Dear Expert: What is “Smart-Sizing” and how can this be achieved?

PeterAnswer: While reducing a floor plan on a copier at 80% sounds like an easy fix, shrinking a home doesn’t work that way. The size of a home should not matter; it is how the space is used within the home. A good strategy is to prioritize the rooms that will get the most usage, define square footage requirements, and use details to anchor a room. Use ceiling details such as a soffit or beams or a hanging light fixture. This will provide a room more definition, however keep the “open-floor” plan feel.

A couple smart-sizing concepts can net amazing open floor plan results. For example, “flow” is more essential in a smaller layout, so align doorways with open areas, not with the back of a sofa—perhaps two openings on either side will work better than one in the middle. Another smart-size success tip is: don’t just delete rooms without thoughtful replacement of valid functions; instead use furniture placement to configure the plan. Last, avoid dead-end rooms or rooms with only one opening to the room. Smart-sizing can be a huge gain for homeowners and an expert can maximize the square footage needs while minimizing your investment.

—Peter Eskuche, AIA, Eskuche Associates
18318 Minnetonka Boulevard, Deephavn, MN 55391