Scale down to live large in small spaces

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(ARA) – Many people are looking for smaller homes for a variety of reasons. For most, there has been a philosophical shift, considering a move to a smaller living space less of a downsizing and more of a right-sizing decision.

The small-spaces movement is largely spurred by three distinct groups:

* The 80 million-strong Generation Y, the so-called “millennials,” want to live in exciting urban settings and consider smaller living spaces a good way to enter the real estate market they desire. Urban lofts and modern condos are big hits in cities of all sizes.

* Aging baby boomers are selling their larger homes and trading them for more convenient patio homes, one or two bedroom homes or condos in communities where shared fees pay for property and landscape maintenance.

* Those affected by the declining real estate market are looking to build or buy smaller homes. In early 2008, the average size home being built was 2,629 square feet. By mid-2008, it had shrunk to 2,438, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“Regardless of why a consumer decides to live in a smaller space, there is no reason to lose upscale features in the furnishings within that space — especially appliances,” notes Marc Hottenroth, industrial design leader for GE Consumer & Industrial.

“There are many appliance selections that are perfect for those moving to a smaller home or condo,” says Hottenroth. Undercounter refrigerators with wine reserves, beverage centers and ice makers are a perfect fit. GE Monogram offers a slim 18-inch wide dishwasher that is effective, but quiet. Sophisticated smaller oven hoods provide powerful venting and a striking focal point that elevates small-scale kitchens into grand statements.

When selecting appliances, think two for one. New “single-double wall ovens” from GE Appliances fit in the same space occupied by a standard freestanding range or standard wall oven. The two ovens can be operated at two different temperatures — up to 450 F. That’s twice as much cooking in the same amount of space.

The Advantium oven offers four ovens in one: speedcook, true European convection cooking, sensor microwave, or warming oven. Its versatility makes it a great choice for the smaller kitchen. For more information on scaled down appliances, visit