- Micro-spaces (500 sq. ft. or less) are becoming increasingly popular as an affordable and efficient lifestyle.
- Innovative design and Accuride solutions can maximize space-saving efficiency.
It’s no surprise that, with so much buzz around tiny and mobile living, a lot of people have wondered: Is it time to downsize my life?
There’s no clear-cut definition for “micro-living,” but it usually means a residence around 500 sq. ft. or less. These often include trailers, recreational vehicles (RVs), prefabricated “tiny homes,” and more and more apartments and condominiums.
The growing popularity of micro-living contrasts with a much bigger—literally bigger— trend in conventional homes. The American Enterprise Institute, a Washington think-tank, found that the average size of a new American home soared by over a thousand square feet in four decades. (That’s at least two tiny homes.)
At the same time, the average living space per person nearly doubled thanks to shrinking household sizes.
The Appeal of Living Small
It doesn’t take much to see the appeal of micro-living, especially among singles. Less space generally means less cost—be it in rent, cost to buy, utilities, and upkeep.
Empty-nesters and retirees are no longer the primary audiences for a downsized living: Singles, many of them Millennials, have been a driving force in the sales of trailers, RVs, and micro-spaces. Many find the low cost of ownership/rent and simplicity appealing, especially factoring the higher levels of student debt graduates come away with.
Money is a big advantage for people in micro-living. According to The Tiny Life, most US tiny house residents have no mortgage, less debt, and more savings than the average American. The Tiny Life also calculated that a standard-size American home with a 30-year mortgage is 21 times more expensive than an owner-built tiny house.
Consider the soaring cost of rent. According to Rent Jungle, the average monthly rent in Los Angeles stands around $2,600 for July. New York’s is even higher at over $3,100, while San Francisco’s is over $3,800.
In fact, San Francisco’s rents have gotten so high that one illustrator resorted to renting a box within someone else’s living room. The rent? A “mere” $400 per mo.
A Growing Movement
Baby Boomers continue to make up an essential part of the RV/trailer market, but Millennials are the fastest-growing segment of buyers. Micro-living, be it small homes or RVs, doesn’t appear to be a fad. Demand for RVs and trailers has soared over the past decade. Sales are now on track to approach 450,000, almost double what they were in 2008.
That links over to micro-apartments and houses, which singles have embraced in droves. Without the need for much space, one-person households have enjoyed the affordability and simplicity brought by micro-sized residences. Singles are the fastest-growing type of household and are projected to be the largest by 2030.
Additionally, more and more cities are encouraging the development of micro-dwellings to alleviate the pressure on renters.
And they’re not facing much pushback. Renters and buyers enjoy the affordability and trendiness of small living spaces, while developers enjoy the increased intake per square foot.
Demand for space, Need for Innovation
Living small often means a need for coming up with space-saving creativity. Whether it’s a condo with movable walls or an apartment with stowaway compartments, micro-living has unleashed all sorts of innovation.
Accuride helps bring that innovation to fruition with a broad range of movement solutions to save space, preserve clean aesthetics, and more.
An example of the CBLift-050 as used on a television.
The light-duty CBLift-0019, ideal for computer monitors.
Take the CBLift slides, for instance. They allow you to conceal monitors, television screens, or digital frames up to 265 lbs. within almost any surface.
The 115RC as used on movable pharmaceutical shelves.
An up-close and transparent look at the 116RC track and recirculating ball cartridge.
Then there are Accuride’s Linear Track Systems. These lightweight, corrosion-resistant sliding solutions allow you to move walls, panels, and doors with ease thanks to innovative recirculating ball cartridges. Accuride linear track systems support applications up to 793 lbs.
The 3135EC Easy-Close Undermount Slide in use on home drawers.
The 3160EC Easy-Close Undermount Slide is the only undermount slide designed for wide drawers.
Accuride’s Eclipse Undermount Slides are another great option. They have no hardware on the sides of a drawer, giving a concealed look and the allowing for more narrower fits. These are an ideal choice for clever designers who want to turn the space under their stairs into storage.
For those seeking the more conventional, Accuride has a vast range of side-mounted slides that come in many lengths, load capacities, and optional features. Dublin’s Touchwood Design used a 5321 slide for its under-stair storages, as told in an earlier blog post. (You can check out the Stainless Steel 5321 here.)
More recently, Colorado’s Into the Wild Overland used the 9300 Heavy-Duty Series on its custom-built trailers. In that instance, 9308 slides secured pull-out compartments for compact refrigerators, sinks, and stoves.
Whatever your space-saving idea, count on Accuride to have the right solution to making it a reality.
In the meantime, learn more about under-stair storage solutions by clicking the button below.