Yesterday’s NY Times profiled the Kawabatas–a family of four who share a 1300 sq ft home in Garrison, NY. The article, entitled “The Anti-McMansion,” tells the tale of one family that’s bucking the American way of living in bigger homes, with more stuff.
1300 sq ft, while far from the 2500 sq ft American average, is not particularly compact. The house also sits on a 2 1/2 acres plot, and they are planning a 1500 sq ft addition. The interesting aspect of the Kawabata’s story is how they use the space. The house is one big open space, filled with very little stuff.
The home is modeled on traditional Japanese architecture, which revolves around a large, multi-functional communal space. The only real division, besides a sleeping loft, are dividers made from metal frames and nylon string (the modern equivalent of the shōji screen).
Takaaki and Christina Kawabata have “brainwashed” their children into this way of life. For example their children, Tozai, 6 and Akari, 3, have been trained to clean up after themselves at the end of each day. CONTINUE READING ON LIFEEDITED