Many homeowners are deciding that less is more when it comes to the size of their residence. This trend is being driven by demographic changes in homeownership and has led to a rise in the demand for “jewel box” homes. With a robust collection of upscale products, Acme Brick Tile & Stone is at the forefront of this trend.

A jewel-box home has a relatively small footprint or square footage but is packed with amenities and luxury finishes. According to an analysis by Home Innovation Research Labs, a subsidiary of the National Association of Home Builders, the number of new-construction luxury homes at 3,000 square feet or less has increased by nearly 20 percent since 2013, with a corresponding decline in larger-size, high-price homes.

A recently published article in The Wall Street Journal noted that changing demographics might be driving the trend. More than half of all households now consist of single people or couples, U.S. Census Bureau data shows—with traditional nuclear families accounting for just 20 percent.

“Empty-nesters want to downsize, but they want luxury homes not starter homes—luxury kitchens, marble surfaces, all the latest and greatest,” said Tim Costello, CEO of Builder Homesite, a consortium whose New Home Source website tracks homebuyers’ preferences.

To discover the latest luxury home design trends, click here. 

New Luxury Products for Smaller Homes

With more than 35 years with Acme Brick Tile & Stone, Brent Snyder has witnessed countless changes in the preferences of homebuyers.

“Lifestyle changes have caused a big shift in homeownership,” he said. “Many of the states we serve, such as Texas, are hot jobs markets. This means that more and more people from other areas, such as California, are moving in. This has led to a big change in culture and lifestyle preferences. This trend towards smaller homes is a part of this change.

“Plus, the ‘baby boomers’ are downsizing,” he added, “And as they retire, they want a home with a smaller footprint and less maintenance. This is part of the reason for the increase in the number of townhomes and garden homes. We have seen a big increase in the number of these smaller residences for our brick business.”

A good example of this trend toward luxury townhome construction is the Fairways section of Cimarron Hills, a private country-club community in Georgetown, Texas, north of Austin. These homes range from 2,034 to 2,564 square feet. Sitterle Homes, a Texas-based home builder, has sold about 40 of these garden homes in Cimarron in the past five years, for prices ranging from $460,000 to $825,000.  

Great New Products for Jewel-Box Homes

Acme Brick Tile & Stone has adjusted its product offerings to meet this demand for high-end amenities. Snyder points to a few of the new products for both new construction and renovation of older homes.

“The popularity of many of these products is driven by their low maintenance,” he said. “The empty-nesters, as well as the young homebuyers, want to be able to ‘lock-it-and-go’ without being worried about security or upkeep.”

He pointed to several high-end amenities that many jewel-box homeowners love.


“Homeowners can create stunning tile entries or spice up kitchens, baths, and dens with these natural products,” he said. “Acme sales offices carry premium tile and selections from Provenza, Ilva, Imola, and other manufacturers.” 


“We have both hardwood and laminate floors from Shaw that enhance the look and feel of any home - small or large. Plus they offer the look and feel of luxury”


In many jewel-box homes, the fireplace is the design focal point. Whether this choice is a prefab fireplace or one built from scratch, Acme has everything needed to ensure a beautiful, luxurious fireplace makes a statement your home design.


In many small homes, the biggest and most used “room” in the house is outside! Patios and walkways can be built from quality clay brick pavers. Acme Brick Tile & Stone also carries all the materials you’ll need to add built-in grills and outdoor kitchen equipment, fireplaces, and fire pits. And to enhance your yard, artificial turf - the ultimate low-maintenance amenity for small yards or townhomes - has become a must-have item for jewel-box homes.” 


“Nothing adds more to the ‘wow’ factor of a home than iron doors. And for the ultimate in security, locked mailboxes from Ore Mailboxes are great for online shoppers,” he said. 

Having a luxury lifestyle in a smaller, low-maintenance home could be the best of all worlds. All it takes is some vision and quality amenities such as those offered by Acme Brick Tile & Stone.