BIG or SMALL: Just How Much Space is Enough Space?

  • How does your dream home look like in your imagination? 
  • Is it surrounded by greenery and natural spaces, or is it in a busy city with people constantly moving about? 
  • How many rooms have you pictured? What do they look like? 

These may appear to be simple questions that you could ask someone in the beginning before constructing a home or when studying how satisfied they are with their current home. But the answers for these questions could be contrastingly different even between people from the same family or roommates living in an apartment. 

When studying a person and how he or she perceives their ideal home to look like, there is a psychological science to it that underlies between every wish or dream they’ve had concerning their home. For someone who was used to living in a busy city all their life, they might subconsciously look for something different that would be relaxing and calming. But for others, this kind of environment might be quite familiar to them that they wouldn’t prefer moving from it. 

Similarly, the interior of a home, the space that is used to construct it, and how it is perceived also differs from person to person. Studies show that generally when homes are bigger, people are more likely to be happier. But how this physical space is perceived is different. 

For example, if your room has just enough space to fit in all your treasured possessions, display other interests of yours and still be spacious enough for you to move about, you wouldn’t realize its actual space is quite the opposite. This is because your room ends up becoming your safe space, and though it might not be exactly large, it brings you happiness in its own way.

The debate between whether more space means more happiness has been going on for years. And we think that the answer to it depends on the situation and the family. Sometimes more space could create distance between the members in a house, and other times less space could create conflict. It is only those living in that space who can decide what suits best.

But today space is seen as a status symbol that people flaunt and other studies show that the perception of space varies based on gender as well. While females prefer larger spaces, for young boys this distance shows correlation with acceptance, personal expression and overall low levels of general emotions. 

So just how much space is enough space?

With rising housing costs and limited space, practically it isn’t possible to recreate the kind of home we desire. But what we can do is to adjust our point of view to create a home that would make us happy inside and out like the room. 

If you think your home is crowded, you can start by rearranging your furniture to create a spacious and ventilated look. You could also open up the curtains and use lighter blinds to let the natural light flow in. The brighter a place looks, the less crowded it seems. 

Using mirrors when decorating the walls is another great way to create the illusion of a large space without being constrained by the small spaces in reality. 

The definition of space and how much of it is enough is ambiguous. But what should matter more than that, is the people living with you in this place. Whether you own a home that is large or small, design it in the best way that you think will bring you and your family the greatest happiness and create the safest space.

Posted Date: 2nd February 2021

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