Revealed: the 5 problems owners of small homes struggle with most

Millions of Brits feel they are stuck in a home which is ‘too small’ for their needs

More than ever homeowners feel stuck in homes that are too small for their needs, presenting them with problems they feel they can't solve in the space on offer.

A poll of 2,000 adults who own or rent a property found almost half yearn to move to a larger home. With more than a third considering their current abode to be too small.

A sixth of those surveyed, via OnePoll, said they'd ‘compromised’ on both the quality and location of their home for the sake of size.

With a staggering 43 per cent claiming they haven’t ‘settled’ into their current abode because they know they want to move somewhere bigger in the future.

Space saving ideas: Storage solutions for small spaces – 16 brilliant ideas to store more

Commissioned to discover how smaller homes are changing the way we live, the study found the kitchen is the room most likely to be considered inadequate in size. Followed by the bathroom and master bedroom.

More than a quarter would also like a more spacious bathroom, a garden and more storage space.

The 5 biggest problems of small homes

kitchen room with wooden table having flower in vase

(Image credit: Colin Poole)

1. Families don't fit around the table

One in six households can’t fit their family around the kitchen table and a fifth don’t even own a table to sit around.

As a result, a bigger kitchen is the top priority for 47 per cent of homeowners and renters with more than one third wanting an extra bedroom and three in 10 looking for larger bedrooms.

2. Only small sofas are allowed

Due to size small sofas are the only option as larger sofas don't fit. An eighth of those survey revealed their sofa isn’t big enough to sit everyone in the house comfortably.

One third believe they are missing out on hosting friends and family as a result of this.

bedroom with white wall and white bed with pillows

(Image credit: Douglas Gibb)

3. Sharing bedrooms is the only way

It also emerged children are sharing a bedroom with a sibling in one in 10 households. While more than an eighth of Londoners sleep in the same bedroom as friends or family members.

4. There's no room for families to grow

But as well as 30 per cent feeling they don’t have enough space to have children, a quarter of those who do already have kids worry they are growing too fast for the size of their home.

5. General happiness and wellbeing is at risk

Over half worry the size of their home is negatively impacting their mental wellbeing.

'It’s interesting to see from the results how the reduction in home size is affecting the way we use space,' says Charlie Harrison from Furniture Village. 'That’s where space-saving furniture and clever design can help.'

Related: This DIY IKEA bed is a genius solution for small box bedrooms

Going on to suggest ways to help, 'From extendable dining tables to ottoman beds and sofas with in-built storage – all aimed at doing their bit to help tidy away any unnecessary clutter.'

'We’re confident we’ll continue to see compact and dual-purpose furniture trends such as love seat sofas, floating shelves, extendable dining tables and clever storage grow, as they’re all great ways of maximising the space you do have'.


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.