The small-house question: why is furniture that saves space so enormous?

Rob is making good progress on our DIY storage bed.

When I ventured down to his workspace in the basement the other day to see how it was coming, he showed me how he's making it in pieces. That way, it can be assembled in place. It will be too big to carry up the stairs whole.

This concepts leads me to wonder about what seems to be the paradox of small-house living: why does the furniture that saves the most space tend to be so enormous?

I give you the shell of our storage bed, which I have to climb through to get from one end of the basement to the other:

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I have more examples, too. This paradox fits with our DIY Murphy bed, which totally transformed our spare bedroom. It also had to be assembled in place. Rob and I moved it when I refinished the floor in the spare room last year, and it was a huge pain. And I mean that literally:

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And then there's the dog-crate end table. Yes, it does double-duty, and it replaced the enormous crate in our bedroom. But it's still really large.

(Sweet fact: When Milou started having back problems, he'd go and hide in the bedroom in the spot where his old crate was located. We put down a dog bed, and he spends a lot of time snoozing there these days.)

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Maybe this is more of an issue of personal taste. Because, after all, even our furniture that doesn't save us a bunch of space is fairly big. Some examples: our cool retro file cabinet, the vertical file Rob turned into a chest of drawers and even our fireplace headboard.

Has anyone else encountered this issue, of having space-saving furniture that's really large?

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rsp wrote on June 11, 2013 at 2:06 pm

People have gotten bigger so furniture in general is bigger. The largest bed you could find was a full size, and dressers really would be considered small by today's standards. On the other hand, people didn't have as many clothes or possesions so small houses and furniture fit the lifestyle. People didn't have time for the things we do today. 

Meg Dickinson wrote on June 11, 2013 at 2:06 pm
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Those are all really good points! I've also noticed that my new Fiesta dishes are larger than a couple of vintage (non-Fiesta) dishes I have, as well.