This paper identifies the interrelations between many factors that have contributed to transformations in household demography, house planning and home life during this century. These factors are discussed and illustrated in terms of a dual historical perspective. This approach shows that there is a growing discordance between housing policies and architectural practice, on the one hand, and socio-demographic and socio-psychological trends, on the other hand. In sum, it is appropriate to look back before looking to the future, if alternative strategies to correct the current situation can be formulated and applied successfully.