Downsizing from 4,000 Square Feet to 900

One experienced Westchester woman’s philosophy on relocating and downsizing

Nannette Fevola has downsized twice, and presently lives in a space about a quarter the size of her home-before-last. “The first house, on Long Island’s North Fork, was about 4,000 square feet, three acres, on the water, with a dock, a boat—the whole nine yards,” Fevola says. After her divorce, she bought a smaller house, about 2,700 square feet, and remodeled it. “It was a joyful project, to create a home exactly the way I wanted it, but it still needed to be maintained,” she says.

After her daughters left for college, Fevola decided to move to Westchester to be close to friends and family, and to have what she calls a less insane commute to her job as a marketing director in Manhattan. She heard about a cottage in Bedford, and rented the place right away. “It looks like a charming little English cottage, with a fireplace, a bay window, very cozy…. It’s about 900 square feet. I have a kitchen, a large open dining-living room with a desk area, a bedroom, and one bath. My storage space is bigger than my cottage,” she jokes.

Fevola is also happy to be a renter. “I’m 56, and I’m at a transitional stage like most of my contemporaries. I’ll stay for a year or two and then you may find me in Santa Fe, water-coloring. Now I can come and go as I please. The world is my oyster.” For both her moves, parting with possessions was the toughest part. “All the things you saved, your mementoes, thousands of pictures, the film of the pictures in case you lost the pictures. But once you get started you can’t stop. As you get older, you want your life to be big and your things to be smaller.”

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Fevola’s daughters were unhappy at first about this second shrinking of home base. “They were sentimental about our home, but they adapted pretty well,” she says. So that they can stay with her in comfort, Fevola chose a good pullout couch with a Tempurpedic mattress, and an ingenious ottoman from BoConcept that unfolds to become a twin bed. “I slept on it, so I know it’s comfortable.”

Check out exactly what Nannette used with this is great display of the BoConcept ottoman—here.

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