Monday, September 27, 2010


I have a favorite non-fiction author, Sarah Susanka, who is an architect.  She developed  the "Not So Big House" concept a number of years ago and has written a series of The Not So Big House books about it. She calls it "a Blueprint for the Way We Really Live" and it makes so much sense. If you are remodelling or planning to build a house, you owe it to yourself to check it out.  I believe with the change in the economy, the uncertainty of the world today, and the Green movement, her designs are especially relevant. She challenges the McMansion style of the last 20 years with all the wasted space and non-functioning space within them. Oftentimes there are rooms never or rarely used and the design keeps the family physically apart instead of together. Mark and I definitely wanted a smaller house for the two of us in retirement and our cottage is perfect - it is small and lives very well. It also fits in with some of her concepts and I love the coziness & functionality. I hope more builders come around to this concept in the future. 

Sarah also wrote a wonderful book called The Not So Big Life - making room for what really matters. Another of my favorite non-fiction authors, Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul, said about her book, "This not so big book will help you find your human scale and a life that suits you. It's practical, inspiring, and brilliantly conceived."  I couldn't agree more. I hope you look into them; at least browse through them the next time you are in a book store or check out her website at: or

The Not So Big House Collection: The Not So Big House and Creating the Not So Big House

More Not So Big Solutions for Your Home

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's funny that you post this because the size of my basement apartment comes up in conversation often. It's a tiny place, half the size of my previous apartment that I shared with a roommate. The space I actually personally utilized was the size of my new apartment. Yes, I would love a larger bedroom and room for a bigger dining room table for dinner entertainment, but otherwise, I don't know what I would do with any more space. I'm trying to get my landlord to enhance the livable space by doing some more built-ins. When Income Property updated this unit a few years ago, they set him in the right direction but didn't really put all the finishing touches in that they could, like a built-in dresser in the alcove in the bedroom. I agree with the idea that people overbuild and need to be reprogrammed that the larger the house does not equal the size of their success. *Now, one day when I move into a cold, old, drafty castle in Europe, please do not remind me of this comment. ;)