What people don’t tell you about living in a small house:
1. If it’s really a small(ish) house, you have maybe taken one approach of reducing hallways for the most part. That’s great! But it also has (at least) two side-effects. Cases where this wasted space is handy:
1a. Loops due to extra rooms or hallways that serve no real purpose. Kids LOVE LOVE LOVE running around in loops. Go outside you say? fine. But small inside loops are tons of fun.
1b. OK, so no hallway means that your kids are maybe playing on the floor immediately next to that closed basement door you are about to open.
Or front door. Or might be a bathroom if you have built a bathroom really small too (or live in Europe) and so have a bathroom door which opens
outwards. Look out! This morning I pretty carefully opened the basement door (my office is in the basement) but still managed to scrape up my two-year-old’s hand who was for some reason right by the door rolling around.
OK, I guess I am stopping at #1. That’s all I wanted to say right now. Oh, I will just add that it seems to me like a perfect compromise of small and open but a little bit of hallway is the American split-level ranch (the kind where you enter at mid-floor and go up a half flight to the 1st floor and down half flight to the basement, which is actually only half buried. Pretty ideal layout except for the lack of a mudroom by the front door. And maybe building a 2 floor home on slab is cheaper and more environmental, but I think the ranch may be the winner in not seeming so big… massing ala “The Face of Home” by Jeremiah Eck and “The Not So Big House” by Sarah Susanka. Good split/ranch upgrade ideas from a free PDF from Robert Gerloff. Go get it!