The old ideal for a room was the largest, "squarest" room possible for every use - for a family room, bedroom, or kitchen. Changed conditions of living and the increased cost of labor and building material have reduced the size of the modern house. According to the varied nature of their use, it is evident that rooms should vary in size and in shape.


The living-room for the family should be the largest room in the house, since it serves a greater variety of purposes and a larger number of persons than any other room. The restful effect of an appearance of ample space is one of its charms. Sacrifice of spaciousness in other parts of the house may well be made in order to provide a spacious living-room. The actual size for a living-room is a matter allowing great variation, but rooms varying from 14 to 16 feet in width and from 18 to 24 feet in length suggest good sizes.


The dining-room is also a gathering place for all the members of the family. It, however, has but one center and serves only one function. It may, therefore, well be considerably smaller than the living-room. For the comfortable serving of the meals, at least three feet should be allowed between the edge of the table and the sideboard or any other furniture in the room.


The kitchen should be small and compact in arrangement and should not contain a foot of unnecessary space. A good size for a kitchen in which the work is done by one person is estimated to be from 100 to 150 square feet of space (page 102).


The bedroom of the modern house may be relatively small because the convenience of built-in closets, of lighter types of furniture, and of bathrooms makes a large size unnecessary. In a bedroom, after sufficient space has been allowed for purposes of ventilation, sleeping, dressing, and storage of clothes, convenience is better served by compactness than by size.


Halls are used to give direct access to all parts of the house. After this purpose has been accomplished, space may appropriately be economized here in a home of moderate size.