I think I've finally settled on what makes our home so ideal to me. Granted, part of it is the literal blood, sweat, and tears that we've put into it; after all, when you have that personal of a relationship with your home, you can't help but have strong feelings for it (be it love or hate!). Part of it is also the satisfaction of bringing it out of the '80s and into the early years of the 20th century. But what I think I love most is the human scale of the house and how it encourages togetherness of its occupants. Nothing is imposing or designed to impress. Even in its disco dressings, the house was homey. Comforting, even. The bedrooms are big enough for a bed and bedroom furniture, that's it. It's not a separate wing of the house. The bathroom is just that, not a spa retreat. The dining room and living room flow together through a large doorway, allowing the space to be shared during large gatherings. The stairs are a focal point of design, but they're still simply designed to complement the room. Our lot (.5 acres) is large enough for kids to play and for outdoor parties, is nicely shaded, and encourages me to go out and play.
This an ideal house for our quest for simpler living, also. There's enough space for a garden that won't intrude on the landscaping (er, future landscaping...). I have enough room in the basement for our food storage, plus space to spare. The closets aren't massive and have helped me to pare down our junk to a more managable level. The scale of the rooms doesn't make me feel like I have to spend our yearly income just to furnish the place. No rooms are unused (except for the future nursery, but we're working on that!). It's big enough for our lifestyle and our needs.
Oddly enough, my interest in the Arts and Crafts movement helped me to start simplifying my life. I've always been interested in restoring old homes, thought about living somewhat self-sufficiently, and tried to avoid getting caught up in pop culture. Then came the Prairie Box, the Arts and Crafts movement, and voluntary simplicity. I still don't like to categorize my lifestyle, since it's more of a reflection of my values and beliefs than it is belonging to a group. But that's what people seem to call it, so I guess I'm trying to live a voluntarily simple life in my Arts and Crafts home.
And, oddly enough, my house was the catalyst for my lifestyle changes. I never would have thought one little house could teach me so much.