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Small and Chic: High Style for Small Spaces Paperback – July 15, 2008
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"This book is perfect for anyone moving into a tiny apartment. All urbanites have likely faced the challenge of living in a limited space, but there are many easy and smart solutions to your woes." ~Glam.com
“At 442 pages, it’s a thick one–in a good way. Its 600 illustrations of apartments, lofts and small house vibrate with great ideas.” ~MET Homes
About the Author
Bridget Vranckx has degrees from the University of Hull and the Universitat Pompeu Fabra of Barcelona. She lives in Barcelona and works as a writer and editor. Her previous books include Exhibit Design, Urban Furniture, and Show Design.
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Top Customer Reviews
If you are like 99% of the populace & you want good ideas on designing a functional home in a small space, you won't find much here.
I think a better title for this book would have been "Manufactured & Chic - Expensive Style for Average Sized Houses." The book was packed full of houses that were sugar coated with post-modern design, none of which felt anything like a real home suitable for living in year-round. Wood surfaces are usually painted a uniform white. The built-ins displayed here prioritize a seamless feeling, making the "feel" of the house top-priority which sacrifices functionality. The architects & houses displayed in this book don't use any renewable resources. Everything used to build these houses are manufactured & sold, there isn't anything affordable here.
The houses within this book are abominations upon society devoid of real value. Support for these types of architects who care more about how something looks than the functionality the home provides is part of what created a housing crisis in the United States. These houses don't feel like a home, they are simply made to look good to sell to people who wish they were in the 1%. When these poorly designed houses are built, it consumes real property, resources, and perpetuates the terrible design practices that make selling houses easier & living in the home more difficult. No wonder the United States is made up mostly of poorly designed, non-functional houses, it's all Americans are exposed to with media such as this.
I should note that the author primarily includes two types of dwellings in this book: Appartments designed by architects to look fancy, utilizing expensive appliances, expensive finishes & MDF cabinetry painted white. Is all the MDF used to save money? These appartments still would not be affordable, nor would the interior be reliably useful for a duration of time.
The second type of dwelling portrayed are the architect designed houses, which are all custom built & extremely expensive to build with the expensive materials, high-end appliances, top of the line finishes & seamless built ins. Since the cabinetry is seamless, it's all painted white, as if you walk up to the magic wall to get dressed in the morning. The storage spaces were designed to look uniform & seamless, with form over function. No doubt, there is some good use of storage space in these places, however there are much more efficient ways to utilize space inside your home that don't involve sacrificing funtionality.
So the book is made up of apartments designed to look luxury & feel more expensive than they really are, and houses designed by people who will never live in them for people who likely spend a few weeks of the year in one of the million dollar plus houses shown. I willl likely recycle this book, ending the circulation of at least one copy of an abysmal book perpetuating some of the practices that helped create the latest economic crisis. What a way to spend $30, only to have it end up in the recycle bin. Good thing I didn't utilize any information in this book, or I'd likely be in a much deeper hole.
If you want any books to help you design a functional house that still looks & feels like a real home, I found valuable information from the following books:
Homing Instinct - Using Your Lifestyle to Design & Build Your Home by John Connell
The Art of Natural Building 2nd Ed. by Kennedy, Smith, and Wanek, Editors
Building Green - A Complete How-To Guide To Alternative Building Methods by Clarke Snell & Tim Callahan
Tiny Homes Simple Shelter by Lloyd Khan
Tiny Homes on the Move by Lloyyd Khan
Micro Shelters by Derek "Deek" Diedricksen
Small Houses by Editors of Fine Homebuilding
Cabins & Cottages & Other Small Spacesby Editors of Fine Homebuilding
Building the Japanese House Today by Peggy Landers & Len Brackett
The Japanese House by Noboru Murata & Alexandra Black
Critical Thinking 9th Ed. by Moore & Parker