I don’t believe a house has to be huge, or even all that large, to fulfill all the needs of a client. When I design a house, I am always thinking of ways that rooms and spaces can do double duty, thus eliminating unnecessary square footage, which is expensive to build, maintain and heat!
When I design a three bedroom home, the third room can either be a bedroom, office or den. Our current spec house has that third room separated by a 6' wide “barn door” from the great room. This is space that can be part of that great room or easily divided off. A murphy bed is ideal in a space like that to easily convert it into a bedroom if needed.
If I put a mudroom in a house, it can also house the laundry, and have extra storage for out of season clothing, junk, or anything else the client may want to store but have easily accessible. If I design a smaller house without a mudroom, the main entrance has ample storage to hide dirty and unsightly boots, skis, hats and mitts, and also has the entrance from the garage going into it, keeping all the outdoor mud and dirt in one area, for easy clean up.
The master bedroom needs to be a decent size with a good amount of closet space but I don’t think it needs to be HUGE. If the house has a lovely main great room with a nice view, clients don’t need a sitting area in the master bedroom; that’s not going to be where they chose to sit and relax.
Kitchens can be efficient and have lots of storage without a ridiculous amount of square footage; no one wants to walk miles just to get dinner on the table! Great rooms, as long as there is smart well laid out space for kitchen, eating and lounging, don’t need to be massive either. The trick is to make sure the house works for the uses and users of the space.