Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Gorgeous Downsizing

Recently there has been a huge increase in the news that the era of the McMansion is coming to a close. It is said that as the baby boomers move into retirement many are wanting to downsize. Of course downsizing immediately conjures up images of a smaller cramped and uninteresting house, but not if you are acclaimed architect Peter Zimmerman. A master of proportion and scale, Zimmerman, generally designs larger homes, but was intrigued about developing a home limited to 2,500 square feet. This home is part of a community of smaller homes in Pennsylvania.
Notice his great attention to detail - the thicker clapboards, copper gutters and balcony millwork. Which is echoed inside in the loft millwork. Here is the view from the entryway Though not grand in size, the open floor plan gives the illusion of much larger space. The larger scale of the fireplace balances the cathedral ceiling height. Notice the wall of built ins; the home was thoughtfully designed with lots of storage. Furnishings are neutral, using primarily linens and seagrass rugs to bring more texture to the space and enhance the gorgeous barn beams and beadboard ceilings.
Right beyond the dining area is the small kitchen with center island. The window placement and the walkway/hallway between the two spaces adds to the illusion of a larger kitchen.
Off the great room is a cozy study with another fireplace. The master suite is on the first floor and the house has a loft with two additional bedrooms. With a home so thoughtfully designed and wonderfully decorated it seems to easy to downsize. To read more about this beautiful home click here. Readers, what are your thoughts, is downsizing the trend for 2011?
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Also thanks to Sherri of Inside Out Design for the Stylish Blogger Award - Head over to her blog for some great inspiration!
(photos New Old House Magazine)

41 comments:

  1. Now that's the way to downsize! Those lofty rooms don't feel cramped at all in fact they look very generous in size. Luckily we have the perfect sized home for now and later and need never to downsize.

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  2. ok you convinced me i am ready to downsize but to only this! what a beautiful home...loving it

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  3. I so want a mezzanine next house! Lovely home design.

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  4. It almost looks too large to be downsized :)
    I love the style of the house, we have been looking at real estate in the US again and we don't need anything big so it has been fun seeing what comes in a size small :)
    All of my homes have been pretty well sized, it will be fun see what it would be like to live small but in a house, not an apartment.

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  5. Looks like the perfect size and scale to me! :) Especially with all these delicious details. The barn beams and bead board add a nice warmth to the space. Love all the interiors and exteriors.
    Happy New Year.

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  6. We just moved, and sort of downsized...our old house, up north, wasn't really that much more square footage, but had an attic and basement. Now we have neither of those, but have gained a garage!
    But we have treated our open space totally differently than what is here: take a look at my post today: http://bit.ly/eUmHTa
    We decided to actually divide what had been open space, to create an office/study. It's a very different take on a similar house! (This is in North Carolina).

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  7. 2500sq ft is downsizing? how big is a mcmansion then?

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  8. As a builder here in Calgary I am not seeing downsizing, people are wanting bigger here. But I will say, when I moved here 8 years ago a 2500 Sq. Ft. home was considered an 'Estate' home, now the average 2-story home we build is around 4000 Sq. Ft. and up, so while it might be the trend in the States I am not seeing it here.
    There are a lot of wonderful plans around the 2200 - 2800 Sq. Ft. range that we have built in the past, as long as you use the space correctly and really design around the way that you live it will still feel like a palace. xo

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  9. What a beautiful house! I think it's funny that a house that is 2500 square feet can be considered downsizing to some people. We are a family of seven and live in a house with 1600 square feet. A house of that size would feel like a mansion to us. I am glad that the day of the McMansion is coming to an end, though. I think they are excessive and ugly.

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  10. I agree that 2500 sq feet is more than enough space! So happy that we are trending towards efficient use of space as opposed to useless space. It is so much more inspiring and creatively challenging. Beautiful house - thank you for sharing.

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  11. I love the floorplan of this house. We can't wait to downsize and are looking now. Having the master bedroom on the ground floor is a must as we age. It is hard to find. Perhaps building this home is what we should do. Thanks for sharing.

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  12. First,congratulations on your award! The designer did a wonderful job with this house because I can imagine that all that wonderful openness and light would have felt less so with darker furnishings and paint. This is like a breath of fresh air. And my favorite part is that the architecture is part of the region's vernacular - so many barns and farms in Pennsylvania - so it feels perfectly at home. This architect is very, very good.

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  13. Love to hear this! And Zimmerman's design is exquisite! Love the open concept and the rustic charm of this house!
    Congratulations on the Stylish Blog Award! Smiles!

    xoxo Victoria

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  14. we're going from nearly 3,000 to 1000 - 1650, depending on which plan. smaller is better!

