Tuesday, February 14, 2006

What exactly does one do with a 4000+ square foot house?

Rant du jour: I can't relate to the McMansion generation. My home post-addition is about 2000 square feet, and we use the whole house every room, every day. And my house feels HUGE to me. I grew up in a 1200 square foot single floor apartment. So my 3-story single Victorian is the height of spacious luxury as far as I'm concerned. We have a half bath. TWO toilets, my friends. We have big windows and lots of light. Now that's living it up.

The Globe just published an article about the lengths people go through to make their McMansions seem cozy. This prompts me to say what the F&^%$! You bought a house with a living room that could double as the atrium lobby of an office building, and now you want to make it into a cozy Victorian parlor? They have to buy specially made furniture that scales to these huge spaces. What's wrong with you people? You have a room for your dog?

If I suddenly had the millions you'd need to buy or even heat one of these houses, I'm pretty sure I'd stay where I am. I'd pay off the mortgage, buy a new minivan and continue life mostly as it is.

Why do people want so much room? 100 years ago large houses hosted servants and a lot of the work to sustain the house was done within it. It sort of made sense. When people came to visit they stayed for months at a time. But these days a week is a long visit. What could you possibly do with three or four people with that much space?


Blogger Pam said...

Well, now, I could think of all sorts of things to do with a 4000+ sf house, but not a McMansion. I don't like conventional layouts, and I have no use for a living room _and_ a family room. In our case we squeezed the LR and have a music room/library instead. I can see people wanting extra bedrooms for au pairs or guests or family who might move in periodically. I would love it if someone very handy wanted to live w/us and help out on the farm. But of course, all those things don't apply in a McMansion.
The thing that gets me is why they want to put them on a 10-acre lawn. What a waste of 10 acres! Heavens, you could keep chickens, goats, pigs, a cow...have a really nice garden.
I think someone has to come up with a way to make in-town living attractive to the people who go for semi-rural McMansions. I do think some of what they want is space to entertain; I remember Pete inviting some 20 people to a cookout at our townhouse in Herndon, which was a nightmare. They were sitting all over the stairs, on the dog's crate, etc.


10:00 AM  
Blogger Margaret said...

It just seems so wasteful. A well designed 2000k square foot house can comfortably host a party of 50, as we did a couple of weeks ago.

The point of the article I read, was that people who owned these huge houses had no idea what to do with the extra rooms. They were trying to decorate as to make the rooms feel smaller and more intimate. Something seems SO wrong with that to me.

2:06 PM  

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