Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Small Living

Small flat, big view
I am a bit obsessed with The Tiny House Movement. As much as I have decluttered over the past couple of years, and even got rid of a number of big furniture items, I am still fascinated by people, families even, who live in homes the size of a caravan.

I love the freedom of not being weighted down by stuff. I love the fact that with a smaller space and fewer things, you can buy better quality. I like that these homes take about 10 minutes to clean from top to bottom. I like the idea of reduced utility costs, I'm not so much into the nomadic life but I do like that they can be parked in a scenic spot and if someone comes along and builds a multi-storey car park next to you, you can move. Or, at least, rotate and turn your back on it. 

All that said, a real tiny house wouldn't do for me. I don't like the thought of a composting toilet, no thank you very much. I don't like that on most models the toilet is right off the kitchen. And I got over the fun of bunk beds at the age of 10. Obviously grown adults don't really have bunk beds but the tiny houses do tend to have loft bedrooms. Some of them have narrow stair cases so it's not all ladders, but I want to be able to stand up in my bedroom, I want to be able to walk around my bed, and I want my clothes in a hanging wardrobe in the same room.

There is also a Micro-apartment movement, but that's too murphy-bed oriented for me. I don't want to take the dining table off the wall every time I want to eat, or choose between reading on my bed and working at my desk that folds away under the bed. I like to work at my computer, go to the bed or sofa to read and make notes, then return to the desk, etc...

It's all on You Tube, you can see for yourself.

The next step up from a Tiny House is a small house. And in fact, this is what most Israelis have. Small flats rather than houses if you live in the cities. My flat is just under 100 square metres and it's considered to be one of the bigger small flats. There are many two-bedroom flats that are only 45 sq m! That's smaller than an American RV. I kid you not. And families with children live in them! It's normal even.

I love my flat. There are things I'd change if I were designing it from scratch. A slightly wider salon, a bigger bathroom, an en suite, and a better view out the back would be nice. However, I have a fantastic view from the front and the balcony is a prize that many flats, both new and old, don't have. Outside space and a view are paramount. Everything else can be changed, renovated, decorated, and designed. 

So why am I writing this now? My friend Sarah, who has a gift for seeing a gap in the face book groups market, has started a new group called: Interior Design for Regular Folks in Small Israeli Apartments.

We are bombarded with adverts for luxury penthouses overlooking the sea in Tel Aviv, 6-bedroom duplexes facing the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem's Old City, and villas with private pools in Caesarea. Whilst they are all beautiful, most of us don't live like this. 

I am so looking forward to seeing and sharing ideas that are relevant to us regular folk. Thank you Sarah!

P.S. small living doesn't mean a small life. How small could you go?


  1. I too love watching those tiny home videos - but have to agree - no composting toilets and no climbing ladders to bed!
    I've lived in an apt. all my life - on my own in a bachelor and now in a 1 bedroom of about 50 sq. metres and that is in an older building so these are bigger than average. I have decent closet space and a very small storage room (about 3' x 5') in the basement. I am not a hoarder but over the past few years I have accumulated more than I want or need so de-cluttering is an ongoing process.
    I have a friend who lives in about 40 sq. metres and I've helped her get organized - I could do it better than she does as she has a lot of clutter and loves having it all out where she can see it but she says that I did help.
    I figure that my bottom limit would be about 35 sq. metres - as long as I had wall space for my bookcases I could manage.
    Can't wait to see what you will be able to share.

    1. I could go smaller if I had to but we're at a comfortable meterage now. I could also probably get used to another living room now that I have an almost teenager.

  2. Very interesting - I love to declutter and hope to live somewhere smaller and easier to clean and maintain as I've learned that I would rather be doing other things, even if it means living in a smaller plainer house xx