It may be infinite away from our planet, and it may be large on our planet, but the amount of space we have seems to have shrunk this past week. I guess it was the cold weather driving us indoors and keeping everything closed up.
We lived in approximately 960 square feet in New Orleans with a large (for New Orleans anyhow!) yard. Now we have 240 square feet of living space, plus a storage unit that has 100 square feet (and is chock full!) Roughly, we are crammed into about 1/3 of the space we used previously.
It sounded like it would be easy, after all, everything is sized down in a travel trailer, right?
I’m cramped, its hard to do anything, our large dog tends to back up to reverse her direction rather than trying to turn around, that’s how cramped it is. 90% of our meals are prepared outdoors, and we often eat outdoors too, so we can sit together.
The table, you see, doubles as a desk. One bench…it’s “Pile-It Zone #1″.
So what could I do that would make this 240 square feet more livable?
This travel trailer utterly stinks for its design. We have about 1/3 of the space wasted, with inadequate storage for anything…anywhere. So I suppose the first thing I’d do is start over, which is the reason for our desire for a piece of property where we COULD build a small home. We have some needs that are probably different than the average small home advocate has considered.
But, in the meantime, we do live in a travel trailer with a dreadful design. Building a home does not occur overnight, so that leaves coming up with a way to deal with this issue and survive with our sanity intact. What would be my first priority?
An outdoor kitchen & dining area where we had a roof over our heads for the frequent rain, screens to keep out the bloodsucking skeeters that flourish in the South, and perhaps shutters for winter weather. It would also allow us to entertain friends and family comfortably. So…I’m having gazebo sorts of thoughts. In a sense, it makes a lot of sense to have such an affair in the South, and once upon a time, long long ago…”summer” kitchens were common, and even earlier than that, kitchens in large homes were always a separate building for fire safety reasons.
Energy wise, it makes sense to have a kitchen area that isn’t inside of the house, even if it isn’t a full time use kitchen. Kitchens are by nature hot and steamy, its a by-product of cooking and food processing. If your air conditioner does not have to cope with that additional heat, it doesn’t have to work as hard. In addition, items such as grills, smokers, etc. are better suited to using in an outdoor kitchen than they are in the traditional kitchen. Granted, we do have hurricanes, and appliances that are located in an outdoor kitchen still need protection from driving rains and high winds, which is why I thought shutters might be the solution to severe weather protection. A deck adjoining the kitchen, situated to avoid afternoon and early evening sun in the summer, would provide a great area for entertaining.
Now, to just find that perfect piece of property that just announces that its “home” to us!