Eighteen years ago, Sarah Susanka’s Not So Big House movement provided a thoughtful alternative to American home buyers’ addiction to square footage. A decade later, micro housing and the tiny house concept showed that small spaces could be more than a trend. Now, a resort community in Illinois is offering the Perfect Little House.

Starting at 950 square feet, the home designs from Bainbridge Island, Wash.-based architects Peter Brachvogel and Stella Carosso are being offered as vacation cottages at Heritage Harbor Ottawa, a marina resort community 90 minutes southwest of Chicago. Executives for developer Heritage Harbor are hoping the diminutive dwellings will interest buyers looking for low-maintenance but well-designed alternatives to large homes. The pair of Perfect Little Houses currently available feature cottage-style exterior architecture, Craftsman-inspired touches, dormered windows, deep overhangs, and wide front porches.

“We love the philosophy behind the Perfect Little House plans – that you can have everything you need in a smaller, but thoughtfully designed home,” says Tammy Barry, director of sales and marketing for Heritage Harbor Ottawa. “That smart design and smaller scale are what make these homes ideal as a part-time or vacation residence.”

Priced at $284,500, the smaller of the two immediate-delivery cottages measures 950 square feet and has two bedrooms and 1½ baths. The first floor features combined living, dining and entertaining space open to the kitchen, which has direct access to a dining porch on the side of the home. Hardwood floors run throughout the first floor, and the kitchen is finished with gray-toned cabinetry, white granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.

The second cottage, priced at $299,900, measures 1,250 square feet and has two bedrooms and two baths. It features an inverted floor plan with vaulted second-floor living space that includes expanses of windows, distressed hardwood floors and a walk-out deck offering expansive views of the nearby Illinois River. Also located on the second floor, the home’s gourmet kitchen features white cottage-style cabinetry with bead board detail, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. The home’s first floor features two bedrooms and a bath.

Both cottages were built by LaSalle, Ill.-based Bleck Builders and have easy access to community amenities, including the Heritage Harbor marina, on-site restaurant, walking path, and kayak and paddle board rentals.

“Not only will homeowners appreciate being in such proximity to the pool, but this location also adds to the appeal of these homes as vacation rental properties,” says Barry. “For buyers who plan to take advantage of our liberal rental policies and place the home in our on-site rental management program when not using it themselves, these properties have a poolside getaway feel that will really stand out to renters looking for a place to enjoy for a short stay.”

Located in Ottawa, Ill., Heritage Harbor Ottawa is a 142-acre master-planned development of single-family homes, townhomes, vacation cottages, carriage homes and condos, centered on a 32-acre harbor and full-service marina. With its offering of boating amenities, waterfront living, and nearby recreational opportunities, the community offers a resort lifestyle for buyers seeking a vacation, retirement, or full-time residence.

Scaling Up the Not So Big Concept