Living large isn’t for everyone. Although a sprawling, spreading McMansion can attract envious stares, there’s a lot to be said for keeping things compact. If you’re looking to build a vacation home, you’d be much better off investing in waterfront property and keeping the home itself simple than building a showplace that’s not right on the water. For a second home as much as a first home, “location, location, location” are the three top considerations.
And there’s no location quite like waterfront property. Invest whatever you need to get that lakefront property lot; you can live better than you might expect if you use creativity in designing the space of a smallish home on that lot.
One way to make a small space seem less confining is to utilize open rooms, with a floor plan that encourages flow from one space to another. Each of these spaces can be oriented toward windows that frame the waterfront view, preferably big, floor-to-ceiling windows. Such a view gives the impression of almost limitless space, minimizing the usual cramped feeling of small rooms.
The outdoors can be utilized in other ways, too. When a living room or family room has large French doors leading out to a veranda or patio, that outdoor space becomes an extension of the gathering place inside.
And if you’ve got waves below and trees all around, no decorating is required to make the spot perfect! Such design planning achieves the twin goals of bringing the outside in and encouraging the atmosphere of vacation relaxation.
One thing to bear in mind when planning small: emphasize the spaces that are utilized most. You don’t need spacious bedrooms and bath suites in a second home; that’s not what getting away to the lake is all about. Children’s rooms can perhaps be kept quite compact, especially if you convince them that bunk beds are fun.