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Small Bedrooms And Bathrooms Be Gone: Appreciating The Big Things About Upsizing

By Rachel Wallace

I would call my most recent house too indecently small for rabbits to warren in, except that it would not leave me room to adequately describe how crushingly claustrophobic the one before that was.

It would not be quite accurate to say that the lack of enough space to even own a cat, let alone swing one, never bothered me, but it would be fair to say that I vigorously pretended it did not.

So much space you can swing a cat. Photo: Yvonne Qumi

Living in a house where the main bedroom was so small that I had to fully open the door to get around my bed – the corners of which I rammed into so many times that I now have the shins, and swearing habits, of a professional ice-hockey player – was worth it, I would regularly declare, to live in such a great suburb with so much at my very small doorstep.

In some ways, we were lucky, because we did at least have a kind of bonsai version of a garden at our last house/cottage, but what I now realise is that the walls around that green patch were so close and high that I had forgotten what it feels like to be able to see the whole sky from your back door.

Now, just one of the reasons my new neighbours are surely concerned for my sanity is that I can often be found staring up at the sky from what is very definitely an actual backyard and giggling to myself.

The laughing becomes more maniacal at times as I run from the back fence to the house and back, sometimes counting aloud how many steps this takes.

Fortunately, the neighbours can’t see what I get up to inside, because it’s much worse. I recently found myself spinning around the kitchen like Julie Andrews at the start of The Sound of Music.

‘I recently found myself spinning around the kitchen like Julie Andrews at the start of The Sound of Music’. Photo: PeopleImages

Our old bathroom – and we had just a half-sized one, for four people – made my wife angry on a twice-daily basis for several years, which is genuinely not even an exaggeration, for once.

In the past few weeks, my partner and I have been known to waltz around our new en suite (what a fabulously refined term that is, come to think of it), and even occasionally to lie on the tiles, worshipping the underfloor heating.

My children, who seem to suffer from chronic cases of ingratitude, don’t seem nearly excited about having their own bathroom, nor even their bedrooms, which have doubled in size, and they keep whining about missing their friends and old haunts, but fortunately, our rooms are now so far apart I can’t hear them.

Speaking of angsty teen behaviour, I fear that I might become one again because I’m so enamoured of our new bedroom – which offers up acres of floor space I genuinely have no idea what to do with it – that I tend to stay in there for long periods. There’s even what might sound like some emo-style weeping going on.

But, trust me, they are tears of joy.

Yes, it has cost us enough arms and legs to build a Hindu goddess, and it might cost me some of my sanity once traffic returns to normal and I realise how far I’m going to have to commute from out here in the ‘burbs, but at this stage, I’d have to say if the choice is between going big or going home, I recommend doing both.


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