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Creating the Not So Big House: Insights and Ideas for the New American Home (Susanka) Hardcover – October 1, 2000
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Her ideas for interior as well as exterior views, airy stairways, diagonal views, and framed openings translate well in an array of different houses appropriate to childless couples and large families, as well as hot climes in Texas and cooler regions in Vermont. There are traditional designs to fit in with Massachusetts styling and contemporary designs to adapt to California cliffs, and they range from country spaces to suburban homes to city apartments.
Susanka selected house plans that are available for sale, because her purpose is to make affordable quality housing accessible to the general public, but they're also presented as catalysts for your own designs, because the house that worked for one person might inspire the plan that would work best for you. Whether you're in the market for a new house, want pragmatic renovation ideas, or are interested in the concept of space-saving abodes from a city-planning, philosophical perspective, Susanka's book is an eye-opener and a mind-expander, providing conceptual and practical tools to assist you in planning your own livable home. --Stephanie Gold
From Library Journal
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
I also found this book far less irritating than the first, and therefore more useful, in no small part because some of her hard -- and alienating -- positions have been considerably softened. No longer does she claim that dining rooms are obsolete because "nobody uses them" (I do). She seems much more willing to accept that there are lots of different lifestyles out there, and a house should be built to work with the lifestyle of its owners.
If you are in the planning phases for a new house, or are just looking for ideas on how to make your current house more liveable, this is an excellent resource. In fact, I would suggest that you skip the first book altogether.
". as a rule of thumb, a Not So Big House is approximately a third smaller than your original goal but about the same price as your original budget. The magic is that although the house is smaller in square footage, it actually feels bigger. I'm not advocating that people live in small houses and get used to feeling cramped. A Not So Big House feels more spacious than many of its oversized neighbors because it is space with substance, all of it in use every day."
In summary, this is not a way to save money, but a way to use the existing budget more effectively. The money saved on square footage is invested in the little things that make a house a home: built i!n bookcases, storage solutions, clutter areas, reading nooks, and other architectural features which most designers omit.
In principal, there is no reason these ideas could not be applied to any style and to any budget. Susanka unwittingly raised the first question in her original book, when many critics complained of the sameness of design. She answers it here. The bulk of the work is a survey of 25 projects of other architects from around the country. Because so many designers are represented, we see a much greater variety of styles in this book.
If there is a common thread among these projects, it is the use of partial walls, which divide spaces while keeping sight lines open. Rooms are constructed on a modest scale, but seem larger because of the design.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is pretty good as long as you combine it with other ones I use this when remodeling a bungalow from the 1920s many of these books that are helpful you can get at the... Read morePublished 29 days ago by puppy9
If you consider 3,000+ sf "not so big," then this might be a good fit for you. If you think 400-900 sf is "not so big," don't bother. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Mary M.
This entire series has the distinguishing quality of opting for quality over quantity, a keyword in the McMansion building that seems to have followed in the footsteps of Supersize... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Sebastian Book
My 3rd selection in the "Not So Big" collection - just great for us as we plan to build soon. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Wild Bill's Gal
If you are looking for a small house book, this isn't it. It is more about architecture and less about small size. It will help with making good use of space, however.Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
The day of the McMansion is going. This book fuels dreams and helps plan if one is remodeling a mid-century or older house, or building new. Good ideas, lovely pictures.Published 10 months ago by Anna M. Haskell
I used this book for ideas when I designed and then built our own house. I loved this book. The pictures alone make it worth the price. And I agree with her thesis . . . Read morePublished 12 months ago by JD