Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Small Houses, Urban Gardens, Consumer Spending ~ and a Blog Anniversary

In honor of today's fifth anniversary of The Thoughtful Consumer blog, I'm taking a hiatus from my hiatus to share several articles devoted to three of my favorite areas of interest: small houses, urban gardening, and consumer behavior.

Small Houses

As regular readers know, I enjoy exploring the options offered by small houses, but sometimes I'm amazed at just how small a house can be and still have someone willing to live in. The design model pictured above is an example. This house will be 28" at its narrowest and about 4' at its widest. It's scheduled to be completed in December in Warsaw, Poland, and, yes, it was commissioned. Read more and see more photos at the NPR post here.

Urban Gardening

On an acre of land in the densely-populated Mission Terrace neighborhood of San Francisco, "Little City Gardens recently became the first legal commercial farm within city borders. Thanks to [the women gardeners], San Francisco leaders revised zoning laws to allow the cultivation and sale of produce in all neighborhoods." Will Oakland and Berkeley follow suit? Read more in the LA Times article here.

Consumer Behavior

The recession may have put a damper on spending in the U.S. on items to decorate homes and make them more fashionable, but that's not the case in other countries that are developing a middle class with "disposable income" for the first time in their histories. Brazil, Russia and, especially, China are hot markets not only for the stylish stuff but for the glossy magazines that pitch it. Architectual Digest is about to start publishing in China, but more than just foreign branches of already established magazines are finding welcoming markets; brand new publications, such as Minha Casa and Bamboo in Brazil and Home in Russia, are also being launched. Can clutter be far behind? Read more here in the LA Times.

I'll be back with more posts soon!


Bryce said...

re: Small Houses.
Shoot me now; I would feel like a wafer cookie in one of those rooms!

Cynthia Friedlob said...

Yes, it's too claustrophobic for me, too!

Green Mountain Realty said...

Small houses are great in my opinion, most Americans only use a handful of space in a home anyway.

Cynthia Friedlob said...

@Green Mountain Realty: Yes, that's too often true.