Small-house designs focus on the efficient allocation of space. Their interior spaces are open to allow multi-functional use. There is a minimum of wasted space; stairwells are compact; and dedicated built-ins allow for the use of nooks and crannies. A mud room and/or covered entry area is a must in the snowy Adirondacks. A large basement provides additional storage and living space. Window sizing and placement optimizes natural interior lighting. Exterior details and trim are used to create a unified cottage-like appearance. A small balcony or sleeping porch as well as a sitting porch, are essential features. Beautiful natural wood is used inside and out to reflect the connection with the surroundings.