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Old 06-07-2018, 10:12 AM
Location: Dayton, OH
504 posts, read 199,354 times
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Rather than hosting your big family gatherings and parties at home, why not rent out the local community center or church hall for those infrequent occasions?
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Old 06-07-2018, 10:17 AM
193 posts, read 76,774 times
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Originally Posted by keraT View Post
I am torn on the house size. On one hand I want to define convention of getting bigger house for no reason & stay in a cozy small (decent size) house that meets my need. But on other hand, I go in to friends newly build 2000+ sqft house and notice how nice it is to be a guest in a big house vs. hosting gathering in small house & I want the big house. For me and hubby, I rather stay in a cozy house and save money. But I don't want to invite rest of my family (I have 20+ people) over. But I do want those family over. However, honestly I might host 2 - maybe 4 max parties per year. Do I need a bigger house just for those parties?
We do LOTS of entertaining in our small (1650 square foot) house. We just had a party with 40 people over. We have a long balcony and yard with tiered entertaining areas (pergola and dining on one level with hard scape, flower beds, patio and trees on upper level.) Our kitchen is designed for gatherings with a great flow, window seat that fits 3 and central table-style island. We have a powder room on the first floor and guest bath and suite with its own staircase on the second that allows our private spaces to stay private but gives guests 2 bathroom options. We could entertain 50 people easily if we were using the yard as part of the entertaining space. It really just depends on how your house is laid out.
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Old 06-07-2018, 10:44 AM
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
24,728 posts, read 59,646,697 times
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Originally Posted by stockwiz View Post
Dining rooms and porches are wasted space. Family rooms and living rooms are there so kids can have a place to watch TV while parents watch something else. It's quite handy to have a living and a family room though I suppose they could just watch TV in their bedroom. Extra bedrooms or bonus rooms and bathrooms I have no objection too. I don't see the point of the article except to say that dining rooms are pointless, but most middle class homes built today don't come with dining rooms or porches anyways. They come with the rooms people use.
Quite a generalization. Like all generalizations it does not bear our and is therefore untrue. (Which is why it is a bad idea to generalize - it makes you wrong 100% of the time.)

Our dining room is the center of our house both physically and metaphorically. Since we mostly use the back door, everyone passes through the dining room to enter or exit form the house. It connects to the kitchen were people go to prepare meals and get snacks, so more traffic passing through. As a result, most of our family members will study, read, computer, etc in the dining room so they can catch people as they pass through and know what is going on or just say hi. It is probably the most or second most used room in our house.

Our porch also gets a lot of use. It looks our over the river and people like to sit out there to watch the swans frolic, read or just chill. We frequently eat there as well. Nothing is better than sitting on the porch on a hot day when it is raining and watch the swans or read or just relax. It is expensive space for a limited amount of use, but not wasted by any means. If the goal is merely the most efficient use of the least amount of space, every home should be a cube with a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen and nothing more (there are stacks of such cube homes in Korea). Anything more could be described as a waste of space.

We have a lot of rooms that get limited use, but they each have a special purpose.

The front parlor is a formally decorated room that is always kept a s tidy as possible. This is the best decorated room and has the best furniture. It is where we receive guests who are not intimate friends, we have our family Christmas gathering in there. We someones will sit in there to read or chill if it is cold out or mosquitoy and we do not want to be on the porch but want quiet time. Because it is seldom used, it is usually a quiet place. If surprise guests drop by or call when they are minutes away, there is no mad cleaning scramble - front parlor is always clean and tidy. There are logs in the fireplace ready for a match and a dearth of normal clutter. (Except on some occasions we put an air bed in there and use it as an additional guest room). It does not get a ton of use, but when it is used, it is wonderful to have it. Certainly not wasted space, but definitely high cost space for the amount of usage in hours per year.

The back parlor now gets probably the least amount of use. This is where we have our family hang out area. The big TV is here hidden inside an armoire so its ugliness is not omnipresent. The fireplace is in here and our fish tank. This room used to be heavily used but no longer. No one watches TV much any more and when we do, it is usually in the master bedroom where there is a newer more high tech tv. Sometimes people take naps on the couch or sit and watch the fish or a fire but that is not that common, more often they are in the dining room on a laptop or in the library on a gaming computer. Once among st our busiest rooms, it is now no much more used than the front parlor.

If there is a room or area that is a waste of space, it is our kitchen nook. When the kids were young it got used as a place to do homework, especially if they needed help from mom while she was working in the kitchen. The kids would sometimes eat breakfast there if they did not want to sit at the dining table for some reason. On thanksgiving and Christmas it was overflow seating for dinner (no longer needed). We used the table to decorate Christmas cookies when we had a Christmas cookie decorating party. Now the entire nook area is just the storage spot for things that someone does not know what to do with, mostly any tools or materials from a project that i leave out, but also all sorts of other things, many of which should just be thrown away. It is pretty much a complete waste of space and only encourages retention of clutter. Once however it was somewhat useful.

