It seems Americans are waking to the idea they don’t need 4,000 square feet of living space.

According to the USA Today more Americans helping led the way toward more eco-friendly homes and better building ideas…

Here’s how the USA Today explains it…

When architect Sarah Susanka remodeled her kitchen, she didn’t use pricey granite or edgy concrete for her countertops. She used laminate. Her cabinets: Ikea.

“You can save thousands of dollars” by using simple materials in a well-designed space, says Susanka, author of the best-selling 1998 book The Not So Big House.

For more than a decade, she has urged people to build better, not bigger. Now, as the U.S. economy struggles to climb out of a tailspin and environmental concerns rise, her message has gone mainstream.

New homes, after doubling in size since 1960, are shrinking. Last year, for the first time in at least 10 years, the average square footage of single-family homes under construction fell dramatically, from 2,629 in the second quarter to 2,343 in the fourth quarter, Census data show.

The new motto: living well with less.

“There’s a shift in the culture,” says Susanka, whose new book, Not So Big Remodeling, helps homeowners use existing space better. She says the economy has forced people to rethink McMansions and focus instead on what they need.

Other architects agree.

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