10 resourceful small-home design ideas

How do you make a small home live large? Use your outdoors and smart materials

Charming entry garden

Charming entry garden

Zoning regulations required that the new building be set back from the sidewalk by a certain number of feet. Olivier and Deborah happily complied, planting a lush garden in a plot of land that might otherwise have gone largely unnoticed or unused. “We’re planting seeds, teaching our son how to grow things,” says Olivier. “Although we’re actually more successful at discovering just what kinds of birds and insects are coming to eat whatever we plant. Especially our tomatoes.”

By filling the garden with native California plants, Deborah and Olivier practically ensured a steady stream of curious flying visitors. And by separating themselves from all this bounty by nothing more than glass, they get to observe the action close up. “We can watch wasps, yellow jackets, and all sorts of butterflies, not to mention some birds that you don’t get to see in the city so much,” Olivier adds. “You can get close to all these flying things without scaring them.”

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