Poll: which do you prefer - large bedrooms or large living areas

valzone5July 28, 2008

I am house hunting, and my budget can only afford very, VERY tiny houses. It seems that either the living spaces are alright, but the bedrooms are insanely tiny (a bed and one dresser would be all that could fit), or else the bedrooms are decent, but the living room and kitchen are tiny. If given the choice between roomier living areas or roomier bedrooms, which would you choose, and why?

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I would want roomier living areas. Bedrooms are for sleeping. I don't spend a lot of time in them so why bother with a large one?

Right now my bedroom fits our full bed (i don't think it would fit a queen even) a night table, mirror and small dresser and I am very happy with it.

Most of the time we are in the living room or kitchen. When friends visit we are also in the living room or kitchen, so we don't need a big bedroom.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 2:01PM
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Roomier living areas. I need a lot more room to cook in than I need to sleep.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 3:01PM
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Agree with room to live in. Even if you have to get rid of furniture for a smaller bedroom. Storage would also be a plus over a larger bedroom or the ability to add such in various areas of the small home.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 4:23PM
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It depends who lives there with you. We moved here with our three dogs and a 90 year-old father in tow. We wanted our bedroom big enough for all of our clothes and three dog beds. We did not get a master bath, but we did get a big bedroom.

Now that Dad is 92 and ill, we have paid help or relatives here every day or evening that we are not personally in charge of taking care of Dad. The big bedroom has become a sanctuary for me for when I don't want to "be in public."

If the whole house is your own space, and you have no expectations of having to share it with people you have to be "dressed" to run into, then the big bedroom is not as important.

You may also need bigger bedrooms if someone living there once lived independently and prefers to keep all of their belongings in their bedroom, using it as an office or sitting room as well. This could be the case with parents, or with returning adult children.

We have also learned that in the common areas "room to live in" may need to include wheelchair-friendly spaces. We live in 1675 sq ft, and this is quite do-able in our layout.

I like having a kitchen or living space that is big enough to set up a banquet table or two when large gatherings occur. It is more about arrangement than actual floor space. Can you scoot furniture around enough to accommodate these events? Here, our movable kitchen island allows us to rearrange the eat-in kitchen for large gatherings. In my old house, the living room could easily be cleared to accommodate banquet tables. The house was only 1100 sq ft if you did not count the room above the garage, but we could have 16 for dinner.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 8:35PM
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The house is for me and my 5 yr old son part-time (shared custody). The kitchen is teeeeny, but there's a dining area, so I can have my kitchen table in there (seats 4). I keep worrying about things like where everyone will sit when I entertain, even though I only have large groups over maybe once per year, LOL!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 9:36AM
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I think it all depends on HOW you live. Hubbie & I had to decide between bigger bedrooms or bigger public space when house hunting, as well. So we thought about how we generally operate w/in a home.

We like to have friends over. My mom regularly visits. We spend most of our time in our living room and/or kitchen. So that was the priority for square footage.

And sure enough, even w/ two dogs, we find that our smaller bedrooms work fine for us, 'cause we rarely spend time in those rooms.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 2:49PM
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I would much prefer larger living spaces. I entertain quite a bit, and my two boys have friends over fairly often, so the public space is important to us. Bedrooms are just for sleeping.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 5:25PM
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I say living space as long as the bedroom can accomodate a bed, dresser and side table/night stand. I wear glasses and need a place for those and my alarm clock. I don't watch TV from bed nor do I want to. I prefer larer living space within reason. Again, how many people do you really need to be able to accomodate? Comfortable seating for four is usually about all most people use at one time. And we are talking about small spaces. Although, I consider anything over 1500sf "large".

~ Scott ~

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 8:12PM
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Larger living space.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 7:28PM
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I would definitely prefer a larger living space. Like others have said, bedrooms are for sleeping. Small cozy bedrooms are nice.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 8:17AM
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Larger living space.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 4:49PM
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Living space - you live in the kitchen & living room, you really only spend less than an hour awake in the bedrooms.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 10:22PM
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I actually bought my house because it was one of the few that I saw where I could fit my parent's 1940's mahogany bedroom set. Some of the houses I looked at, it never would have fit in one room. If that wasn't an issue though, I would have gone for a larger living area.

My house is a small colonial with the bedrooms upstairs matching the living area downstairs. My bedroom is the same size as the living room. The 2nd bedroom is the same size as the dining room and the bathroom and closets match the size of the kitchen below them.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 11:55PM
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Larger living area. Some years ago we saw a house that had a huge master suite, dressing area, large master bath, walk in closet and a tiny kichen/dining and livingroom. Even now being empty nesters with no need for a lot of space for kids I think that was an oddball setup. The square footage didn't seem to allow for the rest of the house to match the master bedroom which took up the whole side of the house.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 5:15PM
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Definitely larger living area. My house is 1168 sf. The bedrooms are small (the second one is Teeny!), but the living area is nice and roomy. It helps that the layout is very open - I could easily entertain 15 people in this little house.

I live alone, so that does help since I only have one bathroom.

To make the bedroom more spacious, I put my highboy dresser inside the closet. I still have a regular long/low dresser in the room. I am probably going to get rid of both and put a closet system in. They are really easy to DIY, did it in my last home, and they eliminate the need for dressers. My closet is 6' wide, so I have nice space to work with.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 11:50AM
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Our bedroom is TEENSY, we have a long low "thing" for books and a TV, two small bedside tables and a bed. You can just walk around the bed and it has to be a double bed, no Queen or King in there. We think we have enough room for some slim Ikea bookshelves around the window too, and that is all. No master bathroom off of it either in this old house. I like my small bedroom. We have small living areas too, this little 20's house was modest even then but it's cosey for two.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 11:53PM
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My ideal would be a generous, roomy eat in kitchen as the heart of the house and central activity area. Next I would have a medium sized living room/library filled with books and windows, and after that small bedrooms. It's not the way most people design houses, but if I ever get to do exactly what I want, that is what I will do.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2008 at 11:11PM
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My vote is for larger living areas with smaller bedrooms.

However, Nancy in Mich post(above)is something we all might need to think about as well.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2008 at 1:39PM
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I have seen huge houses that had tiny, cut up rooms. A small house can have high ceilings and an open floor plan. Anyway, I would rather have a sparsely furnished, small bedroom and a much larger family/living area.

There really isn't need for a huge sleep space unless an in-law suite is needed to keep the elders out of what is loosely referred to as elder care.

Can have a small bedroom but ya gotta have enough closet space.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2008 at 2:12PM
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