How Much Homespace Do People Actually Use?

I live alone in a two-bedroom apartment, approximately 800 square feet, and I’ve pretty much maxed out the usage of all of it while keeping it livable and presentable. I have several space-consuming hobbies: home theater with a large library of movies in LD, DVD, and Blu-Ray, a large collection of books packed three-deep as efficiently as possible in multiple 6’ bookcases, and vintage video games including several arcade units. I like to separate out the use of my space; a bedroom strictly for sleeping/dressing/“fun”, a living room for socializing or relaxing, etc. I’ve had to compromise by keeping the games in storage (having to unpack and hook up a given system to play it), the living room doubles as the theater, which is a severe distraction, the dining room is the movie and book library/study which leaves me no place to have meals with guests… the only rooms which I keep off limits to multitasking are the master bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom.

I don’t need a “monster” house, but I would be more comfortable in a home that would normally be assumed to be for a family with children, such as one with three bedrooms and a finished basement. Theater in the basement, one bedroom for the library/study, one bedroom for an “arcade,” one bedroom for sleeping.

My apartment is about 850 sq. ft. with two bedrooms and two full bathrooms. My daughter and I live here. I’d like it to be a bit bigger, a third bedroom would be great, but it’s mostly okay, and I LOVE having 2 bathrooms. It’s just when we have friends over or something that it gets feeling a bit cramped. Or like if I want to have sex without her being 15 feet away in the next room.

But anyway, a LOT of people in my building have like 2 parents and 3 kids in the same size apartment. That would make me crazy. Even if I had an SO living here, I’m not really sure how that would work. I hang out in my room, my daughter in the living room, and I don’t know what SO would do. Maybe we’d put a TV and the Wii in my daughter’s room then I guess, and he could have the living room.

Even if money was no object I would have no desire to have a huge house. I’m not throwing parties and shit. I don’t even like people.

Junior and I live in a 900 sq ft condo. The amount of living space is fine - roomy, actually; however, I’m planning to buy a townhouse the same size to get a basement for storage and a bit of grass for a play hut for Junior.

A lot of space is wasted in most homes regardless of size. I live alone, in a small flat, and only recently realized that my dining table, acquired because everyone has a dining table, was largely a waste of space. Mostly I eat alone or with one other person so why use up all the space required for table and chairs that usually sit there unused.

So I converted it to my “office” and bought a fold up wooden picnic set from Aldi - this one. Now I can sit down to eat anywhere, indoors or out, and have freed up a room for exercising.

I would like to find more ways to end up like MeanOldLady - “woefully underfurnished” and looking like nobody lives there.

We had a halloween party this year, and that has been the first time that I felt that our house was not plenty big enough for the two of us (1000 square feet plus that again in the basement). That said, that’s easy enough to deal with - we have a party once every two years or so, and we limit the amount of people we have over - no problem. If we were actually people who wanted to entertain a lot, we probably would need more space (or turn the basement into our party zone).

For all of our day-to-day living, we have more space than we need, too. We have three bedrooms, a nice sized living room, a dining room, a large kitchen, a full bath, and a half-bath en suite on the main floor. One bedroom is used for my office that I’m not in too often, and a second bedroom is the guest bedroom that my mom stays in a couple of times per year.

We do have plans for the basement (if we stay here) - storage, a media room, another large bedroom/office, and a full bath/spa room. That’s all extra, though - nice to have, but not necessary. The garage, however, is damned near critical - two spaces for our two cars off the street so we don’t have to worry about people hitting them in winter, and more storage space for all kinds of things that you don’t want in your house.

Versailles, or to a lesser extent, large private mansions like the ones in Newport, RI, are more like self contained grand hotels. Not only did King Louis live there, but there was also accommodations for extended family, guests, visiting dignitaries and heads of state (and their entourages) plus hundreds of servents. Much of the space is taken up by large banquet halls, meeting rooms, gallaries, offices as well as personal living quarters. The space that Louis actual lived in could be described as a large appartment within the complex.

When my SO and I were taking a tour of The Breakers in Newport, RI (the old Vanderbuilt place), one thing that the tour guide said was that because of cost, lack of privacy, as well as the general stuffiness, most of your super-wealthy types have moved away from these sort of mansion designs. Preferring to fill up their house with stuff like bowling alleys, recording studios, home theaters and whatnot.

