space and random thoughts

Space. Everyone seems to want more and more of it. How much is too much?

I'm mainly talking about house size but you can spin it off to almost any other area as well. We here in the US seem to constantly want bigger and bigger. My house is 1,460 Sq Ft and it's considered a starter home. Hell, I mainly bought one this size due to the difficulty in reselling smaller ones. If I had my druthers, something more like 800 sq ft would have been just fine. As is, I don't use my second story for anything other than storage. I often don't go up there for 3 weeks or more at a time.

I'm not alone in thinking that houses have gotten too big. There was an article in USA Today 3 weeks ago about Aspen Colorado banning bigger houses. Of course big is a relative term. While I consider a 3,000 sq ft home too big, Aspen is only banning houses bigger than 15,000 sq ft. *gulp* Can you even imagine living in a frickin' house THAT big??? My house would serve as their pool cabana.

There's an article in the March 13 issue of Newsweek on this subject. It's titled Celebration of Small. According to the article, the average new home size in the US is 2,350 sq ft and that's up 57% from 1970. The article largely focuses on a NYC designer whose website,, holds a contest each year for the smallest, coolest apartments. If you think you have what it takes, go enter! This year the cutoff size is 650 sq ft, up from last year's 500 sq ft.

One of the judges for the contest lives in a 70 sq ft apartment. I find that a little hard to believe. My larger walk-in closet is nearly that size. Anyway, the contest accepts entries until March 13 so now's the time to apply if you're living life on the small side.

Anyone on a diet better not look at this next link. Michelle at The Baker's Rack has one delicious looking Chai cake here. I'm going to try and make it in the next week or two. I tend to like candy more than cake, but spice cakes are my favorites and this looks like a variation on spice cake. Mmmm.

Everytime I look at this picture I just start drooling. It's not a pretty sight so nobody look 'til I wipe my mouth!

Another sweet item that I want to make in the near future is baklava. I've been thinking about it off and on for nearly a year but right now is one of the "on" times. The main thing holding me back is working with phyllo dough is supposed to be a real pain in the patootie. Since my patootie has enough pains in it already I'm not sure adding one more pain is needed. On the other side of the ledger is the idea of eating pounds of baklava--and no, I don't share well. :-p


Teresa said…
LOL. I hear you share fine, Dave! Don't let the phyllo scare you. It works out even if you make a mess of it. But all those calories aren't a great idea... it's best to make it and PLAN to share!

As for large or small -- houses, that is -- I think that for one person, you are right. 800 sq ft is more than enough space. It's the amount of square feet per person that makes larger better. If you weren't single living alone, you might think your house was too small.

The way the space is allocated also is a factor. A lot of newer homes have a lot of wasted space, it seems. A friend of mine is relocating and we've checked out some model homes that seem so impractical. I like extra space and to spread out, but I also like cozy. Give me a large kitchen and enough room to move around and I'm happy.

I'm not even tempted by that cake... I'm not sure why. You'll have to drool for both of us.
kenju said…
stranger said…
well i definitely agree with you that houses have gotten too big. my parents recently "retired" (i say it that way because of course they're both still working their asses off) to a new home, and while i think it's gorgeous, i also think it's ridiculous, and felt hugely uncomfortable there when i went to visit. there's something very impersonal about so much space.

but as far as your own living situation... i think 1460 sounds fabulous. i think you would reconsider your wanting an 800-sq-ft home if you saw my apartment, which is 815 sq. ft, and frankly is too small even for just me and my two cats.
jennypenny said…
oh my gosh 15000 sqaure feet?? think of the cleaning! i can barely keep up now in my condo! here from michele's
-E said…
I just moved into a little house. It might be 1000 sq ft, if I count the deck outside. But it leaves plenty of the lot for a nice back yard. The houses in my neighborhood range from the little bitty to the so huge it could be a boarding school.

But make the baklava, and take pictures!

