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Can you live in a garden house?

Garden houses are small, practical and relatively inexpensive. They definitely work as a home office or guest house, but can you really live in 25-30 square metres (269-323 square feet)? If you're used to a larger home, then it seems unlikely, but there are people who willingly move into motorhomes and caravans, and those dwellings are even smaller.

Of course you can live in a garden house! If there's a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living room and storage space, you have everything you need. By placing the bedroom in the attic, you basically save an entire room right off the bat. There's really no reason to have standing height in a room where you're only going to be sleeping. Bathrooms don't have to be that big if you use every nook and cranny. An open floor plan kitchen and living room also saves space and helps it avoid feeling claustrophobic.

The 'Tiny House' movement has been popular in the United States for a long time, but has recently gained momentum in Europe as well. With the help of sofa beds and folding furniture, you can save a lot of space. On the other hand, if that space is for possessions, how much stuff do you really need to own? Minimalism is another trend that's been on the rise lately.

There's also an environmental aspect with small accommodation. Smaller homes reduce the human environmental impact because they’re cheaper to build and heat. Also, the house itself will be cheaper, both in terms of purchases and recurring expenses. When you live small, you can afford to use luxurious materials, because it won't be much more expensive. Also, the maintenance costs for a garden house will be a fraction of the cost of maintaining a larger house.

In a garden house the outdoors is close by. You're always just a few short steps from the front door. It might not seem important, but it's easier to live in harmony with nature in a garden house than in an apartment a few floors up, not just because you know that a small house has a smaller impact on the planet.

In big cities, the average living space per person often isn’t much larger than 30 square metres (323 square feet), and with clever solutions that can be increased to a few more. Many people who have tried downsizing find they don't want to go back to larger accommodation. It's not just a question of price. In a garden house you’re close to everything you own, and a compact space invites order. You can't make a mess when you live small, as it just doesn't work, but even if you do, it takes less time to tidy up. After a while, living in this type of housing can easily seem the obvious choice.