2019 NOVEMBER 2
Author Sheri Koones profiles 33 small, yet exceptional, homes in her latest book.
Downsizing your home can upsize your life. That’s what bestselling author Sheri Koones discovered after trading her sprawling 6,800-square-foot Mediterranean-style home in New York for just 1,700 square feet.
“I’ve never been happier,” said Koones, whose newest title Downsize: Living Large in a Small House was released in October. “… I got rid of 90 per cent of everything I owned and the reality is, I don’t miss any of it,” she said.
Instead, Koones finds she has time and money to spend on travel, less worry and more quality time with her adult children who must share the TV with their parents when they’re at home. “I had such a grand house, people were very surprised when I sold it,” she said, “but I’m so much more than okay living in my new house.”
In the book, Koones profiles 28 small homes located throughout the U.S. and five from Canada, including two in Toronto. All are 2,000 square feet or less and
were designed by architects to be comfortable, practical, energy efficient — and beautiful. Her goal was to shed light on the fact that, like her, people are not only comfortable in small houses but are living better lives in them.
“I would say that 100 per cent of the people I interviewed said it was liberating to live in a small house and that they were really happy,” said Koones. The majority were looking for modern, energy efficient designs that required less maintenance so they’d have more time for leisure activities.
One of the Toronto homes featured in the book is the gorgeous 1,800-square-foot Race Residence II in Leslieville, created by local architect Craig Race, founder of Landscape. From its curved front wall to its renewable cladding to its exceptional air barrier, the home is a lesson in practicality and simplicity.
“He made it an unusual design so it would look larger than it is,” said Koones, noting that the home features include high ceilings, south-facing windows, minimal hallways and radiant floor heating. “He was very clever about what he was doing.”
The ninth real estate book by Koones, Downsize is a collection of stories, pictures and text boxes with a complete list of resources at the back. Whereas other downsizing books ex- plain how to go about the process, providing pointers on de-cluttering and organizing, Koones’ book illustrates how beautiful life can be once you do it.
“This shows you inspirationally how you can live and really be comfortable in a small space,” said Koones.