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Little House on a Small Planet: Simple Homes, Cozy Retreats, and Energy Efficient Possibilities Paperback – Bargain Price, September 1, 2006
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"I cannot recommend this book highly enough. For anyone who has ever dreamed of getting off the mortgage rat race and creating not just a house, but a cozy nest that fits--this is the book! Every page is an inspiration, filled with real-life stories and lessons learned on creating better, more affordable, sustainable, and very personalized housing. There is something here that will fit nearly every lifestyle. For those who want to live in a better way: Read this book!"--Janet Luhrs, author of The Simple Living Guide and Simple Loving, and publisher of Simple Living Oasis
"Salomon offers the savviest plan I've read for figuring out what house you really need. . . . her questions have forced me to rethink so much." --Marta Salij, Detroit Free Press
From the Back Cover
Little House on a Small Planet is a guidebook and an invitation. With floor plans, photographs, advice, and anecdotes, this unique book asks and answers, What fills a home when the excess is cut away, and how do we get there from here?”
Discover how to
Build, remodel, redecorate, or just rethink your needs
Think, sometimes literally, outside the box
Live close and simple
Apply spiritual and social solutions to your material desires
Pockets of people all over the continent are realizing the benefits of scaling down. You, too, can build a joyful, sane life that emphasizes home life over home maintenance.
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This book also talks a lot about a low ecological footprint philosophy, but I wouldn't buy it for that. Many sweeping statements are indeed footnoted, but many others aren't. Some of the broad comments about the sociological benefits of living "small" don't quite sit with me, especially if it's touted as scientific research but not given a citation. Even with a citation I'm not fond of people saying that everyone should follow their way of life because some scientist said it was better.
That said, this book is full of wonderful ideas about how to build a comfortable, happy house that matches your own personality. I like how they emphasize that you should watch yourself and see what you like about certain houses, where you like to go, what you like to look at, what makes you comfortable. Then if you're lucky enough to get the chance to design your own house, you can build something that reflects you, not the Joneses. Something that makes you comfortable and happy. It's full of great design ideas. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in houses.
But I appreciate the imagination of the people featured in the book. If you have an interest in real-life examples of energy efficient living, this one's worth the purchase price.
The book covers many very large homes too. One very nice little home didn't have a bathroom in it's sketch, nor was it's absence accounted for in the text. The middle of the book has multiple pictures of rooms from various houses (some very large houses too), One caption indicates that housing the toilet/sink in a separate room from the tub, increases the usefulness of both rooms. That is hardly self evident and could use some explaining.
There are plenty of better books on the subject.