Mother Earth Living

Right-Size Your Home: Is Your House Too Big?

Take our quiz and found out if your home's proportions are infringing on your quality of life.
By Sarah Susanka
May/June 2009
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You can assess the appropriateness of your home’s proportions by asking yourself the following questions. If you answer yes to five or more, your house is suffering from a case of “Too Bigness.”

■  Are any living areas in the house taller than they are wide?

■  Do any spaces feel comfortable only when the house is full of people?

■  When you are in the kitchen, do you have to shout to be heard in the adjacent family room?

■  Is your house so large that you can coexist with other household members without running into them?

■  Are any spaces particularly echoey?

■  Are any spaces rarely used? Is there no need to repurpose these spaces because there’s already plenty of room in the house?

■  Does the house look huge from any exterior angle?

■  Do you sometimes feel as though you are rattling around in the house—that there’s too much space and not enough of a sense of place in any of it?

■  Do you sometimes wander around the house looking for a comfortable place to sit and read or have a cup of coffee?

■  Do you have any rooms that are more than 16 feet tall?

■  Do guests stepping into your foyer or living room for the first time look upward and say, “Wow”? (This is not always an indication of approval, just awe.)

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