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The Not So Big House: A Blueprint for the Way We Really Live Hardcover – October 1, 1998
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
Given the content of the other reviews, I have to be clear about the intentions of this book. It is not a book about building inexpensive houses. It is written by an architect, and architects are generally not consulted when price is the ultimate consideration. It is not a book of house plans, nor a how-to book on house design. It is a book about a design philosophy which considers the house as a place to live rather than as a monument to impress ones neighbors. The philosophy is not terribly original; why does it have to be? It is a return to basic principles of good design.
We began this project with a very clear idea of the style we wanted, and someone concerned with style alone might not recognize this book's influence on our home. On the other hand, anyone who compared our home to the starter castles on our block would see the difference immediately. Every room is comfortable and constructed on a human scale. I would recommend this book to anyone in the process of constructing a new home. If I had the money, I would send anonymous copies to a number of builders and designers in the area. This book deserves a wider reading.
"The Not So Big House" is an excellent book on efficient use of
space and attention to detail to achieve comfort from a house design. The graphics, layout, and text are all uniformly excellent. The book only disappoints at the end, where Susanka throws together too-brief treatments on solar design, environmental concerns, and ways you might save money on your "Not So Big House". You'll notice a pronounced emphasis on Craftsman-type design in the houses depicted -- lots of natural, exposed wood. There are lots of very useful ideas (including double-duty spaces, built-in storage near the point of use, an "away room", and acoustical privacy) that most architectural books present poorly or not at all.
"Creating the Not So Big House" is a good book, but in comparison to the first book it's rather a let-down. In the first book most photos were much larger and clearer; in this book some are too small to be very useful. Also, Susanka is not a professional writer, and could have used help here like she got from Kira Obolensky in "The Not So Big House". More architectural styles are represented in this book than in the original, but there aren't many new architectural ideas if you've read the first book (although spatial layering, and themes and variations are both new and useful concepts from this book).
Summary: This is a pretty good collection at a decent price. The first book is clearly superior to the second; however, the collection price makes it a reasonable bargain.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought this as a gift for one of my children who is thinking of buying a home. She said it gave her lots of great ideas for what she wants in a house, and more ideas for possible... Read morePublished 10 days ago by J Quinlan
Have read Sarah Susanka's books before, checked out from the library. We are now looking to build a home, and thought these tried-and-true yyet innovative books would be a perfect... Read morePublished 4 months ago by NYLutt
Very helpful when thinking abut remodeling the house we have brought to downsize to - - - - -Published 4 months ago by lavender lover
Bought this one for my contractor, too. I just find her books really inspiring.Published 4 months ago by hayseed
Excellent books. Content, quality, and photos are all very good. Susanka has a refreshing take on modern design and architecture.Published 7 months ago by Amy