Where you spend your time...

Annie DeighnaughFebruary 3, 2013

Just reading an old House Beautiful mag which contained this quote:

"My clients who have these vast 20,000 sq ft spaces tend to live in the smallest rooms. I find that fascinating."

Stephen Shubel

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Oh so true I bet.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 1:41PM
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YES! I am certain it is true. As I spend my time at home, waiting to hear if I will be declared "disabled" by Social Security, I have a nice kitchen island, a big bedroom, a soon-to-be exercise and craft room to work on, and a library/music room that needs have a little organizing work done so I can take my "done" photos. Where can you find me? In my chair in the family room, with my drawer of pens and anything else I need, my kleenex box, a place for my coffee or water, the phone, a basket of my magazines and my laptop, a waste basket, an organizer with my current bills, health info and other projects, a radio and the TV remote all in reach. Sometimes my chair looks like it is surrounded by a hoarder's junk.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 3:51PM
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I think it is true~~ When DH passed away, I felt so alone and lost out in the LR, that I spent most of my time in my bedroom...with books, recliner and TV...it was so much cozier in there.....or else, back in my small office on my computer. Big spaces are cold and lonely to me...that is why I think I will like my "smaller house".

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 5:55PM
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To me, smaller rooms feel cozy, warm, and safe!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 9:47PM
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to quote phoggie :"Big spaces are cold and lonely to me" I agree.
Although I would like a bedroom that had the following:
1)would like to be able to walk around the bed instead of climbing out from the corner
2)would love a fireplace with 2 chairs or sofa and a small table to hold tea
3) ensuite bath with dressing area/closet between bedroom and bath.

I have four rooms (1 of these is storage-bureaus, bookcases, coats) and live in three of them. I spend most of my time in the kitchen & sitting room. When I really want to retreat I head for the bedroom which is the smallest room at about 9x8'(not including the loo). This is where I will can be found underneath a pile of blankets with my cat curled up passed out next to me.

"My clients who have these vast 20,000 sq ft spaces tend to live in the smallest rooms..." Why don't they just cut to the chase and live in a small home ? Oh I know, because it doesn't fit in with their social standing...

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 10:13PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I know a number of people who have added onto their mc mansions...I think they keep trying to find a space where they feel at home....but they keep building spaces in scale with the rest of the house and are still unhappy...they don't know why and would never think that a smaller space would be beneficial.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 11:00PM
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"Small rooms or dwellings discipline the mind; large ones weaken it." ~ Leonardo Da Vinci

This is a quote that I hear all the time from DH !!!!

Annie--adding on to a McMansion !!! absurd.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 8:23AM
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Annie, you and others helped to ease my panic last year when I was worried about ending up with a living room that wouldn't be as cozy as my current living room. Our current living room is roughly 12' x 12', with a ceiling that's under 8', and it's the room where we spend much of our time contemplating the new home we're dreaming of building one day. One of the books I read early on in our journey was "House Thinking" by Winifred Gallagher, and she talks about taking the time to remember the rooms you've been in over the course of your life, and how you felt in those rooms. Hubby and I realized, as much as we admire vaulted ceilings and grand spaces, in all honesty we didn't feel comfortable in those spaces - we felt comfortable in our little living room! Still in the dreaming stage at this point - starting to interview architects - fortunately we have the luxury of time. Having read how long it took you to work out your design with your architect has been very reassuring! I just know that we will also take our time and work through lots of details before we ever break ground.

I'm attaching a photo of our living room - every Saturday morning we're sitting by the fire, enjoying a croissant and hot mocha - bliss!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 6:55PM
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Carps....absolutely so inviting! Why do you want to leave such a lovely home? I love it!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 9:44PM
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Wow very nice, looks like a magazine spread. Now I can't post mine. :)

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 9:58PM
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Thinking more about the question posed in this thread, my DH's comment to his friends who were here on Superbowl Sunday came to mind. We were talking about how we had added a 3/4 wall to separate the kitchen from the family room, when most people were tearing walls down. DH gestured toward the corner pictured in the link below and said how much he liked having a wall to hide behind there, in his cozy corner with BB, Max, and Jerry. He is always sliding his chair back further into the corner when I pull it forward. He obviously likes his small, more enclosed space there more than a more open area in which to relax.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bill's Nook

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 1:31AM
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"Bill's nook" love it Nancy. We all need a corner to retreat to. One of My spaces: I stand near my fire escape window(while having my wine or a pint) and comment on who's cooking dinner across the way. One neighbor is up at 4:30 am and cooking at night until around 11:00pm. The group down below bring in take-away. Another neighbor directly across the alley has a kitchen with short (36") cabinets and no special features but I find it so relaxing to look into. She has hanging plants, kitchen cafe curtains, and a calendar on the wall. If I look closer I can see shirts hanging on the doorway frame to dry-practical(exactly what I do).

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 8:06AM
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Thank you for the kind words, phoggie and eatrealfood - I often joke with my husband that interior decorating is my hobby. (Hunting for bargains and treasures is a huge part of the fun!)

