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Editor’s Letter—August 2019


As this issue was coming together, I was thinking about the relativity of space, specifically when it comes to square footage.

When I made the leap from my parents’ nest to my first apartment, leaving behind the 8-by-8-foot bedroom I had grown up in, my new 750-square-foot studio apartment seemed cavernous. How would I ever fill all those closets? Years later, the first property I purchased, a condo in the Camelback Corridor, represented a milestone because it was mine to remodel without fear of security deposit forfeiture. I tried to knock down a wall in order to open up the floor plan. When that wasn’t as easy or enjoyable as I had imagined it would be, I sought people far more qualified than me to do the hard stuff correctly. I spent a decade very happily in this modest dwelling until I started to feel cramped, longing for just one additional bedroom.

Photo by Sameer Puri

Our need for space changes as our lives progress. We upsize; we scale back. Many of the homeowners featured in the articles on these pages—empty nesters ready for less; couples who discover that their needs have evolved—speak of downsizing. As Phoenix Home & Garden Masters of the Southwest award-winning architect Brent Kendle—who is no stranger to building homes with heroic floor plans—said to me, “Going smaller should not be perceived as a negative thing.”

This issue is not devoted to small homes, but rather, to smaller spaces. To many, myself included, 3,000 square feet may seem immense. To others, this footprint represents a fraction of the space in which they feel comfortable. Whether you’re reading this magazine in your bungalow, your penthouse or your cozy retirement cabin in the mountains, make smart use of what you have and enjoy every square foot, inside and out. Until you want more. Or less.

John Roark
Editor in Chief


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