What stresses you out everyday? If you were designing a new house, what would you change to alleviate this? These questions were posed during a roundtable discussion last month with the designers and staff of Design Basics, one of the nation's largest home-planning services. The responses were instructive. House size did not seem to make life more or less stressful. Nor did the presence or absence of various features, appliances or finishes. The designers and staff said that in their own lives and in the comments and complaints they receive from homeowners and home builders, the biggest stress inducer was inadequate storage. Our houses have gotten larger, but so has the number of our possessions, and the amount of storage in most new houses has not kept pace. The need for storage was not simply having a place to put everything, however. It was perceived as a way to bring a calming sense of order to households that are constantly coping with the external pressures of contemporary lif...
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