If money were no object and I were putting together a wish list of stuff I’d want in a house off the top of my head:
-Master BR
-1 BR per child
-Guest BR
-Kitchen / dining area ( I think the formal “dining room” has fallen out of favor )
-Den / rec room / home theater viewing room / bar entertainment complex
-Childrens rec room
-SO office

Plus all the various bathrooms and utility rooms

That space would add up quickly.

I don’t know whether it’s been explicitly said yet, but some people just naturally prefer bigger, roomier living spaces for their own sake, while other people prefer small ones. The same room or house that one person would consider cozy and snug would make another person feel cramped and claustrophobic.

We had a similar thread last year: How much housing space do you need to be comfortable? I stand by what I said in that thread:

I’ve lived in a 1BR apartment, a two BR condo that was just under 900 sf and now live in a 3br townhouse that’s 1400sf plus a basement. I have found over the years that I like the larger space of the townhouse but I do end up wasting the two guest bedrooms upstairs as I spend most of my time either on the first floor or the finished basement where I have my computer set up. When I eventually retire in a few years, I intend to move into a one level place that will be 2 BR plus a study that’s somewhere under 2000sf, but I just know at least one BR will go unused.

I don’t live in Asia, but I’ve been living in apartments of 100-200 square feet for most of my life. It can be bit of a squeeze, but you get used to it. Of course, I live alone. Put two people in that space, and I assume they’d eat each other within a week.

Don’t know the square footage, but it’s a smallish 3-bedroom house with an unfinished basement and only one bathroom. There are six of us- me, Mr. Lissar, and four kids under five. On the ground floor we have a small kitchen (too small for a table), a diningroom that also holds the computer desk, and a livingroom with about eight hundred books. The basement is storage.

We use every inch. I would love a separate den/playroom/homeschool space for all the toys, but we can’t afford to move anywhere bigger.

Four of us live in a 1900sf one-story house, and we use all of it. We have an open floor plan, with a living/dining area that gets a ton of use. We usually eat dinner in the dining room, and the boys (ages 6 and 3) play in every room of the house. We have a kitchen that’s not quite large enough to be eat-in, but we’ve put a small table there anyway. We usually have breakfast there, and other meals too, if it’s just three of us. There’s a “family room” off the kitchen that we’ve got set up as a playroom. That gets a ton of use.

We have three bedrooms and two baths. The master is also where our desks are, and where my older son does his homework. The boys share a bedroom. The third bedroom is a guest room/sitting room. Since we are far from family and friends, we get fair number of guests. When we don’t have guests, that room is a good place to fold laundry, talk on the phone or read while the boys are playing loudly elsewhere in the house. Not infrequently, someone in the family will end up sleeping in there for whatever reason. There’s a big closet in that room where I store seasonal items and other things we use infrequently.

We are comfortable in this amount of space, but I can definitely imagine having more room. I have a friend who has a 5000sf house with two offices, five bedrooms, a media room, an exercise room, a formal living/dining area, an eat-in kitchen, a big family room and a huge amount of outdoor space (including a pool and a tennis court). As far as I can tell, she uses every room.

Our house is roughly 2000 square feet and it’s too big for just my husband and I. We closed off the den and my old bedroom (both now used for storage) a long time ago. We never use the enclosed porch. Most of my mother’s stuff is in the finished attic. We also have a dressing/sewing room (it used to be the original master) where we store our out-of-season clothing in maybe one out of three closets.

Heck, the house was too big for my mother and I. Way back I occasionally tried to talk her into selling it and moving to a condo, but she refused because this was her house and she’d be dead before she’d be dragged from it kicking and screaming. That didn’t happen.

We have a 3BR 2bath house that’s about 1600 square foot. No basement, no garage, no family room or den, no dining room but I did convert the former utility room and teeny kitchen into an eat-in kitchen. The lack of storage space is daunting, there’s 3 of us here and the ‘guest’ bedroom is under constant threat of becoming storage space. We do have family and friends over frequently, so that keeps me from junking it up too much.

It’d be nice to have more space, like a family room or basement. We like to entertain and that would be helpful, as it is now we tend to try and plan more things in the warmer months when we can use the yard space.

I could live in a bedroom and a kitchen, as long the bedroom was decently sized, and there was some storage space. So, one bedroom apartment would pretty much be fine for me and maybe even a bit of overkill since it probably has a living room. I suppose I’d use the living room for storage primarily.