Michele sent me.
Plumkrazzee said…
Just saw your comment at Michele's and am wondering about Chick-fil-a. Could you fill me in? We don't have them up here, but they were everywhere in Louisiana, and I never ate there. Inquiring minds want to know!
That food looks delicious ;) I suppose as long as you had a professional cleaner, big wouldn't be so bad...Oh yeah, here from Michele's
chelle said…
Yeah the smaller the house the less cleaning...except if it is too small then there is clutter...Ooo I hate clutter!
Very cool post, I enjoyed reading it!
Hello from Michelle!
utenzi said…
Plum, my objections to Truett won't be shared by everyone. He's a very conservative Christian--the very intolerant variety--and he's got very strong views on poverty, kids, etc which I don't share. He spoke at my business school several times and he's a member of my brother's church so I've encountered him quite a few times. I also knew a number of my fellow MBA students that worked on projects for him for school credit. They loved it but I'd rather be drawn and quartered!
Amanda said…
I am living with my boyfriend right now in a 650 sq. foot apartment. It's TINY! And we don't even have a lot of stuff! We're moving to 1010 sq. foot apartment in April - it will be like a palace!

And yet, I do agree that houses can get too big. In life, I want to make a home for my family, and a big house feels too much like a museum to me sometimes.

Here via Michele...
Prego said…
I loves baklava!

The way my wife complains about housework... The smaller the better. God forbid she ask me to help!

here via michele

*ps. re: my 'homage' to conservative politics, i was afraid someone might interpret it that way. nothing could be further from the truth. thanks for the comment. i always like hearing from you.
Ciera said…
I have 3 rooms, not counting the bathroom. I don't know that footage, but I often feel penned in.

If I bat my lashes, will you share your baklava???? puh-leeeeeze????

No_Newz said…
I agree with you on those mega homes. YIKES! Who wants to clean all of that?! Guess I could hire a maid. I mean, if you can afford 15,000 sq ft. I'm sure a maid wouldn't be too much of a financial burden.
Thanks for making me drool too.
Lois Lane
stebbijo said…
I had to make baklava, too. It is easy. Just thank God you can buy the phyllo dough pre-made at the store!
Sue said…
Here in the bay area, everyone wants a bigger home! They either tear down the current home and rebuild a starter mansion which ends up looking like a stucco 'casa de house' or they add on their home by taking over the backyard, driveway or popping the top. I'm really quite content in my home as is. Who wants to clean that many bathrooms?!
Diane Mandy said…
BAKLAVA - NOw you're talking my language! YUM! Coupled with a little Greek coffee, ain't nothing better.

I went from 3000 sq ft house to 1700 condo... lemme just say that downsizing was the BEST THING I ever did. My life is sooo much simpler, easier, and happier.
Shane said…
here's to eating baklava in a tent.

Michele sent me

- you're not gonna eat that are you?
TamWill said…
There is a song about small homes and how you get to know one another in small cozy space.

I somewhat agree with that, while I yearn for more space. I clicked on the link and you have a really lovely home :O)
Michelle said…
The trend here is to down size. People just don't have the time to maintain large homes and gardens, so they are opting for apartment living or smaller homes.
Michele sent me....

LESS IS BEST! period!

Just the picture of the baklava makes my mouth water.

Here via Michele's tonight.
ribbiticus said…
hiya! you bake too? woohoo!

and i still believe that a home is what you make it, regardless of size. :)
Kat said…
I agree with you that 3000 square feet is too big. 15,000 is unfathomable!

Those desserts look soooooo yummy. I want to go out and satisfy my sweet tooth right now!

And I just read your note on my blog. The guy was with the group I was out with, so I had character witnesses. I'd never start something with a guy I didn't have some connection to through friends/ work/ family. I am way too distrustful for that!
kristal said…
Small isn't bad, but it can get crowded. My house is 1800 sq/ft, but we have nine people living there [2 adults and 7 kids]. Sometimes I *wish* we had one of those BIG houses so I could get some space for myself!

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