Early in their marriage, Lily Copenagle and Jamie Kennel began crafting a plan for living, scribbling house designs and lists of must-haves on notepads and paper napkins.

The idea was simple. They would create a home that was big enough for the two of them, but small enough so that it would be easy to maintain, environmentally responsible and inexpensive to operate. And that would allow them to free up their time and funds for intellectual and recreational pursuits. Own less, live more: It sounds like a platitude, but it became their strategy.

“We never liked furnishing or cleaning or taking care of things we really didn’t need,” said Ms. Copenagle, 40, who has degrees in physics and cell biology and is associate dean of students at Reed College in Portland, Ore., where her job involves helping students stay, and succeed, in college.

As her husband said, “There’s so much more personal freedom in going smaller.”

See link for the NY Times article and pictures: