For as long as I can remember, I have had a fascination for unusual houses and interiors. I grew up on a houseboat in Utrecht and, as a result, was aware at a tender age that I would probably not live in an ordinary house later. Now that the end of my study time is nearing, and I am considering my future housing options, I notice that my housing preferences have changed. And particularly with regards to the size. I used to fantasise about living in a mansion with a huge garden and perhaps a pool. These days, I see the charm of living in a small apartment located near the city centre. I believe a person really does not need that much space.
I used to fantasise about living in a mansion with a huge garden and perhaps a pool
The YouTube channel Never too small gives us a glimpse of small apartments all over the world. They show how much you can do with apartments of between 20 and 60 square metres. You need not miss out on anything with carefully considered interior design and modular furniture. I dream of having a dining table with a pulley system. Some muscle power enables you to lower the table to seating height, and after dinner, you simply hoist it up for standing drinks or all the way to the ceiling for a dance party.
In Japan, the developments are further, as is the case with many things. There, the purpose of a house is not to offer as much room as possible but to utilise the available rooms in the house optimally. I truly believe that this concept of efficiency holds part of the solution to the housing shortage. Not only must more houses be built, but we must also optimise the use of the houses we already have.
I truly believe that this concept holds part of the solution to the housing shortage
In addition to solving problems on a large scale, there are some practical advantages to small houses. There is less cleaning to be done, and your energy bill will be lower. Limited living space also forces you to carefully consider which things you really value. So, the next time I worry whether I will ever be able to afford a living space that exceeds the size of my parent’s garage, I will no longer feel duped by the system but blessed by its limitations.
Oscar Delissen is a fourth-year student of Food Technology and intends to have his own Pasticceria in southern Italy in thirty years.