I'm frustrated with modern house construction.
Modern American houses were effectively designed hundreds of years ago by people in other countries with different tools, different requirements, and different constraints.* Land was cheap, material was expensive, labor was cheap, and everything had to be made by hand.
Just by rethinking some of those basic assumptions, we can start to make much better use of the space we have.
Steepled roofs are good for shedding water and snowfall, but in Southern California these things are just not concerns. Why not have a gently sloped, accessible roof with space for a garden, sunbathing, barbecuing, or stargazing? Land in California is amazingly expensive, even in the housing crunch, but when will we start using the space we have?
*Also people were shorter. What is the deal with 8 foot ceilings and 6 foot beds?