Thursday, February 23, 2012

Is Your House Big Enough for Your Family?

Rob Lowe's House via Architectural Digest

As Americans we are forever obsessed with buying more, acquiring more, getting more
more, more, more.....

How much is enough?  

When I was younger, I thought if I could just have that bigger house with more closets, more drawers,
more rooms, a bigger garage, etc...yada yada, yada...does this sound familiar? 

What changed my mind?  We went on a trip with our sunday school class to the mountains.  
One night I was chatting with another class member, who happened to be a 
 very a talented and successful architect, here in Charlotte, NC.  His work has been published in many magazines.  You are more than likely familiar with his work which is mostly in high end design. ( I won't mention his name for fear the clients for whom he designs these large homes for might be offended.)   Anyway, this was during the epitome of the "McMansion" phase of building in Charlotte.   I said to my friend, "When are you going to build your McMansion?"  After all, he is married and has two children.  You know what he replied without pausing....NEVER!"  I said "why", knowing full well he could build anything he wanted.  He said "because I believe being in a family means bumping elbows in the bathroom when you brush your teeth".    He went on to say  he believes when we create a private room, study space, bathroom, etc for every member of the family we are creating selfish people who never learn to share.  Wow!  That's when my thinking changed.  If our children grow up with their "own everything"  how do they transition into being a room mate in college or better yet a spouse in a marriage,  
 The next time, you start to think you need a bigger house ask yourself, do I?  
It might be that what you really need is to clean out what you have, rethink your current space or simply re-adjust your attitude.  With the bigger house comes all sorts of added responsibilities such as higher maintenance bills, higher taxes,more to clean, more upkeep, which all translates into more work for you.
I think we'll just keep bumping elbows over here!

at least we will be sharing....

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  1. What a beautiful post Lisa! Your architect friend hit the nail on the head.

    I grew up in a family of four in a house that was just under 1100 sq. ft. Never once did it feel like 'not enough space' for our growing family's needs. We sometimes dreamed of having a big open great room or an extra bath, but when it came to the end of the day, we were managing just fine. Our kitchen wasn't too small that we couldn't prep a meal and no one ever went without somewhere to sleep! Really, we didn't need much else.

  2. It sounds like you had a loving and happy family Amy! Thanks for commenting! Have a great evening!

  3. I just stumbled on your blog via a search for Josef Frank. I'm very glad to have found you.

    I don't think we're any different in the UK; always wanting more, bigger, the latest. I've been living overseas for nearly seven years in a country where families live in a single rooms, or whose sleeping areas are divided by a curtain. Yet I am guilty of that Western wanting... I have to be constantly mindful of it. And it doesn't always work. I absolutely love your architect friend's attitude. We should be bumping elbows with our families. Thank you.

    1. Thank You for commenting Jenny! So happy you found me! It does help to re-adjust our attitudes doesn't it? I am guilty of the same thing. Have a great evening!


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