Recent drops in housing values have many homeowners feeling trapped in tiny starter homes, but the market downturn may be fueling a so-called “cottage” industry.
A Chicago mom-turned-entrepreneur is challenging the notion that families who buy or stay in smaller homes are “settling.” Genevieve Ferraro launched The Jewel Box Home to show people how to “settle in” instead. The Web site offers homeowners practical advice on successful small home living including, decorating small houses, entertaining family and friends in small spaces and discovering why smaller homes often work so much better than larger houses.
“The important feature of a home is not its size, but how it makes people feel,” said Ferraro, who refers to those little house she treasures as Jewel Box Homes.
Ferraro is the creator and champion of The Jewel Box Home. After living with her husband and two sons in an 1800 square foot house for over 15 years, she has become an expert at shaping smaller homes into the perfect fit for growing families and downsizing Boomers alike. Decorating small houses requires and inspires creativity. To Ferraro, the rewards of the process were huge. The journey resulted in her upcoming book “The Jewel Box Home: Your Answer to Decorating, Entertaining and Finding Happiness in the Smaller Home.” Now, the companion Web site, The Jewel Box Home, also dishes advice on small home decorating, renovation and entertaining in intimate settings to homeowners who see the smaller home as more than a stepping-stone to a trophy house.