Creating the not so big house : insights and ideas for the new American home /

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Main Author: Susanka, Sarah.
Format: Book
Published:Newtown, CT : Taunton Press, c2001.
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Review by Booklist Review

Architect Susanka has big ideas about small home design. Her 1998 bestseller, The Not So Big House, showcased examples of excellent designs in small houses. Her new book continues to promote well-designed, efficient, interesting modest-size homes. Reacting to the American trend to build "starter castles" on small lots, Susanka proposes that these same homeowners would actually be happier in fully functioning small homes. Her basic philosophy seems to be: 1) recognize that the kitchen is the heart of the modern American home, so don't isolate it behind a wall; 2) do away with the unused formal spaces so often seen in homes; 3) use the money instead for especially useful or beautiful details: built-in furniture, interior columns used to define spaces, interesting lighting, materials, and decorating. To illustrate these principles, Susanka includes 25 delightful examples of houses designed by architects from around the country. Each example features gorgeous photographs and Susanka's simple, readable prose. For small families, confirmed singles, and retirees, this book offers expert ideas on finding or creating the right-size home sweet home. --James Klise

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review

Susanka's very successful The Not-So-Big House (LJ 9/15/98) nimbly capitalized on the 1990s small-is-beautiful wave that touted voluntary simplicity, downsizing, and contentment with one's lot in life (especially if that lot includes an average, middle-class house in the suburbs). This follow-up features 25 new and redesigned homes thought to embody "not-so-big" principles such as shelter around activity, double-duty rooms, interior and diagonal views, variety of ceiling heights, importance of personal space, and so on. The book's design allows readers to flip through looking for ideas about trendy house typesDPueblo-style, the old farmhouse, Shaker cottage, shingle-style, Fifties retro. Simple house plans and carefully constructed photos of well-appointed space abound. The writing is unchallenging, nontechnical, sunny, even cozy. Couples and architects are referred to by given names (Barry and Susan, Sally and Gary), and each episode follows a rather numbing, prosaic patternDunhappiness with present quarters, lifestyle examination, and problem-solving (unfortunately without expenses listed), concluding with "not-so-big" bliss. While the first book is not required prior reading, this is best recommended for libraries where the first book proved popular.DRussell T. Clement, Northwestern Univ. Lib., Evanston, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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