Prefab Luxury Living on a Small Scale

Why prefab homes are all the rage.

Luxury living comes in all sizes. And for many homeowners, downsized decadence is becoming a more attractive option than suburban sprawl. Today’s prefabricated small homes deliver full-size function, sophistication and innovation. Could one of them be right for you?

Pros and cons of prefab living

Green design and modern appeal put the “fab” in prefab, making this lifestyle change an especially appealing choice for homeowners who don’t want to sacrifice style along with space. Yes, you may have to say goodbye to spare bedrooms and storage galore and accept that you simply won’t be able to bring a lifetime of accumulated goods to your tiny new pad. But there’s another side to that coin—having fewer rooms and less stuff means you have less to clean and maintain, and it may make you more appreciative of the things you cherish most. (Besides, do you really need your high school soccer trophy, chipped china and every art project your kid ever glittered and glue-sticked?)

Other benefits of smaller living spaces include lower utility bills and property taxes. Perhaps best of all, though, prefab homes tend to be highly energy efficient, letting you lead a life of modern conveniences and comforts with a smaller carbon footprint. Look for LED lighting, solar panels, sustainable materials, low-flow water systems, efficient insulation and even rainwater collection systems. Prefabs also often come with cutting-edge smart technology that connects everything from security systems to air conditioning.

Creative solutions for prefab homes

One of the major adjustments for downsizers is losing certain traditional rooms. You need a kitchen, living room and bedroom, but you may have to forgo a formal dining room, a guest room and an office. The solution? Simply relocate the activities done in these rooms to another space—and do so in style. Make your eat-in kitchen table inviting and cozy enough for a special family meal. Place a gorgeous daybed or modern Murphy bed in your living room to welcome overnight guests. Tuck an antique writing desk in your bedroom for your home office nook. Spaces that pull double duty will make the home more functional and comfortable.

There’s also a wealth of trusted interior design tactics for less-than-spacious interiors. Choose slimmer appliances over big, bulky refrigerators and dishwashers. Paint walls with light colors to create a sense of openness, and hang large mirrors to give the illusion of space. Select furniture with storage capacity, like storage ottomans and bed frames with storage drawers, and customize solutions like built-in cabinets and closets under stairways. Whether your vision is a cozy cottage, a chic chalet or a decadent dwelling, when you’re doing it tastefully, downsizing may actually feel like an upgrade.