Wednesday, December 31, 2008

OPINION: 2009 is the year of smaller living!

End of a year, This is my opinion piece of things to come.

2009 we will see more and more people flocking to smaller homes. People will embrace the under 1000 sq foot living space for their family and shun the huge McMansion and it's huge expenses. Families will build because of being closer physically. when the kids cant be down in the game room all the time playing games on the 108" plasma while your wife is upstairs in the bedroom watching her shows and you are in the den ignoring everyone else... you don't get a family connection. If everyone is within a few feet of each other, you have to interact. Interaction is good. Embrace this. Honestly, reducing to get rid of stuff means also getting rid of your kids TV, your bedroom TV, your kitchen TV, the bathroom TV, the laundry room TV, the Closet TV, and the garage TV. One TV that's it. if you FORCE everyone to be together for TV you build bonds. plus getting rid of all that stuff will make you feel better and probably cut your electric bill by $100 a month. Reclaim the bedroom as a bedroom. It's not your kids dorm room, don't let them do that and use it as a way of getting away from you. Don't use yours as a way to ignore your family and the house. I see these changes making people happy. I see an explosion of small business start-ups because of it.

Technology will continue to change but DRM and content police will hamper it severely, things we should have in our home will not exist because the great grandson of some dead director deserves to not work and live off great grandpa's work.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

HDTV for a smaller space.

If you are aiming for a smaller space, you can take advantage of smaller HDTV sets. If you sit within 6 feet of the TV set a 42" plasma or LCD will be almost too big. a 37" set will be just about right. If you plan on sitting 6-8 feet away a 42" will be just right and if you can sit from 8-10 feet away, then you dont live in a small home, you live in a huge home. Also dont worry about 1080p versus 720p. unless you sit really close to the set you really will not notice. Plasma TV's are best for bright rooms with lots of windows, LCD's are best for darker rooms with some ambient light.

Either way, you can get it wall mounted to stave lots of space, or a custom cabinet that mounts it on the face and you can swing it out of the way for storage behind the set. I have seen IKEA book shelves modified to have the plasma tv mounted on the front and a swing arm to swing the tv like a door to access the storage behind it.

If TV is not a centeral part of your life, then a smaller set is always a good choice. a 32" set in a smaller living room is a very good choice and can fit on some bookshelves. LCD sets create less heat.

Finally, when you go shopping for a set turn up the volume. Listen to the set to see if it sounds good if you do not want the expense and space taken for a surround sound setup. Some great looking set's from LG and Sony sound horrible as they have very tiny speakers.

Monday, December 15, 2008

TV Show Review: Small Space, Big Style

I set my MythTV to record a new show out there on HGTV. It's called Small Space, Big Style. and it's covering decorating and design in real small spaces. This is not your typical HGTV show where they call a home with 1800sq foot, "A very small home"... They showcased a 450 sq. foot apartment and other real small living spaces. This show is realistic! Some fantastic ideas and great design examples.... Although I seem to notice a trend... A Lot of the people they are choosing are incredibly "quirky" and a bit out there. I have watched over 3 of the episodes already and have enjoyed every one of them, finding that I have been rewinding to rewatch a part about a item over and over to get more info about how they did that change or storage, etc....

My wife commented and said.... Are you going back to your Christopher Lowe phase again? I laughed, but wondered if the beer I was drinking would stain the cashmere sweater I just got :-)

Hey manly men can enjoy design!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Smaller Winter stuff: Cleaning out the closets.

I went looking in our vacuum bags that are stacked in the top of the hall closet for my ski mask. It's 16 degreesF out and I needed to snow-blow the driveway. After opening the last bag, I counted 6 winter coats, 32 pairs of gloves, 18 scarves.... the list went on and the living room is full of stuff. Go through your winter coats and stuff and pare it down a lot. take the rest to your local homeless shelter so that the unfortunate can have something warm to wear this winter.

I really do not need 6 winter coats. I need 2. and that really is a want and not a need.

Now my wife will not part with her 8 coats... but that's another story....