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A Little House of My Own: 47 Grand Designs for 47 Tiny Houses Hardcover – October 2, 2000
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From the Inside Flap
It seems to me that one of the great thrills in life is to inhabit a building that one has built oneself. -LESTER WALKER, from the Introduction
A little house of my own is an invitation to dream, and, perhaps, to build any one of 47 charming, tiny houses. Both playful tribute and handy how-to, it's a wonderfully illustrated collection that offers an insider's look at this unique art-form through color photographs, scale drawings and careful discussion. Whether you're a student of philosophy aspiring to build a replica of Thoreau's cabin at Walden Pond, and ice fisherman in need of four walls to fend off the winter winds, or just a dreamer with visions of a humble cottage on a quiet seashore, a little house of my own is a precious resource for ideas, instruction and inspiration.
The little house has long been a symbol of ingenuity and economy in America, where some of the first houses were tiny ones. This charming volume features historic homes dating back to the first settlers, along
With the abodes of famous figures like Thomas Jefferson's honeymoon cottage, shanties built for refugees from the San Francisco Earthquake, and more recent constructions with solar power and all the modern (though miniscule) amenities. There are simple cabins for wilderness living; tiny homes to be pushed, pulled or floated; and cozy shelters to inspire your poetic muse. Each of the forty-seven examples comes complete with a three-dimensional design schematic that includes floor plans, furniture layouts, construction sequences and measurement specifications-each instructional is an inexpensive solution is an inexpensive solution to building a small dwelling in just a few weeks (or, in some cases, a few hours). And best of all, these diminutive dwellings are so small (none more than 325-square feet), just about anyone can pick up a hammer and start their home-or home-away-from home-right away.
The houses rang in location from the Catskills to Caribbean, and photographs and illustrations are included along with a discussion of how geography, religion, race, politics and climate have contributed to the design of these sometimes utilitarian, often eccentric homes. A little house of my own transports you to seventeenth-century-New England and back again to explore the origins of these homes, their builders and their occupants as award-winning architect Lester Walker digs deep to provide fascinating and whimsical bits that will enhance your appreciation of each home.
With a thorough bibliography of other resources and material suppliers, and an appendix discussing the nuts and bolts of making each home functional, a little house of my own is the ideal reference for architects and art enthusiasts, for would-be builders and can-do craftsmen, or for anyone who has ever been inspired by the dream of building their own home.
From the Back Cover
Wonderfully illustrated with hundreds of photographs and scale drawings, a little house of my own is an exploration of a unique and eccentric fascination: the tiny home. Featuring Henry David Thoreau's Cabin at Walden, the Fredericksburg Sunday House, George Bernard Shaw's rotating Writing Hut, the Cape Cod Dune Shack and many more, it's a charming collection for anyone who's ever wanted to get away from it all-and still have it all under one roof.
"Part history, part fantasy, part builder's guide, this engaging book reflects our continuing fascination with smallness and miniaturization." -WITOLD RYBCZYNSKI, author of Home
Top customer reviews
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The author's selections of experimental small houses take us "inside" the architect's profession to show readers how one uses cutting edge materials or meets special housing needs. Unfortunately, these projects usually only exist as cut-out models and they are not as compelling as the built forms that have stood the test of time in so many of our communities. My conclusion: this is a book I have read and reread with great interest...and I bet you will, too.
That being said, this book was not what I was looking for at all.
Firstly, the book being named A Little House of My Own: 47 Grand Designs for 47 Tiny Houses leads me to believe that it is about little/tiny houses. While there are some ideas for little/tiny houses, they are few and far between. Many of the pages are taken up by small structures/shelters. Like an enclosed table, shack, or even an outhouse. While these are structures, they are not a house in any description.
Second, much of the pictures/diagrams are wasted in my opinion. Ok the book very much has that coffee table book, large print, and lots of white space on a page (lets say 30-40% of page blank). Then there is (usually) 1 picture of the structure, and drawings and diagrams. I really wished they would emphasize more on the pictures as it is hard to get a feel for what these things are in cases. One of the main diagram styles is almost that of origami, with the walls just folding out, but is just blank walls. While this diagram style does give the form of the structure, it is a REALLY round-a-bout way to get there. Additional photographs would have helped so much more than most of these diagrams.
Overall, this book is just not that great and misleading. If you are looking for more Tiny Houses in the real sense, look to Lloyd Kahn's "Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter" as this gives a great jumping off point to many different ideas of the tiny home.
The author clearly states that the book provides little in the way of specific construction methods for small homes or floor plans. The floor plans could have been at least double the size that they are. There is too much white space on the pages with the floor plans. I almost needed a magnifying glass to read the notes on the floor plans.
There are lots of pictures from the outside of the homes - perhaps drive-by pictures. There are very little pictures on the inside of the homes. The efficient use of less space could have been better addressed with pictures and sketches.
The bottom line: If you want a nice looking book with an interesting topic, buy it. If you want substance, look somewhere else.