Monday, August 23, 2010

The Not So Big House

While sipping my coffee and watching CBS Sunday morning on this lazy Sunday I was excited to hear a snippet about a new book that was recently released.  "The Not So Big House" by Sara Susanka is another affirmation to those of us living in smaller homes that shares the value system of embracing the characteristics of creating home in whatever sized abode you find yourself in.

She shares many tips on remodeling, decorating and adjusting to the lifestyle of living in a smaller home.  My favorite part of the clip was her before and after shots of her own remodel.
"Before"
Photo Courtesy of The Not So Big House

"After"
Photo Courtesy of The Not So Big House

Sarah's home in North Carolina is her example of taking a "run of the mill" home with good bones and transforming it into a comfortable and personal abode.
"Before"
Photo Courtesy of The Not So Big House
"After"
Photo Courtesy of The Not So Big House
 Her "Not So Big Remodeling Tips" show how to implement remodeling concepts on a "Not So Big" budget.
 
"Before"
 Photo Courtesy of The Not So Big House
"After"
 Photo Courtesy of The Not So Big House
Her books talk about using less expensive options like the quartz composite product she used on her counter tops as an alternative to more expensive materials.  
 "Before"
Photo Courtesy of The Not So Big House
  "After"
Photo Courtesy of The Not So Big House
The "Not So Big" books focus on remaining in your home while the remodel is taking place.  A realistic alternative to many modern remodeling tips on the market today.  
 "Before"
Photo Courtesy of The Not So Big House
 "After"
Photo Courtesy of The Not So Big House
I enjoyed seeing Sarah replace her old stackable washer and dryer with larger, energy-efficient front loading appliances.  Many people assume stackables are always space savers.  While most times they are perfect for small spaces, here the new appliances allowed for a counter top above and an instant work surface.
   "Before"
Photo Courtesy of The Not So Big House
 "After"
Photo Courtesy of The Not So Big House

Sarah's informative approach to educating America about the New Urbanism in modern day urban planning is helping to spread the word about satisfying lifestyles in smaller homes.  I am looking forward to getting my hands on her newest book!

~Amber

7 comments:

Laurie said...

I love her books and her philosophy. I am always suggesting people pick up her books and take a look.

Laurie said...

This is one of these things that just irritates the heck out of me. How this woman can call her house "not so big" is beyond me. I'm sure my entire house would fit in her "not so big" family room. I dare her - double-dog dare her! - to come to MY house and make it liveable! LOL!

Carrie said...

Her "not so big house" looks pretty big to me too. I did get her older book from the library. She talks about putting more money into nice finishes, having alcoves and nooks because they feel more cozy. I like that idea.

joanie said...

I have to agree with Laurie's comments about the size of the house. It looks pretty big to me too. Maybe it's "only" 4,000 sq ft instead of being a 10,000 sq ft "mcmansion"--is that the comparison which leads to the description "not so big"?

Otherwise, I enjoy your blog.

june said...

Sara's books are very well done. I had the good fortune of visiting with her personally several years ago when she gave a talk about her first book. I have also toured a home during our Fall Parade of Homes here in the Twin Cities that followed her philosophy and concept ideas. Found it to be cold and hard lines. The only thing I took away that felt cozy was the cork floors - wouldn't mind trying those someday in my own home. I always think of smaller homes as having a sense of coziness and warmth as if you could tell a story about the people living in them when you walk in the door. That just didn't seem to be the case with her design style. At least not for my personal taste.

Genevieve Ferraro said...

Hi All,

What a great discussion about the Not So Big House! I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the book series. I really like Sarah's architectural ideas and philosophy. But I find her actual designs and interior settings to be cold and stark. The houses she calls small are also big, at least to my thinking. But I hear Susanka herself is delightful.

june said...

Genevieve,

You are right - she is one of the most delightful and energetic speakers I have ever listened to!
Very passionate about her designs.

june