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PDF Not So Big House, The A Blueprint for the Way We Really Live

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Don't have an account? Your Web browser is not enabled for JavaScript. Some features of WorldCat will not be available. Create lists, bibliographies and reviews: or. Search WorldCat Find items in libraries near you. Advanced Search Find a Library. Your list has reached the maximum number of items. Please create a new list with a new name; move some items to a new or existing list; or delete some items. Your request to send this item has been completed.

APA 6th ed. Note: Citations are based on reference standards. However, formatting rules can vary widely between applications and fields of interest or study. The specific requirements or preferences of your reviewing publisher, classroom teacher, institution or organization should be applied. The E-mail Address es field is required. Please enter recipient e-mail address es. The E-mail Address es you entered is are not in a valid format. Please re-enter recipient e-mail address es. This book was written in response to the McMansion craze that continued to overtake the housing market since the 's.

In a McMansion sized world we focus more on quantity than quality. The author, an architect, shares numerous examples of clients who built a huge house with tons of space but with no personality. They spend on excessive square footage and huge ceilings. These are houses that are designed to be marketed and sold, not to actually be lived in. The Not So Big House is a book that This book was written in response to the McMansion craze that continued to overtake the housing market since the 's.

The Not So Big House is a book that counters this perspective by promoting houses be built for the individual needs of the resident with higher quality materials and more thoughtful design. It's an outdated book at this point in many ways, but still very much relevant at its core. I enjoyed flipping through it and seeing layout ideas for slightly smaller houses.

Particularly of interest was her description of creating spaces within spaces to make a house a home.

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Shelves: reading-challenge , home-renovation , home-making. The basic notion of dropping rooms you don't use e. And the idea of eliminating wasted space and building human scale rooms that incorporate storage and lighting where you need it is sound. Positioning windows to take advantage of views, and using high-quality materials to create beautiful and functional space are all ideas I can get behind.

But this isn't really a how-to book, it's mo The basic notion of dropping rooms you don't use e. But this isn't really a how-to book, it's more of an aspirational book with lots of lovely photos of beautiful houses. To build this kind of house, you still need an architect, and if you don't have buckets of money it may be difficult to keep your budget under control if they can't get behind you on that. I think I'll be going on a pinning campaign. A little dated, even with the 10th anniversary expansion, but not terribly so.

Lots of good ideas for creating a home that is more livable with less wasted space. Not so helpful for people who live in a house that they like, that may not include many of these features but there are Not So Big remodeling books for that if you have the cash to renovate. I liked the exercise to describe a A little dated, even with the 10th anniversary expansion, but not terribly so. I liked the exercise to describe all the functions of the house and detail where they take place to identify how spaces are used in reality like the laundry that is never folded in the laundry room but always taken somewhere else.

The author loves Frank Lloyd Wright a lot - but never once mentioned how many of his beautiful homes never worked for living because they leaked. That somewhat reduced her credibility in my eyes. Not sure what it says about my priorities but this book and at least some of its sequels happen to be near the top of mine. I ordered the book in after hearing Susanka interviewed on NPR.

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When it arrived, I glanced at it briefly and stashed it away in a bookcase. Soon afterwards, my husband and I left for a sabbatical in CA during which we spent much of our free time talking about retirement plans and touring houses on the hillsides of Oakland and Berkeley small of necessity due to historical, economic, and geological constraints, but exquisitely detailed.

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We also managed to live and work together comfortably in a sq-ft apartment, something I would never have thought possible. When we returned home in , I remembered the Susanka book and pulled it off the shelf. This time I read it thoroughly. The book had re-entered my life at just the right moment. We were then living in a 3-story home built in , with around 5 bedrooms depending on how you counted , a full basement, and enough space to absorb just about anything we could think of bringing into it.

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Parts of it had been beautifully remodeled by a previous owner, a process we had continued to our own satisfaction. But now, after reading Susanka and in the light of all those Bay Area house tours, I looked critically at our space and how we lived in it. We had a dedicated dining room, an eat-in kitchen, and a table on the patio. We had a family room, a living room, and a sunroom, all serving similar purposes.

We had a kitchen and, in the basement, a huge pantry. Some of these spaces we used on a daily basis, others only rarely. Based on our understanding of not-so-big, we created a pass-through that encouraged better and more differentiated use of the dining room and planted sun and shade gardens in the yard that encouraged better and more differentiated use of the patio.