Our sun-room is also pretty close to wasted space. Because it has a concrete floor, it is the dogs room. They have destroyed the couch out there, so we got another one - which they then destroyed. We keep the bigger modern fridge and a chest freezer in there. Otherwise it gets essentially no use except by the dogs. That is probably the area I would nix to save money if I could go back in time and talk to 2006 me. We just don't need it and do not use it.
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Old 06-07-2018, 10:46 AM
Location: NJ
304 posts, read 92,043 times
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I think this is a great topic. I live in a 1300 sq. ft home with a boisterous husband and 4 cats. We did the whole thing where you buy the smallest house in the nicest neighborhood you could genuinely afford thing.

If it weren't for the fact that my husband loves stuff and shopping for stuff the house would be plenty big enough. But as it is we have scrunched our music room, office, crafts room and guest space into one room and that spills over into our living area.
Our attic is full as our basement is empty now due to a flood. I'm at the point where every new thing brought into the house means an old thing gets re-homed or trashed. Each room we have is used heavily. We have company over frequently as we like to cook.

I prefer a smaller home to one that has disused rooms that still need to be dusted and vacuumed. I'm happy to work for what I use but I'm not the type to clean for enjoyment or piece of mind. I grew up in a family that kept a living room unused- it was special for company. My grandmother lived in her basement to keep the upstairs pristine for company so she could impress them with how immaculate and fancy it was. I do not desire that one bit and where I live property taxes make it even less desirable to have excess square footage.
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Old 06-07-2018, 10:58 AM
Location: Florida
4,091 posts, read 3,069,394 times
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I grew up in a small home (900 square feet for five people) and the largest home I've lived in an adult was just under 2,000 square feet. Our current home is 1320 square feet on paper, but we converted the two-car garage into a family room, so now it's closer to 1500 sf under air. So our rooms are a large eat-in kitchen, a living room, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, the family room, and a lanai (screened in porch).

We use every room. Obviously we eat and cook in the kitchen and we use the bedrooms for sleeping. I sit out on the lanai every day to drink my coffee and enjoy the yard without being bothered by insects. The dog also enjoys the lanai. The family room is where the television and game systems are. If anyone wants to watch television, they can go out there and shut the door. It's also where my kids tend to have sleepovers, especially if they invite more than one additional kid. The living room is used as my home office, as a place we do puzzles, and as a quiet area to sit and talk. I love, love, LOVE not having to hear television or video game sounds in the main part of the house. It was driving me insane to hear it in the living room, which is open to the kitchen, so this is an enormous improvement to me.

This size house seems perfect for two adults, two teenagers, a dog, and a cat. We sometimes have an exchange student, too, and maybe it's a bit tight for that. If we had one more bedroom (so really, another 120 or 130 square feet), it would be perfect for a fifth family member. It's easy to keep clean and we don't have enough room for clutter to build up. It's also not going to be unmanageable once the teens grow up and move out. One of their bedrooms will become my dedicated office and the other will be the guest room. Again, perfect.
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Old 06-07-2018, 01:26 PM
11,358 posts, read 5,863,312 times
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My house is 992 square feet. I spent over $200k remodeling it. I don’t need more square feet. It’s 2 people and a guest bedroom that gets slept in maybe 10 nights per year. What I’m short on is closet and storage space. Fine for me but woefully inadequate for my girlfriend. It’s a crawl space so no basement storage. I seem to need about 200 square feet of conditioned space to put things that are never used to preserve domestic tranquillity.
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Old 06-07-2018, 02:30 PM
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I think it depends on what people want. Some people want to be efficient and have only the rooms that will be used daily. Some want more space with rooms that they use occasionally or rarely but just like the space. I fit into the latter category. So for me having a larger house (not huge) is not at all overrated.
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Old 06-07-2018, 02:51 PM
Location: Honolulu, HI
4,617 posts, read 1,156,512 times
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Originally Posted by Flightoficarus87 View Post
I always thought having both a family room and a living room seemed a bit...redundant.
The concept is pretty hilarious. Living room, dining room, family room.

I always watch house hunters and they say “wow this is a lot of room for us to entertain guests” in reference to the dining room, as if they’re going to pull out some pool tables and 70” flat screens for their guests or host cocktail parties in their $200K house.
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Old 06-07-2018, 05:21 PM
121 posts, read 37,820 times
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This is why my preference is to buy a smaller home. If only the homebuilders would build some smaller homes.
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Old 06-07-2018, 06:07 PM
219 posts, read 74,784 times
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I once lived in a big house (two of them, in fact) and now live in a house that's just under 1,400 square feet. (Three bedrooms, bath and a half plus a basement bathroom). It's well laid out, has a fairly large kitchen for the era in which it was built (12' x 12'), and plenty of storage space. All six rooms are used, although my dining room houses a baby grand piano rather than a dining set. When I lived in the bigger houses, my former spouse and I did use the dining room on a fairly regular basis, but we typically ate in the kitchen area as I do now in my smaller house. Most of our time was spent in the family room. There's no way I could host the sort of parties here that I once had at my larger houses, but there is ample space here for entertaining on a smaller scale and a fairly large back yard, too. I could easily see a family of four living in this house.

The porch of my current house is somewhere I love to sit in the warmer months. My neighbors use their porches as well. It's just that sort of neighborhood, it seems.
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