When we started talking about moving to Denver and looking at houses, we realized just how much we would have to downsize given that Denver is a more expensive city to live in than Raleigh, and also because we wanted to live in the heart of Denver vs. further out of the city (like our home in Raleigh was). So with the combination of those two factors, we knew that we would be buying a smaller home (for almost double the price – eek lol).
During this process, I told myself that paying more for less space in a more desirable city (for us) would definitely be worth it. We had a huge amount of space in our Raleigh home (4000 sq feet) and while the extra space compared to our previous home of 1600 sq feet was nice, we weren’t like “wow are so much happier with more space.” All that to say, we had lived in smaller sq footage before so we weren’t foreign to it, but once you’ve had a lot more space it can be a harder adjustment to downsize again (and for reference our current home in Denver is about 2400 sq ft).
All that to say – I kept telling myself that we were going to have to make compromises on the house because that’s just what it costs (literally) to live in a bigger and/or more desirable city. That being said, I knew I could love our new space but it would just take some time to adjust and revise our expectations. However, as it now turns out – I genuinely love this home more and I prefer having less space as a whole. So what started feeling like a compromise or a trade-off in regards to moving ended up being a huge positive.
Now don’t get me wrong – I really did love our previous house. It was a beautiful home and I loved how we were making it our own (you can see more on our old house under the home decor section). But now that we are here, I realized that I am loving the style and size of our current home so much more. Here’s why:
- It’s way less overwhelming to maintain/keep clean. At our old house, we hired cleaners once a month because we just couldn’t keep everything clean on our own. Now, I may have someone come and do a deep clean a couple of times a year but otherwise, the size is easy enough for me to maintain and keep clean on a daily/monthly basis.
- You don’t keep as much “crap.” When you have more space, it can be easier to just keep more things because why not? You have the space for it. A smaller space makes you really evaluate what is worth keeping and what needs to be donated or tossed.
- The new house feels so much cozier. Now, in our old house, there were so many things I loved about our two-story ceilings and open floor plan, but guys, I have to say, I am really preferring the style of home we have now. It feels so much cozier and welcoming and I just love the vibe of it. I know a lot of people may be like, give me more sq. footage any day of the week, but I have to actually disagree!
- Don’t have to spend as much money furnishing a house – quality vs. quantity. I mentioned this point in a previous blog post when I was talking about what to consider when moving to a larger space and I still stand by this point. Now, there is no need to rush and buy everything at once when you move in (in fact, I think it’s good to take your time and layer pieces off one another) but the more space you have, the more furniture and decor you have to buy and it gets expensive. I’ve loved decorating this home because I’ve been able to focus on fewer pieces and really hone in on the quality and style of them vs. just feeling like I need to fill up a space. I still love incorporating high-low items for sure, but with a smaller space, I feel like I’ve been able to have more intentionality behind what I’m choosing vs. being overwhelmed with all these rooms that need to be filled.
- More freedom with interior design choices. So let me explain. With our old house, we had a two-story open floor plan. So for example, if you wanted to paint the living room a certain color that meant the kitchen would also be that color, along with the walls going up to the second story, along the staircase, etc. Since the floor plan was much more open, it was harder to delineate between individual rooms. In our home now, for example, I painted the living room without having to feel like I also needed to paint the dining area and kitchen since there is an arched open doorway separating the spaces. Now, if you’re someone that likes a more monochromatic feel then this probably doesn’t matter to you as much (and I used to be in the same boat). So whether my style has changed because I’m now in a different part of the country and/or I am styling my home this way because I’m able to given the space/layout – I am really preferring my interior design style and approach here.
- Location, location, location. If you want to have a better location, whether it’s living in a more desirable city in general or living in a prime area of a certain city, you are likely going to have to pay more of a premium. That being said, you then typically are going to have to compromise on the size of your place unless you have practically an unlimited budget (which I don’t think is the case for most of us unfortunately hah). So in our case with Denver, I will take a smaller home any day for the location we have. I love being able to walk places, I love being able to hop in the car and it takes me 5 minutes to get somewhere instead of 25. This is the tradeoff of having a smaller house and lot, but for me personally, I love my day-to-day so much more.
I wanted to write this post mostly because I think in today’s world we can get caught in that bigger is always better, or that we need more, more, more to be happy. Especially with social media (in this case), there is constant sharing of someone’s nice, new, large house which I know can make us all feel a certain way. So that being said, I hope this is a reminder that everything is what you make it and there are pros and cons to everything!