Our new house is quite big. Some might think it’s too big for ‘just us two’ and the animals (no children – not by choice but not anyone’s business). WE might think it’s too big sometimes but, honestly, it’s utterly fantastic too!
We got it for a great price, we’re changing it to suit the way we want to live in it and I won’t lie, I love that the house has impressive kerb appeal! I’m a puffed up proud penguin! Why shouldn’t we all publicly celebrate something we’re proud of? Why shouldn’t we be vocal about loving our homes?
I wouldn’t class myself as materialistic or boastful (anyone who knows me knows I’m happier with an eBay bargain – the cheaper the better as proved by my Instagram posts – than a designer label!) but I LOVE seeing other people’s homes on Instagram (and the oodles of house programmes I’m addicted to) and I NEVER think ‘Flash Harry’ if someone lives in a gorgeous, big house! I genuinely think ‘Wow, what a home! What great inspiration for my house!’.
We did (briefly) consider buying a new build as opposed to another older (1930s) house – brand new everything, clean lines, perhaps a say in certain aspects of the fixtures and fittings and absolutely NOTHING to renovate, but they were so small in comparison to the older houses we preferred. This is Money highlighted the rise of the ‘rabbit-hutch’ homes and reported that “new-builds in Yorkshire and the Humber (where we live) are the smallest at an average of 84 square metres and below comfortable standards” in 2015. After viewing a couple I actually felt quite claustrophobic and they were built so closely together too (having horrible previous neighbours we were wary about being in close proximity to other people again!), so getting a bigger, older house for a similar price as a smaller, newer house seemed a no brainer!
These are my personal upsides to living in a big house:
- As an introvert I NEED my own space and having a choice of reception rooms means I get my own space often & my husband can invite his friends round without disturbing me. This is brilliant for me, brilliant for him and essential for a happy marriage I think!
- As there is a lot of space, I can indulge my enthusiasm for pieces of bigger vintage furniture. I recently won a bargain sideboard and bureau on eBay and I don’t have to worry about sacrificing other furniture to accommodate them.
- Another positive is that both my husband and I can combine our eclectic tastes without the house looking too crowded and/or busy.
- Taking after my mum, I love to change layouts & room uses, which there is plenty of scope for in a big house.
- Having big windows = lots of light!
- We hosted Christmas last year (a month after moving in!) and it was wonderful to be able to comfortably accommodate 7 people instead of playing sardines!
- A bigger house usually includes a bigger garden & driveway. It’s comforting knowing we now have a proper, secure, roomy driveway which houses our cars without us having to manoeuvre Austin Powers‘ style everyday!
- Following on from my point above, there’s space for a summer house, swing chair & zoned areas in the garden if we so wish. My board on Pinterest has a few gorgeous ideas if you’re looking for inspiration too!
In the interests of balance, my (few) downsides are:
- Filling the space cosily and stylishly takes effort and creativity (I’m still learning and dream of Erica Davies‘ house style!) – a big space can sometime feel too vast and a bit empty.
- Obviously, there are higher heating costs in a bigger house (although our old house always felt draughty despite being smaller!).
- Spending extra on blinds and curtains! The size and amount of windows in bigger houses usually means standard sized curtains are either too short or too narrow.
- Linked to above, carpets & floorings can be more expensive because of the square footage required.
So, to me, bigger is better when it comes to houses; I would ALWAYS choose a big one! Would you, or are you an advocate for smaller homes? If so, tell me why!