I'll admit it will be very hard to leave our little home someday - we've lived here over 20 years, and have enjoyed many DYI projects along the way. (The first ten years we lived with the builder's creamy white walls, and then one day I announced to my husband that I needed some color - a few years later nearly every room in the house was a different color! LOL!) But I must admit a couple of years ago I was taken by the longing to follow in my grandparents footsteps and find a small vacation/retirement cottage home up on a nearby island (Whidbey), and so we began the hunt for a little getaway home. Alas, we fell in love with a view and ended up buying a large piece of property, so now we face the journey of building our little cottage. Exciting (ooo, more rooms to decorate!) and daunting (ooo, this is sooo expensive!). :-)

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 12:10PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

carpecattus, no wonder you spend so much time in such a lovely room! If you are thinking vaulted, do think about barrel vaulted. We have one in our dr and it yields such a different warm and cozy feeling vs the std cathedral vault.

EatRealFood, my friend who lives in a mc mansion (5 bedrooms each with their own baths and walk in closets) added on this enormous sun porch...and then he said he was thinking about finishing off the basement. I said to him, "Why? Because your family members are still able to find each other?"

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 12:06PM
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Annie, with each having his/her own bedroom, dressing room, and bathroom, your friend may be hoping that a rec room in the basement lures some of them to mingle together!

Am I the only one who feels rejected when DH wants to go spend part of his evening in another part of the house? I mean, he is only home about three hours before he goes to bed, and being home alone all day, I like to be around him when he is here. If he wants to do music, I understand him going to his music room, but if he is web-surfing or reading, I like him in the family room with me. A larger house than what we have now would not get used much.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 4:52PM
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Annie--I love your comeback/question(tell your friend I said 5 bedrooms with their own baths are actually called B&B's...)

Nancy--I feel for you. Ask him to give you 2 1/2 of those 3 hours before he retreats.
We are in the same room(sitting room/kitchen)either on the computer, reading or reading out loud to each other...It's nice to be in the same room even if you are just reading or cooking or daydreaming. And my cat stays close by too so she must feel the same way. We have a choice of the sitting room/kitchen space or the bedroom so there's not much distance.LOL. One of us will use the bedroom for some alone time(like watching a DVD).
I imagine that if we ever get a larger place(maybe 1000-1300ft)we will still huddle in the same room(as long as the books and food are nearby that is !)

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 11:39PM
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ERF, we have even tried using headphones so that the one watching the noisy media will not disturb the other, and we can be in the same space. It sometimes feels like a plaster wall, though. We are always reading things to each other, either from an email, Facebook posting, or article on the web. He'll laugh and I will stop what i am doing to hear the joke. We surf separately, but together....

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 2:36AM
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My small house has all small rooms, only one bathroom and it's plenty cozy. My in-laws thought it looked claustrophobic, so many walls close together. But it suits us. Used to be four people-me and DH, two daughters, plus pets. Now it's just 2 people and 2 cats and one dog.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 9:50AM
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jannie-I guess at the time you were thinking to yourself "well if they(in-laws) think the house is too small, they will never live with us" LOL
Sounds like you have a full house.(My cat takes up a lot of space, we always move out of the way on the sofa) :)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 10:13PM
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New here -- planning to downsize in about 5 - 7 years when we retire and move away. Out current house, of the last 29 years, is about 3600 square feet and we still use it fully from time to time, but with an empty nest, we do most of our living in a central core, consisting of den, kitchen, mbr and office. Although we have two larger living areas in a great room and living room, we spend most of our time in the den, even when we have 1 or 2 friends over. More company and we do relocate to the great room, but I honestly can't remember the last time we entertained in the living room. The den is the smallest living space and it is the only room with 8 " ceilings, but it is cosy and charming and definitely where we really live. Our bedroom opens from the den and the kitchen overlooks the den, so it makes it convenient for daily living too. I'll often come in the bedroom to watch tv, if DH is watching a "man" show. The den tv and the mbr tv are probably about 7 feet apart with a wall in between, but we've solved the noise problem with TV ears in the bedroom. Those block out all the noise from the den and I can have the volume off in the bedroom
and just use the ears. The dogs don't like closed doors (nor do we) and they to sleep in the doorway between the den and the bedroom so that they can keep an eye on both of us at the same time. If we can work though storage issues, I really think we're going to enjoy downsizing in a few years.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 12:25AM
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Hey Nancy, that's what my chair and surrounding space looks like too.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 3:46PM
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Marti, another brave soul willing to admit the truth!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 8:12AM
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I don't post here much, but I do enjoy reading. I just have to mention though that I think ERF's post about "I stand near my fire escape window(while having my wine or a pint) and comment on who's cooking dinner across the way.", and how their kitchens look, etc. reminds me so much of Alfred Hitchcock's movie Read Window. Be careful, you might catch one of your neighbors committing a crime... :-)

Our favorite cozy small space is the sitting room just outside the bedroom upstairs. We managed to get a fireplace, TV and sitting area nestled in a big dormer. We just finished the remodel there and it is wonderful!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 4:23PM
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