Does Size Really Matter?

     The older I get, the more I appreciate form, function, & quality over size & quantity.  When I was a young newlywed, I dreamed of a great big house that would someday be mine.  I dreamed of media rooms, libraries, formal living rooms, family rooms, sunrooms, & screened porches.  If your home has all of those spaces, that is wonderful!  And oh how I would love to come up with the designs for each of those rooms!  But I have discovered two things about myself - I prefer cozy over cavernous, & a smaller, well-thought-out floor plan over a giant house (partially due to the fact that more house = more cleaning, & I am not of fan of that!)
     That being said, right now we are in our largest home to date (1700 sq ft), & it doesn't work for us.  Why?  While it seems like it should be enough for our young family of 3, the flow just doesn't work to our advantage.  The kitchen is cut off from the rest of the house, so I have no idea what is going on in any of the other rooms while I'm cooking - not good when you have a very active & curious 2 year old.  The only living space (family room) is narrow with lots of awkward angles & random doorways.  The room's layout makes it a challenge to have friends over: when we're all smushed into the small space, it's difficult for the parents to chat while the kids play less than 5 feet away.  Finally, we hardly use the 3rd bedroom.  We don't have guests that often, & while it would be nice for it to be a true home office for both the Hubs & I, the fact of the matter is that he has a voice that carries, & loud business phone calls don't mix well with napping toddlers & shared walls.

This sitting area and breakfast room just off of the kitchen offer a casual spot for the family to hang out.

     We are currently searching for our forever home (a process that feels like it is taking forever itself!), & my focus is more on how many rooms could have multiple purposes, as opposed to how many rooms the house has itself.  I dream of libraries/offices, sunrooms/playrooms/breakfast rooms, or even libraries/dining rooms.  My creative muscles get a good workout trying to eek out as much function from one room as possible.  The part of me that desires a simpler way of living - one not overwhelmed with 15 thousand tiny plastic toys or a t-shirt collection from 1990 (I'm looking at you, Hubs!) - also loves the idea of having to edit due to storage & space constraints.  Wouldn't it be lovely if our homes were filled only with things we truly cared about, instead of the junk that seems to accumulate on its own?  I want my shelves to be full of books, art, & photos, and not all of the small random bits & pieces that we hold on to, just in case we need it in the distant future (Hoarders, here we come).

Double Duty Dining Room

     Don't get me wrong.  I still admire those great, big, beautiful homes.  I wouldn't turn down a sprawling beach house if someone decided to gift it to me (anyone?).  But I no longer feel the self-imposed pressure to keep up with the Jones, to have the biggest house on the block.  And my hope is that by not putting everything we have into our home, we will be able to experience life outside of it even more.  To me, a well-designed home, big or small, is a work of art to be appreciated & enjoyed.  No matter the size, it should work for you; you should not have to work for it.
     What are your thoughts on the subject?  Do you long for a home full of large, airy spaces?  Or do you dream of cozy, small rooms that wrap around you ?  Both are beautiful, it's just a matter of figuring out what works best for you & your family.

Happy Monday!


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