However, I would like more room to be able to bring other people over for various things. A room for RPGs and other tabletop games would be great, and it could also double as a room for setting up LAN gaming on computer if I wanted to do that. And a decent-sized open area to have a TV for console games - an area large enough to use a Kinect in, for instance, if I so chose. So overall, two bedrooms, a large living room, a kitchen, and some storage space would be ideal for me. If I have anyone living with me, I’d probably want at least one more room.

Like I say, it would be interesting to put cameras in some of these mega-mansions-and see just how much time people spend in bathrooms, bedrooms, dens, etc.
My wife’s niece and her husband built a huge, 3-story home (it was almost 6000 sg.ft.). I doubt they ever used one third of it.

2200 sq ft for 4 children and 2 adults. I would love to have one more bedroom, just because now we have 2 children who get their own room and 2 children who have to share. But the amount of space itself is fine. My sister recently got a 4400 sq ft house for 3 people and I don’t get it, why they want so much space and expense. But to each his own!

When we bought our current house my daughter was in her last year of high school and my son was already out of the house and in University. The plan was to buy a smaller house with a larger lot so the dogs had lots of space to play and we had just enough space to live. So we bought a small bungalow with a finished basement. It’s about 950 sq feet on the main floor and probably 600 sq ft of usable space in the basement.

We haven’t entertained in this house at all unless it was summer and we could hang out in the backyard. It’s uncomfortable to have more than 4 people, we’re constantly bumping into each other. The rooms are tiny and the doorways awkward and we don’t even have a lot of stuff in it. We’ve got a loveseat instead of a sofa and a ton of bookcases but there’s not room for much else in the way of furniture. The end result is there is nowhere for people to sit and not many places for them to stand without being in the way of anyone else trying to move.

In the last year both my husband and I have had changes at our workplace that allow us to work from home 3-4 days a week and let me tell you there is not room for two offices. We bought our new home earlier this year from plans and it will be finished in May 2014. Our mantra lately is 18 months, 17 months etc. I’m looking forward to having a table to eat at again (ours is currently my husbands office), room for guests to stay and a place to sit with friends and chat. The new place is almost 2900 sq ft and other than the fact that it has 2 guest rooms instead of the one we were shopping for and a fairly awkward room they call the living room on the plans that I’m not sure what we’re going to do with we will use every space. The basement is unfinished if we decide we need even more space it’s there too. I can’t wait.
TLDR: The idea of a small space did not work out for me.

Our house is 1600 sf, 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, for me, the spouse, and our cats. I wish it was bigger, but realistically there are parts of it that we don’t use much–I keep trying to rearrange the living room to make it more useful but it doesn’t seem to work so we almost never spend time there. As for the bedrooms, one is ours, one is mine, one is his, and one I use for an office (I telecommute). I go through periods where I use my room a lot, but since I’ve got my computer/gaming setup downstairs so I don’t lock myself away and be antisocial, it’s not that often.

My apartment is ~700 square feet, 1 BR. It is essentially divided into two rooms and a bathroom. I use half the bedroom to sleep and the other half as a craft studio/computer room. I can see the TV in the great room. The great room contains a kitchen in one end and a living room in the other, with only the floor covering delineating the space. The kitchen part is large, but not well laid out. There’s a balcony/deck off the kitchen. It’s enough for me, but when the Fella or other guests spend more than the night here, it’s a bit cramped.

We’re just under 1700 sq ft plus a full basement for 2 adults, 1 puppy, 2 cats, and a 120 gallon aquarium. Amazingly, we use just about all of it. My computer is in the family room, so it gets daily use. The TV is in the living room, so that gets regular use. We’ll eat in the dining room at least once a week when our daughter visits, altho when it’s just the 2 of us, we sit on the couch and use the coffee table.

My husband will sometimes sleep in the larger guest room - he likes the room a lot cooler than I do, plus he doesn’t like the cats curling up with us. We’ve also had guests stay over. The smallest bedroom is where I keep my knitting supplies, so I’m in and out of there a lot, although it’s really little more than a walk-in closet with a futon.

Part of the basement is my husband’s wood shop, part is my pottery studio, plus there’s a laundry room, a bathroom, and a big storage room. We park both cars in the garage, and there’s space left over for a lumber rack, a work bench, some shelves, and some yard tool storage, plus the trash cans and recycling bin. We’ve had bigger and smaller places, but this one seems to be a good fit. Of course, when we were shopping for it, we knew exactly what we wanted, and that’s what we got.