Medieval peasant homes were simple wooden huts, usually consisting of one room. All other rooms were technically known as “outside.” Slightly-better-off peasants lived in huts with two rooms. There were no panes of glass in the windows, no chimney, no chairs. Peasants slept on straw and they did not have pillows. Instead they rested their heads on wooden logs. People didn’t care about beds because they had no bedrooms to put them into. At night in summer and all day in winter the peasants shared their huts with their animals. Their body heat helped to keep the hut warm.
Sometime during the next six hundred years, people became grossed out at the idea of sharing sleeping space with livestock. This freed up a lot of living space for chairs and self-flushing urinals. Soon, people demanded closets, indoor plumbing, and “bonus” rooms.
When Target was invented, houses had to get bigger to keep up with all the stuff people began buying. The average size of a house in 1950 was little more than 1000 sq feet and contained one bathroom. Children of the same sex usually shared a bedroom. By 1970, average sq ft had gone to 1500 and by 2000, 2265 sq ft. Children had their own bedrooms and bathrooms.
Somewhere around 2005, the trend toward bigger homes began to wane, when people began to be influenced by boring considerations like tight credit, energy costs, and a belief that a home was an actual place to live and not a place in which to hold coronations. All that stopped in 2011, when the bigger-is-better mentality again took off. Last year, 40% of new homes built in 2011 had four or more bedrooms, 20% had three car garages and 8% of all children got lost in their own homes for periods of up to two weeks.
According to a new survey conducted by real estate website Trulia.com, 27% of Americans said their ideal home size is more than 2,600 square feet, an increase of 10 percentage points in just a year. The number of people who said their ideal house is 3,200 square feet or more also shot up, from 6% in 2011 to 11% this year. An additional 3% indicated their ideal home size was Buckingham Palace, confirmed by the British government releasing data on the number of Americans who have actually offered to buy Buckingham Palace and have it moved to Los Angeles County, CA.
While amenities in the average medieval home were confined to family members with the plague, livestock, and fleas, we now know that his-and-hers walk in closets, a media/theater room, a mud room, dual kitchens or one kitchen with dual ovens/refrigerators/freezers, an exercise room, a post-exercise room, a security room, more bathrooms than bedrooms, and a master suite the size of Canton, Ohio, are necessary in order to sustain life. Builders are also increasing the number of bonus rooms from one to three, since an increasing number of people have come to expect several bonuses. When asked what a bonus room was, most people offered to show off their self-flushing urinal. Others pointed to the master bedroom. One pulled out a photo of Buckingham Palace.