Smaller home with expandable living space
I've been thinking about this a lot, lately. My grandmother used to talk about the Depression and say that many families had to move in together, not because they expected one member to 'take care' of them, but because they had to consolidate their resources. To maintain a standard of living that was easily attainable before, sometimes meant families sharing expenses, as the economy got worse.
So I started thinking...big houses often have daylight basements and extra rooms, but smaller homes have less 'extra' space. How to design a home that can grow when necessary, but not feel too big the rest of the time? For me, I think the key would be a big kitchen/keeping room, with a large dining table (or one that can expand to a large table) with smaller living spaces and bedrooms. An unfinished attic could become a couple of bedrooms and a bath...maybe one being more of a sitting room. A basement could have a study that could be a bedroom. As long as the 'family spaces' were large enough to work for a holiday meal or party...the other spaces could be heated/cooled or used as needed.
Has anyone else ever thought about this? I don't have any children, so I don't need the space for kids, but I do have a lot of nieces and nephews...and I do have concerns that they may have a very tough time, if things don't improve, soon. I guess living on the 'family' farm and having the space for gardens and animals (if necessary) has me thinking about this a lot, lately.
Again, this isn't about one person expecting a 'free lunch' and not having to work, but more about consolidating skills/abilities and assets to maintain a safe and healthy lifestyle that seems to be increasingly moving out of reach, for many. Any thoughts?