There is that one saying: Go big or go home. But what if you prefer going small when it comes to the size of your home? There's less to clean, less to insure, which brings to mind another common saying ... less is more. Now that's the idea. Follow the lead of these 27 examples of living large with less square footage. Maybe it's time to stop and consider what exactly you need (or absolutely do not need) to lead a happy and healthy lifestyle. Let simplicity be your guide — along with these small space home tours.
1. Bohemian-Minimalist Studio Apartment
2. Tiny, Railroad-Style Apartment
3. Cute Cottage Just Outside of Nashville
4. Bye-Bye Dark In-Law Studio
TAKE THE TOUR: The expert use of space in this kitchen nook deserves top marks, considering it was split in half to make room for a bathroom that didn't exist. Now this in-law studio is a tiny haven for frequent out-of-town guests.
5. Crazy-Smart Amsterdam Loft
6. Teeny-Tiny Parisian Flat
TAKE THE TOUR: Now this is how to transform a small space: a former workshop in the 13th arrondissement at just over 320 square feet becomes a flexible living space nicknamed La Tournette (the turntable).
7. Modular Hong Kong Apartment
8. São Paulo Studio
TAKE THE TOUR: At first glance, you might not realize that this São Paulo apartment is in fact a 400-square-foot studio, thanks to the clever workings of architectural firm Estúdio BRA Arquitetura, which transformed the space by creating strategic storage barriers.
9. Custom Digs in Salt Lake City
TAKE THE TOUR: The custom cabinetry and creative storage solutions in this small, historic Salt Lake City, Utah, apartment allow for large-scale furniture and accessories as if it were a full-size Victorian mansion.
10. Good Idea: Hidden Storage
11. Tiny Cabin Life
12. Go Micro
TAKE THE TOUR: Space-saving guru and architect Michael K. Chen and his firm MKCA transformed a client's 225-square-foot unit in New York City's West Village into a beautiful and multifunctional oasis.
13. Suspended in the Trees
TAKE THE TOUR: Soar into the tree canopy and play out all of the childhood pirate fantasies you can think of inside this tiny treehouse that brings a long-awaited dream to life for one lucky homeowner.
14. Colors of the Rainbow in Montmartre
TAKE THE TOUR: A young fashion designer made her 775-square-foot layout feel less chaotic and more spacious by combining the apartment's historical characteristics (gorgeous exposed beams, worn wood floors) with fresh and fun details: a rainbow floor and hydroponic garden in the kitchen and a modern staircase leading to the mezzanine.
15. Gender-Neutral Design
TAKE THE TOUR: The architects had to design a prototype for an affordable gender-neutral guesthouse that could be adapted to different metropolitan areas; at just over 350 square feet, this apartment in Taipei features three levels, all connected via a storage wall that lines one entire side of the home.
16. Small Wonder
TAKE THE TOUR: With only 538 square feet to work with, custom storage units were the focus of this design so the firm collaborated with client to create a space for his hobbies, which include art, playing guitar, and collecting LPs.
17. Floating Desk FTW
TAKE THE TOUR: For this 750-square-foot apartment in Barcelona, they decided to take advantage of the high ceilings with a new kitchen and loft space that can be used as a guest room or sky-high study area.
18. Eclectic A-Frame
TAKE THE TOUR: Anyone who's been inside of an A-frame cabin knows this: they can easily feel cramped, like the walls are closing in on you type of cramped, so when it came time to turn a summer getaway into a year-round home all in just 800 square feet, the only option was to add on. Is that cheating?
19. Boho Compound
20. 1800s-Era Blacksmith Shop Turned Loft
TAKE THE TOUR: Surrounded by century-old homes in northwest Denver, this 1800s-era, 700-square-foot structure originally functioned as a blacksmith shop for its owner, who worked and lived out of the now-historic building — which has since received a major upgrade.
21. Party Pad
TAKE THE TOUR: In 645 square feet, one key was to keep decor as simple as possible so furnishings are minimal and neutral (the light fixtures are on point), but what makes this space truly special is its reorganization allows for entertaining without feeling cramped.
22. Long and Narrow
TAKE THE TOUR: At just over 600 square feet, this long and narrow apartment in a prime Paris location did not have much to work with, so the architects played up the charm by mixing contemporary style with a bit of Parisian spirit.
23. MidMod Mini
24. Symmetrical Shed
TAKE THE TOUR: This structure's historic site (a former wood yard between a row of west London garages) came with strict guidelines for how to build more space in the existing footprint ... Now at more than 1,100-square-feet, it features a basement level with an external bathroom and surrounding private courtyard.
25. Modern Marais
TAKE THE TOUR: Turns out rich architectural history in Paris's fashionable Marais district can come with challenges — beyond its awkwardly long layout that made for an impersonal living space (until bold colors and room dividers entered the mix).