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Larger homes are often regarded as the epitome of wealth. In a world where consumerism and demand for luxuries rule, it takes maturity and deep understanding of how life works for a person to agree that “less is more.” However, there are circumstances when choosing simplicity and living less have an advantage.

Single-story homes prove this point very well. The one-story home plans today got their roots in the 1930s when the architects in California introduced “ranches,” which reflect a society’s change from formal to casual. They may not be as spacious as multi-story houses in terms of floor area but they have benefits other houses lack.

Three tips in decorating your single-story home

If you are living in a one-story home, focus on embracing the structure of your home rather than forcing it to be a larger dwelling. Here are three of the simple design ideas that will make you fall in love with your single story home even more.

1. Let ceilings be the asset

Ceilings are considered the fifth wall of every house, so don’t forget to look up. Instead of covering that beautiful vaulted ceiling with another floor, leave them bare. They create a light and airy vibe. To add a little drama and a rustic charm, put some wooden beams. If you have a flat one, you may punch it through smartly dropped ceilings or tray ceilings and put elegant light fixtures.

2. Embrace the beauty of the open space

Gone are the days when rooms always have to be boxed in order to define its identity and function. Most single-story homes have open, free-flowing horizontal spaces which are easier to customize and decorate.

Instead of adding an obstructive concrete wall, replace them subtly with creative dividers to define your shared spaces. Glass dividers like glass partitions and sliding glass doors work well in contemporary homes. You can also invest on multi-functional ones like a divider shelf.

3. Enjoy the charm of the outdoors

The indoor-outdoor relationship works well with single story homes. They mostly come in walk-out designs such as balconies, patios, and porches since they are level with the yard. Many builders today also incorporate daylight windows, to produce brighter, light-filled levels.

Embrace the beauty of the outdoors by ensuring your windows have gorgeous views of beautiful landscaping designs. You can also install skylights to brighten up your living area, a perk you might not enjoy when you have upper stories. Lastly, take advantage of indoor-outdoor living by using French doors, retractable sliders, and folding doors,

The perks of living in a single-story home

1. Ease of accessibility for the disabled and the elderly
Stairs are the worst enemy of handicapped persons and aging family members. Since most of them rely on wheelchairs and walkers for mobility, single story home plans are ideal for these family members to roam around the house without hassle.

2. Safety
One of the greatest sources of injury in the household are stairs, especially when you have little, naughty children or fragile old folks in the house. The design of single story homes helps lessen the risk of having serious injuries. Aside from stair-related injuries, single story homes allow you to evacuate quickly when emergency situations like fire, flood, and earthquake occur.

3. Energy Efficiency
Heating and cooling are easier in a single story house plan. With this, your electricity bills are likely to go lower compared to homes with upper stories. Since there are fewer spaces to heat and cool, air naturally flows through the design which is mostly composed of open and shared spaces.

4. Less cleaning and maintaining costs
Aside from being less costly to build, they are also less costly to maintain. The cost doesn’t just cover the money spent but the effort spent as well. Since they only have one floor and fewer utilities, you won’t have to spend the entire weekend to do the cleaning.

5. Open yet intimate
All rooms, shared and private, are placed on a single story, where it is easier to see and interact with family members. At the same time, most modern single story homes are designed with an open shared area composed of the three: living area, dining, and kitchen. These areas are not boxed with walls or space-eating dividers, but instead, merged into one, creating an open yet intimate approach.

Mina Salva Cruz is a writer by profession but a designer by heart who spends most of her time seeking innovative ideas about architecture and interior design. She regularly writes for PAAL Kit Homes, a construction company that specializes in manufacturing and supplying top-quality steel-framed kit homes in Australia.