Funny - I was just coming in this forum to vent a bit about the general nature of the construction of big houses. I shouldn't vent too much since dh is a custom homebuilder but it still sickens me. We just got back from a walk in an new development near our neighborhood and I just get sick when I see the size of the houses.
Our house is around 1400 total sqft (iirc - i have no mind for the spacial) I love the size, its really perfect for the four of us. Our neighborhood was built in the early 40's. It's 5-10m from downtown Denver, 5m from my office and sandwiched between an old, charming, way overpriced neighborhood and a brand new overpriced "urban development". The property values are climbing at a steady rate about 5% above surrounding neighborhoods so we feel like we made a great investment.
We entertain a lot and have learned to keep the size of the gatherings down in the cooler months. In the warm months the party moves outside.
The rooms are so tiny compared to "modern" standards but I think they are fine. I've even grown accustomed to the tiny closets and am much more mindful when I shop for clothes. I can't believe I once filled a 7ft closet to the brim with just my clothes...and had another chest of drawers full!!
We have 4br but the two in the basement don't have legal egress so we're going to add on a master suite and garage/workshop in about 3 years. I just couldn't sleep at night if either of the kids had their rooms down there. That will be about the time the kids are really needing separate rooms as ds will be 9 and dd will be 5. Now the rooms are used for an office and the other is a toyroom/guestroom. I LOVE having a separate toy room - LOVE IT! The laundry area is huge as is the amount of storage in the furnace room.
We also have a completely useless tiny attached garage. My van barely fits in it and so its just full of crap, oh and dh's tools - he's a carpenter. The plan is to expand the livingroom into that space and at the same time we'll open up the kitchen into that space.
We have an incredible yard which I wouldn't trade for anything. Even after the addition it will still be substantial. We're landscaping it all as we speak and its going to be such an amazing space!
I can't tell you how many times friends who live in mcmansions and even just bigger houses have walked in my house and just sighed then expressed their desire to downsize. I hate clutter so the house is comfy and clutter-free. For me, keeping the clutter down is essential to living in a small space, simply a requirement.