Au​thor Sheri Koones profiles 33 small, yet ex​ceptional, homes in her latest book.

Down​siz​ing your home can up​size your life. That’s what best​selling author Sheri Koones dis​covered after trad​ing her sprawl​ing 6,800-square-foot Mediterranean-style home in New York for just 1,700 square feet.

“I’ve never been hap​pier,” said Koones, whose new​est ti​tle Down​size: Living Large in a Small House was re​leased in Oc​tober. “… I got rid of 90 per cent of ev​ery​thing I owned and the re​al​ity is, I don’t miss any of it,” she said.

In​stead, Koones finds she has time and money to spend on travel, less worry and more qual​ity time with her adult chil​dren who must share the TV with their par​ents when they’re at home. “I had such a grand house, peo​ple were very sur​prised when I sold it,” she said, “but I’m so much more than okay liv​ing in my new house.”

In the book, Koones profiles 28 small homes lo​cated through​out the U.S. and five from Canada, in​clud​ing two in Toronto. All are 2,000 square feet or less and
were de​signed by ar​chi​tects to be com​fort​able, prac​ti​cal, en​ergy ef​fi​cient — and beau​ti​ful. Her goal was to shed light on the fact that, like her, peo​ple are not only com​fort​able in small houses but are liv​ing bet​ter lives in them.

“I would say that 100 per cent of the people I inter​viewed said it was lib​er​at​ing to live in a small house and that they were re​ally happy,” said Koones. The ma​jor​ity were look​ing for modern, energy efficient de​signs that required less main​te​nance so they’d have more time for leisure ac​tiv​i​ties.

One of the Toronto homes featured in the book is the gorgeous 1,800-square-foot Race Res​i​dence II in Les​lieville, cre​ated by lo​cal ar​chi​tect Craig Race, founder of Landscape. From its curved front wall to its re​new​able cladding to its ex​cep​tional air barrier, the home is a les​son in prac​ti​cal​ity and sim​plic​ity.

“He made it an un​usual de​sign so it would look larger than it is,” said Koones, not​ing that the home fea​tures in​clude high ceil​ings, south-fac​ing win​dows, min​i​mal hall​ways and ra​di​ant floor heat​ing. “He was very clever about what he was do​ing.”

The ninth real estate book by Koones, Down​size is a col​lection of stories, pictures and text boxes with a com​plete list of re​sources at the back. Whereas other downsiz​ing books ex​- plain how to go about the process, pro​vid​ing point​ers on de-clut​ter​ing and or​ga​niz​ing, Koones’ book il​lustrates how beau​ti​ful life can be once you do it.

“This shows you inspi​rationally how you can live and re​ally be com​fort​able in a small space,” said Koones.


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