Sunday, July 3, 2011

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

The Not So Big House: A Blueprint for the Way We Really LiveThe Not So Big House: A Blueprint for the Way We Really Live by Sarah Susanka

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Until a friend loaned me this book, I'd never heard of Sarah Susanka or her Not So Big House movement. Now, it seems like I'm hearing and reading her name mentioned everywhere, and for good reason. She advocates home design that is functional and beautiful and human-sized, based on how we really live and what we really need our homes to provide for us. The opposite of the McMansion, in other words. And wow, do I ever wish I could live in a home she designed for me! The photos in this book make me long to dive right in, they are so welcoming and cozy.

The intended audience for this particular book is really those who are planning to build or substantially remodel homes, which I am not. But the great thing is that there are so many photos and such clear descriptions of the goals of the design and the ideals behind the floor plans and detail work, that I think I will be able to incorporate some of the philosophies into my already-built home. And I will definitely be checking out more of her books to see what else she has to say!

I also love that Susanka emphasizes good design going hand in hand with environmentally friendly design--as in the two are inextricably linked. Part of the philosophy of the Not So Big House is to put less of a burden on our planet, both in building and in ongoing expenses (i.e. energy efficiencies). I really appreciate that she sees eco-friendly choices not as luxuries but as necessities. And I am grateful that someone out there is fighting back against the scourge of soul-less "house farms" that have exploded on the scene in recent decades. People would be much happier and less stressed if their houses really did rise up to welcome them home every day instead of causing them unconscious psychological pain. So thanks, Sarah Susanka!!

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