The home of the future: smaller, simpler, more affordable

Marianne Cusato was busy designing cottages for people displaced by Hurricane Katrina when requests started pouring in from developers, builders and homeowners across the country begging her to create a similarly compact dwelling for them.

"I was very focused on disaster housing and the small-house movement came to me," Cusato told WalletPop.

Though Cusato's 300- to 1,800-square-foot Katrina Cottages -- now for sale at Lowe's -- are an extreme example of the smaller-is-better mentality, the movement appears to be more than a fad, especially now that the economy has tanked.