The suburbs are pretty far removed from our current lifestyle. We've been living small and tight for about 5 years. The contrast between our city digs and the suburbs was on my mind when we recently attended a Thanksgiving Wedding Celebration in Las Vegas.
The house we visited is palatial by many standards. It has five bedrooms, cathedral ceilings in two adjoining rooms downstairs, a huge great room. Outdoors is a patio, two side yards, perimeter gardens, a porch swing, picnic tables, pool and hot tub. Lots of outdoor space. Outdoor space for grilling, hanging out, swimming, gardening, eating, dogs and cats playing, and more hanging out. I've been so used to sharing my outdoor space with strangers, it was luxurious.
But this is far more than just a house and yard. It is a home, lived in and dedicated to friends and parties. A couple owns it, but they have roommates that share their lives, as well as their space. The space, indoors and outdoors, is designed to maximize activities with people.
The front door enters what could be a living room. Instead, it's a music studio: drum set, microphones, keyboards, guitars and an explosive sound system. Ok, and a couch. The next room in the open space might be used for dining, but in it lives a pool table with a ping pong conversion cover.
Through the pool room is an extensive working kitchen with a large table (seats 10 easily), and dinner service for 40. Two turkeys in the oven, crockpots with side dishes, more side dishes on the island, pies and cakes, oh my...
The sitting room adjoining the kitchen has a couch, coffee table, 2 love seats, an entertainment center, extensive bar cabinets and the double doors to the outdoors. It literally took 2 minutes to move the furniture to open up the floor for dancing after dinner.
It was beautiful weather, so the hot tub, the porch swing, the picnic tables were all full. Oh, and our daughter and new son-in-law got married on the raised area behind the pool.
Even the upstairs was used. There were multiple costume changes: turkey suits, bathing suits, bathrobes, a wedding dress replaced with jeans. The beds and floors and couches were full of sleeping people when the music finally faded.
Many people with big houses just fill them up with furniture, almost wasting the huge spaces they own. People have beautifully decorated rooms that they never go in. In contrast, every inch of this house was used for friends to relax, play, laugh, dance, eat, and make music.
It was a bit hard to come back to our tiny space. We have two barstools and two easy chairs, no outdoors. No room for much of a party, but at least we have the ukulele.