Is bigger really better?
I’m here to answer the age old question that has been plaguing mankind since the beginning of time : is bigger really better?
I’m going to be up front with you. If you’ve clicked on this link, you have fallen victim to some classic clickbait. Sorry to disappoint – but I am talking about architecture, and more specifically – residential architecture.
“So how do we achieve the balance between affordability, livability and practicality? Simple: Create spaces that are flexible and functional, and are able to adapt and evolve with the inhabitants needs, whether that be on a short term or long term basis.”
I cannot count the amount of times I’ve been asked to design a home for a family of four with a living room, family room, rumpus room and media room. Do the maths – that’s one room per person! While each room might have a different name, to me it just equates to an excessive amount of places to sit, a copious amount of TV’s to buy and a whole of additional floor area to furnish (and clean!).
While the idea of specific space like a playroom, media room or gym room might sound appealing, more often than not – rooms with one off, singular functions often become dumping grounds for all those “things” we seem to collect.
Don’t get me wrong, I get that in some cases multiple rooms with specific functions are required, but for the most part, I truly believe that the “bigger is better” mentality is being driven by the fear of “re-sale” and unnecessarily increasing home sizes and forcing us to dig deeper into our pockets to pay for all that extra space.
So how do we achieve the balance between affordability, livability and practicality? Simple: Create spaces that are flexible and functional, and are able to adapt and evolve with the inhabitants needs, whether that be on a short or long term basis. It's as easy as this:
Instead of a media room or a guest room, consider putting the two together to create a room that can transition from one to another simply with the addition of a pull out sofa to the room.
Give some consideration to the location of these rooms in the house. Isolated rooms (located in private areas of the home) make it difficult to give multi-purpose uses to.
Open plan design is your friend! No walls, no barriers to separate spaces - only your imagination and how you choose to furnish the space.
At the end of the day - the opportunity to build isn't one that comes along often. For some - it's a once in a lifetime opportunity. So if nothing else, think about the fact that what may suit you now, may not suit you in 6 months - let alone 6 years! It's all about future proofing!
Personally - my favourite kind of homes to design are those of the small variety. There's so much more thought (and, dare I say - skill?) that is required to achieve the desired outcome. Don't get me wrong, the big ones are fun too, but there's something about the little ones that really float my boat. Check out a few of my designs below...