Almost any large room will seem like a great space for entertaining, if the party occurs at night and the place is jammed with people. But the same space in the cold hard light of day can be a different proposition altogether, and that's what you will live with on a daily basis, said Michael Sloan, an architect in Millbrook, N.Y., an area where many people from New York City have weekend houses and frequently entertain in them. Without a big budget, Sloan said, "you will be in a big, bland, vanilla box." Even worse, he adds, homeowners who have the big spaces complain of their impracticality. The space is hard to clean–who has the equipment to get dust bunnies off a 16-foot-high ceiling, for example? The big party spaces are hard to furnish because you need oversized everything. W...
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