Housing Trend – Jewel Box Homes

A new trend in housing has arrived in Central Florida: Jewel-box houses, as they are being called, are modest-sized homes that are constructed with premium materials, ornate detailing and custom interior-finishes.

The good thing about these new homes is that they appeal to a variety of demographic groups. Young professionals and newlyweds, as well as two fast-growing segments, empty-nesters and retirees all fit within the “jewel-box” target market.

Many factors, including energy efficiency and budget reduction play a role in the need to downgrade from larger homes to smaller ones.

Although “downsizing” has traditionally been referred to negatively, it is now a buzzword. “Homeowners are taking that portion of their budget that would have been used for larger living spaces, and using it for better details in smaller spaces,” says Stephen Gidus, co-owner of PSG Construction in Orlando. Large homes with formal dining and living rooms, oversize foyers, and huge master bedrooms and bathrooms clash with the casual and relaxed way that Americans live today.

Sarah Susanka, author of “The Not So Big House” agrees that jewel-box houses are the way to go, “In most homes, the kitchen is the heart, the place where family and friends gather. Americans take quick showers, they don’t luxuriate in soaking tubs. So why not invest in areas we regularly use, and eliminate those that are mostly for show?”

The furniture industry is also following suit. Jackie Hirschhaut, vice president/marketing at the American Home Furnishings Alliance, says “that manufacturers are making furniture that is smaller and more multipurpose: love seats instead of sofas, expandable dining tables, home-office armoires with fold-down work stations, and compact corner units for big-screen TVs”.

It seems that the jewel-box trend could have some staying power if positioned to the right audience. What more proof could you need to downsize?