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  15. Hi Gina, I feel like I'm already on my way having sold our large and lovely home this last fall. Thinking "small" is not all that hard really. The biggest caillenge I have had is where to put all of my shoes!!!!

    Beautiful photos as usual...xo kelley

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  16. Yes, McMansions are dated. Most all of my clients are going for quality over quantity these days. Great post!

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  17. Well,our home is 2500 square feet and I can not imagine needing any more space. Of course I would love a library/den and a large master bedroom etc. but I guess you just figure out what your needs really are and work from there. I am seeing more housing developments here in Quebec that focus on a smaller scale house with high quality design and appeal.
    I love the house shown....simply stunning.

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  18. I hope the days of the McMansion are done. There have always been large homes and always will be. But they have to be integrated in the landscape properly and be proportionate. I hate the look of a huge house on a medium lot. Plus, with a small house you have so many more options for quality!

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  19. Beautiful house. But I think it's sad (and a little scary) that 2500 sq. ft. is considered small and downsized.

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  20. Great concept...with the vaulted ceilings they live so large!!

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  21. Looks like the perfect scale to me! Love the open concept,the warmth and coziness all these rooms have. Gorgeous House as well as the Photos! thanks For sharing.

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  22. This is a very well done home, the proportions are right and its very inviting and cozy. We are building our own dream home and tried hard to not make it a mcmansion but to build a authentic correct home paying homage to its roots (France) but when our youngest is off to college in 4 years we too might be downsizing. Anyway I started a blog about the building of our home as well as a place to talk about all the things I love about design, decor and lifes beautiful things, please if you are able take a look...thanks!

    www.theenchantedhome.blogspot.com

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  23. Good to see you back. I love the bones and style of this house. Thanks for sharing.

    I'm hosting a fantastic giveaway. Why don't you come and enter?

    xoxo

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  24. It is lovely....thank you for sharing this with us....smiles.

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  25. WOW!That is a lovey home. My husband and I are empty nesters, and I am not ready to downsize yet, but these gorgeous hones would certainly coax me in that direction!
    What a fabulous design!
    I have had such a lovey visit. NOw I am off to see some of your previous posts.
    Yvonne

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  26. Sorry but 2400 sq ft. downsizing are you kidding. That is just what the builder wants you to think. Just how big are you houses? What would 2 people need that big of a house for..

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  27. This house surely speaks of elegance!

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  28. This is the kind of house that will remain to standout for a long period of time!

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  29. Everytime I clean our house I say my next house will be smaller! This home is beautiful and I love the beams.

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  30. Hello my friend,

    I am all for down-sizing. And for getting rid of stuff! I am so done with things...

    This home shows living at its best. Warm, inviting and beautiful. But 2500 SQF is not exactly small to a Swede...

    Miss you! Expect a jingle.

    Mon

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  31. That looks like our house! The exterior anyway. We live in an 1800s hunting lodge and I love how cozy and charming it is. I do not love that there is virtually no storage. Would not change it for anything though.

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  32. I love this post. Beautiful images and a great floor plan. Lot's of things to think about!

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  33. I love Peter Zimmerman. I am not sure that I would call his homes downsizing, but he is SO gifted at using space wisely. He is a fantastic at reinventing the classic beauty of home. Great post!
    - {darlene}
    www.fieldstonehilldesign.com

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  34. Nice Home. But for me that would be up sizing.

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  35. Gina!
    I am very ready to downsize! BUT the real estate market being the way it is it's not a good time to sell! One day though!
    xx

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  36. love your blog! i'm your newest follower :)
    xoxo
    check me out at peaceloveandallthingscreative.blogspot.com

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  37. I love it....You know we have three kids ranging from 13-4 and we would actually like to downsize. I think we all have become accustomed to too much space and we fill it with too much stuff.

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  38. I've never understood why people wanted a mcmansion with so much unused space, other than trying to impress others.

    One of my temp assignments last spring was for McNeil-Burbank Homes - builders who designed beautiful, well planned but smaller homes. One of the models was 1,900 sq ft and I thought it was closer to 2,800 due to the layout and use of every ince of space. They were gorgeous. But, I've never been one to do something just to impress others.

    I'm glad people are starting to realize bigger is not always better.

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  39. beautiful! thanks for posting. I love those barn beams.

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  40. So ready for a ranch all spread out with no stairs in sight!
    Where we are, 3000 sq.ft. Is average with 1000 being in the basement!
    I'm ready for something smaller with no wasted real estate. Considering turning my "formal" living room into a library.
    My son didn't even know what room the "living room" was!
    Zimmerman had me at the lock on the front door!
    Thank you Gina for another great read.
    Xo Lisa

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