Up till that point we were focused on improving our so-big space so that it worked better for us. Then, in , we committed to a plan to begin our 2-year phased retirement in and to remain in Michigan rather than make a major geographic change. My husband, who is very organized and conscientious, was looking carefully at his house maintenance responsibilities and wondering how much longer he wanted to teeter on ladders to clean the gutters and break up ice dams. Attached as I was to our beautiful home, I felt I had to listen to his concerns since he was the one who was up on the ladder.

So following the baby-boomer imperative, we decided to move to a much smaller condo, and to sharpen the contrast with our vacation cottage, we chose one in a more urban part of town.


  • The Methods of Distances in the Theory of Probability and Statistics.
  • The Not So Big House: A Blueprint for the Way We Really Live (Susanka).
  • Principles of Risk Management and Patient Safety!
  • New Jerusalem!

Moving into the condo was the true test of my belief in the principles of not-so-big. Luckily, I now knew how to use paint and furniture arrangements to suggest different areas of function. Absorbing not-so-big actually facilitated our transition to retirement because it freed up our thinking about how we wanted to live — together — in our physical space.

We designed our current spaces to please ourselves. For example, we figured out that having open storage saves lots of room no space-eating closet doors! I actively avoid buying more stuff than I can store and try with fair success to remember that if something comes in, something else will probably have to go out. Maybe these are things that other people are born knowing or figure out for themselves, but for us who had always lived in old houses and been wimpy even about knocking walls , it has truly been a liberal education.

Sep 03, Rebecca rated it liked it. A little bit dated but good food for thought, especially in terms of thinking about storage and the functionality of certain rooms. It's cute that square feet is defined as "not so big" when to me, since I grew up with four people in a square foot home before moving into a dorm room and a series of apartments, it seems plenty big.

Also, did this book document the dawn of the open-concept kitchen movement?

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If so then I know who to blame because I really hate that, even though apparently A little bit dated but good food for thought, especially in terms of thinking about storage and the functionality of certain rooms. If so then I know who to blame because I really hate that, even though apparently I'm the only one.

Feb 01, Cat rated it really liked it Shelves: architecture-and-academia.


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  4. I especially enjoyed the extra chapter in the 10th anniversary edition, and the last part of the book that looks towards the future of home building. Sep 03, Brian Rogers rated it it was amazing Shelves: architecture. The housing bust hopefully put paid to some of the excesses Susanka was fighting against in her original manifesto, but this document remains vital as a blueprint of how to build or change your house to suit you and not the paid by the square foot builders of the social mores of years ago.

    The photography is beautiful and the advice is top notch.

    Jul 23, Elizabeth Ruth rated it it was ok. Enjoyable, got tedious because sooooo self-righteous. Would have been nice to hear about these concepts for those of us who can't afford an architect. But pretty pictures, some learning about design. Needed more pictures and explanations of their "why" and less tedious copy about the virtues of being Not So Big. Jan 22, Cait rated it it was ok. Are you aware that an architect can help you design spaces that you use? Also: if you use a room for more than one thing, then you need fewer rooms! I don't know, maybe in the 90s when this was published these were revolutionary ideas, but meh.

    Sep 15, Katherine rated it it was ok Shelves: nonfiction. I hope the author is loving the current "little home" phenomenon. Jul 30, Sarah rated it really liked it Shelves: nonfiction. A classic book on designing useable spaces. I wish it had more visuals that actually explained different implementations of the concepts as well as non-examples. The framing of the open concept and the away room is good.

    Aug 05, Cindi P. I enjoyed this book, visiting many well designed homes and reading the design thoughts behind them. The pictures are excellent. I started reading it years ago. I do not recall when I started, but the good news is I finished it! Jul 10, Lauren rated it really liked it Shelves: architecture-design. Perused in an hour. Excellent resource for homeowners and good resource for conversations with clients. The pictures are interesting.

    Hooksett, NH Several years ago, I collaborated with my friend and fellow architect, Tina Govan, to design a house here in North Carolina, on a truly spectacular lakefront property, with panoramic views of the water and mountains beyond. The couple for whom we designed the house wanted a place that would work…. Not So Big House A blueprint for the way we really live.

    What makes a house Not So Big? Learn More. See all principles. Home Professionals Directory Sarah is pleased to provide a searchable directory of home professionals who embrace the philosophy of designing and building Not So Big. Homeowners Looking for a professional to help you design, build, or remodel your home?