Family of 7 challenged to live in 300 square feet
Five children start a revolution with a New Year’s resolution!
The trend for Mega homes, hosting 1,000 square feet of space per person, started its decline in 2009 as Americans began to reject the “bigger is better” attitude. The search to reconnect with their neighborhood, simplify their lives, and eliminate mindless consumerism, has inspired a movement to find creative spaces and use them to build smaller homes.
As an interior designer, I am always fascinated with space – not the final frontier – but the area that surrounds us. After reading several articles on Rob Lowe’s massive 15,000 square foot Montecito Mansion, contrasted with New York ex-mayor Bloomberg’s 300 square foot micro apartments under construction, I was compelled to share these articles with our five children, ages 2-11, in the spirit of teachable moments.
We revisited the “wants vs. needs” talk; a lost tool of learning in our consumer driven society. As a family that is already conscience of our carbon footprint, we wondered, “How small could we feasibly reduce our personal footprint?” Could our family take the Bloomberg challenge and live in 300 square feet?
We were chatting about this with our friends who oversee Hope Fulfilled, an international nonprofit organization whose fundamental belief is that every person should have food, shelter and clothing. They challenged us to “go for it” and make it a great home school project, documenting the journey and its lessons learned as a HFI resource. We said, “Yes!” At the end of the year long journey, a media-rich informational e-book will be available on HFI’s website as a download (for a small donation) to help support HFI’s mission to develop strategic plans, assisting with essential needs of individuals, families and communities.
Who: Herman Family of seven: Dad, Mom, & 4 girls +boy
What: Construct and live in a 300 square foot space for one year!
Where: Back corner acreage of a retired couple's property in Santa Barbara county
When: February 2014 with your generous giving!
Why: To make available an e-book for Hope Fulfilled to provide to our brother?rsquo;s keepers who desire to help others, or themselves, be prosperous in these pressing economic times; to teach our children’s generation how to identify what is good, to proclaim what is good, and to be grateful for all that is good.
How: With Mom as an experienced interior designer, the entire family will help out with the creation of a creative, simple, affordable home interior, using a 12' yurt as the shell. Each of the children will be responsible for submitting their experiences on the blog and social media outlets in their natural unique areas of interest relating to the 300 square foot challenge. How the project relates to them and the world around us will be informative and enlightening!
“Small rooms and dwellings set the mind on the right path, large ones cause it to go astray.” -Leonardo Da Vinci