Today, I’m here to answer the age old question that has been plaguing mankind since the beginning of time : is bigger really better?  My answer: NO.  I must clarify that I’m talking about architecture, and in particular – housing.

With the rising cost of living, planning an efficient home could play a huge role in maintaining a sustainable carefree lifestyle when those unforeseen increases in mortgage repayments, utility costs and grocery bills come hurtling around the corner. 

I can’t count the amount of times we’ve been asked to design a 4 bedroom house with a living room, family room, activity room and media room for a family of four. While each room might have a different name and the idea of a playroom, media room or gym room might sound appealing, more often than not – rooms with one off, “specific” functions often become a costly dumping ground for all those things we seem to collect or the room sits unused for a large percentage of the time. 

With this in mind it's worth remembering that with every square meter, your costs of running the property increases significantly,   Don’t get me wrong, I get that in some cases multiple rooms with specific functions are necessary, but for the most part, the “bigger is better” mentality is unnecessarily increasing home sizes and forcing us to dig deeper into our pockets.

So how do we achieve the balance between affordability, liveability and practicality?  Simple: you need to work with an architect that isn’t all about grandiose or volume style building practices but rather listens and understands your needs while working to design a property that best encompasses your lifestyle and utilises the block to create energy efficiency, design spaces that are flexible and functional and are able to adapt and evolve with your needs, whether that be on a short term or long term basis. 

For example – instead of a media room or a guest room, consider putting the two together to create a room that can transition from one to another.

The bottom line is – bigger is most definitely not better and if you’re planing an architecturally designing a home then it’s a great opportunity to make the house work for you in the longterm and factor in money saving opportunities that you can seldom find in older or volume built homes.