Watch The American Home Get Supersized Over 40 Years

The data set Edlund used for the animation doesn't capture everything. He points to now-standard luxuries like supersized kitchens with premium appliances and countertops, and bathrooms with double sinks, as trends lost in the spreadsheets of data. I’d add that you don’t see all the furniture filling those extra square feet, or the home theaters, either.

It’s a good example of how source data sets, no matter how deep or well researched, don’t often tell an entire story. And in this case, not only did we distend the average American home to the size of a small castle; we began decorating it like one, too.

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