The world of property has changed significantly over the last 90 years. While owner occupation has now become the desired position, for the first half of the century this was not the case. Tenancies in all forms were the norm, from local authority properties, to tied cottages for workers. Owner occupation was for many, a mere dream. Many of these let properties were small, of poor quality and poorly maintained. It was really only with the introduction of the "Right to Buy" legislation that owner occupation became as prominent as it is today.
In many cities in Scotland stone tenements dominated housing and the vast majority of these were one or two bedroomed properties in which whole families were raised and were actually very small. While there may have been a "green", this was for drying clothes and the children happily played in the street.
It wasn't until the 1920's and 30's where larger family homes on the now ubiquitous British cul-de-sac were built in mass numbers, significantly skewing the average property size. Moving on to post World War II, the pre-fabricated house was introduced and once again we were back to seeing much smaller properties, usually with no more than three bedrooms.
In relation to storage, the reality is people currently own a lot more than they did in the 1920s, and even vacuum cleaners were considered a real luxury item up until the late 1940's. Fridges, freezers and washing machines are all additions to our living essentials and these take up a significant amount of floor space.
It's also important to look at how our lifestyles have changed. In the 1920s, the average child probably had the whole of the neighbourhood to play in and either walked or cycled everywhere - children were less likely to be constantly underfoot. Today, the furthest many children walk is from the house to the car and most have very little freedom outside their home boundaries without adult supervision. TV and electronic games dominate while street games like "hop scotch" and skipping are unheard of.
We should also look at the make up of the average family and property owners. Recent statistics suggest that the number of single occupants is at its highest level ever and the level of divorce and separation of families cannot be ignored so there is on average, a smaller number of people living in houses across the UK. This is housing that used to perhaps contain a family of six or seven and now has a family of four or even less.
Overall, if you look at all available housing, the past 90 years has seen very little change in floor space. What has changed is the amount of "stuff" we own, the size of our families and the amount of time we spend in our houses. But, as always, we could all do with a bit more space!