open plan living not only makes entertaining and socialising easy, it also encourages family time. Think helping the kids with their homework at the dining table whilst cooking dinner in the kitchen.

(Image: Airbnb )

PRO: We’ve all dreamt of packing up, buying a caravan and trekking across the country. Well the clever companies creating these homes on wheels (they’re simply too incredible to be called motorhomes or caravans) have really taken their designs to the next level. You really can have all the luxuries you’re used to in a traditional home.

CON: The only thing to consider with this lifestyle is that if it’s your first home, you may decide that you would like to put some roots down eventually. If you have been out of the market for some time trekking across the country, you may find it more difficult as you wont have built up as much equity as someone in the traditional housing market (however it’s safe to say you will have had more amazing experiences than many have in a lifetime).

pros and cons small space living tiny house exterior

Clever use of space
PRO: Small homes allow you to make the most of every last bit of space within your home. For example converting the attic space into a bedroom or two.

CON: The downside is that attic space can get unbearably hot during an Australian summer and quite cool in winter. But don’t worry – it’s easily solved with the installation of a reverse cycle air conditioner.

(Image: Airbnb )

Less is more
PRO: Apartment living is becoming more popular and it’s not hard to see why. One of the best aspects of apartment living is the incredible view that many traditional homes simply don’t have access to.

CON: One of the only things to consider when purchasing an apartment is that it can be nearly impossible to increase your square footage (unless you purchase the apartment next door). As a result it’s important to make sure you think carefully about your needs – and those of your family – and how they might change over the next few years to ensure your apartment meets your requirements.

(Image: Airbnb )

Close quarters
PRO: Admit it, the image below has you dreaming of a cup of tea, a good book and a nap in the afternoon. Small homes are cosy. Yes, part of the reason is because they’re small. However another reason they look great is because you’re never very far away from natural light!

CON: Some might say (not us) that cosy is great until you need some time alone or you and your family outgrow the space.

(Image: House Beautiful )

Clean and tidy

CON: Ok, it’s true. Small homes do get messy quickly.

PRO: But the best part is, they tidy up just as fast!

(Image: Domino )

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Alexandra Richardson

With a passion for living small Alexandra Richardson founded the blog Small Design Space with her sister Georgina two years ago. Since then they have gone on to visit and feature some of the best small spaces globally in order to help the growing number of residents who are now choosing location over space. Since the publications launch they have developed a dedicated following to both their website and social media pages.

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  1. Thanks so much! It’s great to see other people weighing up the pro’s and con’s. My family and I live in an 88 sq metre home which is big compared to a tiny home, but small compared to the Australian average. I’m slowly doing up our place and quite frankly, it’s throwing plenty of challenges (small kitchen, small laundry, small everything) as well as the addition of having weird angles throughout the house. But while I have these challenges, I can’t help thinking there’s a liberation to our new abode. Less clutter (or it will get messy!) and less to renovate (yay for the budget!). I am definitely in the pro camp on this one 🙂


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