These days our house seems really small. There are a few factors. We're (yay!) taking the week off from our regular out-of-home commitments, so we're here a lot more than usual. Erin is not at school during the day. She's inside the house, rather than lingering in her cabin, because the temperatures are so frigid. We've got a Christmas tree taking up a not-insignificant portion of the living room. We've got the "sleeping part" of the house cool and closed-off during the day because it's hard for the wood stove to keep up and it's nice to contain the heat to the "living part" of the house. And it's partly that we're now sharing our home (even, I confess, our couch) with a dog.
It's full full full in here. Not just on the floor and the furniture. We've got stuff hanging on all the walls and ledges and shelves, and the ceiling is serving various functions as well. The photo from our living room is illustrative. I've cleared a swath on the mantle where I can set bread dough to rise. Beneath the mantle the mittens and gloves hang drying. Beside the woodstove hang the jackets and snowpants. Above the hearth the laundry is drying. In front of that is the exercise zone, with the gym rings. Below all this, not visible in the photo ... winter boots drying, folding chairs and small stools (since our family size exceeds our available permanent seating), violin cases, bookshelves and more bookshelves, the Christmas tree, a small couch and a couple of proper chairs, the woodstove and hearth, the TV and stereo ... and a tiny bit of open floor. And behind the camera, more up-in-the-rafters clutter -- another laundry rack, a chin-up bar, the stereo speakers.
To give you an idea of scale, that lighter wood to which the gym rings are attached is in the exact centre of the room. It's not a big space.
I have a friend who used to facetiously say "if I want to enjoy clean, uncluttered space in my home I can always lie on the floor and stare at the ceiling." Ha ha. But that wouldn't work here.
But I do like living in a space that's just big enough. At least most of the time.
(Still hoping for that cathedral for our music studio, though.)