Today the understanding of renewable energy and eco-friendly awareness are of the utmost importance to the future of our planet's survival. Many people are starting to realize that the way in which they design and live in their homes, and the products they use in them, need serious re-evaluation in order to prevent the negative effects of climate change. This includes re-evalutating the home as a place to live and grow in, rather than a showcase of one's income and social status to impress other people. The increasing awareness for the environment, combined with the economic uncertainty we face today, has made simple rather than ostentatious living the order of the day.
The Bauhaus dictum "Less is more" has become an article of faith among an increasing number of home buyers and builders. Cottage style home plans and other simple, eco-friendly designs are becoming more and more popular as people seek ways to work with nature rather than against it. Simple living also implies following one's heart rather than seeking to impress other people. A person's house is a projection of their self: people who are unsure of who they are need lavish luxuries to make an impression; people who are secure in themselves just want to relax and feel good.
In the first place, simple living implies a smaller dwelling (perhaps under two thousand square feet in size), which makes a small footprint on the earth without sacrificing the spaciousness needed for comfort. Smaller homes are easier and cheaper to heat and maintain. An entryway which is human in scale provides a welcome rather than an intimidating front. A warm, intimate interior - particularly one centered around a fireplace - makes its inhabitants feel cozy and relaxed. The exterior should make optimal use of local, indigenous materials. Log cabin home plans are an extreme - but quite ornamental and functional - use of this idea.
The point is that field stone or shingle sidings, and cedar shake roofs, are obviously preferable to earth-friendly living than vinyl siding. Simple living also implies letting one's imagination operate (without worrying about what impresses other people). Thus, well-crafted (and occasionally quirky) architectural details are favored over clean, sterile lines. Small, sashed windows help to provide a human scale to the dwelling from the outside, while giving a feeling of protection and security to those inside. Simple living also implies orientating the house to the sun and building site; also landscaping in an informal, laid-back style.
Exterior spaces such as decks, patios, and porches permit the house to engage its natural environment, so in nice weather living spills easily outside and back in. Other architectural details associated with simple home design include high-pitched roofs, low ceilings and cozy nooks, floors of bare wood, and built-in furnishings characteristic of California bungalow house plans. This "Small is big" philosophy is not just a matter of being quaint. Reducing the volume makes a building resource and energy efficient, which saves money and helps save the earth. The money saved can be spent on higher-quality materials and crafting artful, intimate details both outside and in.