Small Strawbale: Natural Homes, Projects & Designs

Small Strawbale: Natural Homes, Projects & DesignsAuthors: Athena & Bill Steen and Wayne Bingham

Publisher: Gibbs Smith

Paperback: 240 pages

ISBN-10: 1586855158

ISBN-13: 978-1586855154

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Review from Mark Piepkorn, former editor of The Last Straw Journal:

A copy of the new book Small Strawbale: Natural Homes, Projects & Designs by Athena & Bill Steen and Wayne Bingham, published by Gibbs Smith, came into the office today. It’s gorgeous, like all the projects the Steens involve themselves with – and, as usual, it opens doors beyond strawbale. Love them for that.

Chapters include Garden Walls & Fences, Open-Air Structures, Greenhouses, Canelo Outbuildings (that’s their place), Tiny Studios & Meditation Retreats, The Shed Roof, The Gable Roof, Small Houses, and Clustered Compounds.

Most of the photos are sumptuous, the accompanying text insightful and inspiring – not at all overbearing. It’s not a how to *build* book, but a *how* to build book. It was an excellent surprise to see the Lander’s beautiful Shimizu-gaki bamboo gate featured (and later in the book their home, with a photo of them that makes me miss them even more), several of Athena’s stunning murals, and – Jack’s Flat! Kudos to Mr. Glassford!

This book fires my imagination and gives me joy.

The Small Adobe House

The Small Adobe House

Authors: Agnesa Reve, Robert Reck (photographer)

Publisher: Gibbs Smith; First Edition edition (July 18, 2001)

Hardcover: 76 pages

ISBN-10: 1586850652

ISBN-13: 978-1586850654

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Building or remodeling an adobe house is an artistic endeavor, with all the satisfaction–and occasional frustration–of any artistic effort. But once you’ve lived sheltered by adobe wall, you won’t want anything else. Whether the small adobe house is a work of art or a model of simplicity, it is by far the most appropriate house for the Southwest. The adobe serves as natural insulation, keeping the interior cool in summer and warm in winter, and muffling noise. No draft ever penetrates an adobe wall. The spaces of such a house accept with equal grace the basic curve of an Eames chair or the sumptuous gilding of Louis XIV. It is an easy house to live in. It is also easy to reshape. You may incorporate all sorts of modern ideas and still keep the classic look of the small adobe house, affording enjoyment of the newest conveniences within an enveloping tradition.

Small Houses (Great Houses)

Small Houses (Great Houses)

Publisher: Taunton Press

Paperback: 160 pages

ISBN: 1561581062

ISBN-13: 978-1561581061

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Small Houses (Great Houses: Fine Homebuilding)

Paperback
September 1995
Color photos, floor plans.
160 pages

In these economically depressed times, which include a slumping housing market, how does one justify the appearance of another book on building a new home? This volume is the second in a three-book series made up of articles collected from 10 years of Fine Homebuilding . The 37 examples included here are carefully selected as the antidote for an industry in temporary decline. There’s more than a hint of a deliberate return to attitudes and concerns of the near past that were so smugly trashed in the ’80s: that small is better and that energy efficiency can help lead us to a more environmentally sound future. The shrinking availability and more effective use of space are pointedly addressed. The featured houses fit into modest plots of land, and are geared to suit the empty nesters, small families and singles, as well as the vacation or second home owner. The editors have assembled handsome and interesting design solutions that are stylistically American, from saltbox, barn and Victorian cottage to ranch house, urban studio apartment and cabin.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Description

Small houses are less expensive to build, more energy efficient, and easier to maintain than big homes, but they don’t have to feel small. In this collection of 37 articles from FINE HOMEBUILDING magazine, you’ll find new houses, remodels, urban rowhouses, and guest cottages that double as work studios. A book full of practical design ideas and construction information that will help you realize just how beautiful small can be.

 

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 Live

Author(s): Sarah Susanka, Kira Obolensky (Contributor)

Publisher: Taunton Press

Hardcover: 199 pages

ISBN: 1561581305

ISBN-13: 978-1561581306

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When describing a favorite room in the house, do you find yourself using terms such as “expansive,” “formal,” and “spacious”–a marble foyer or a formal dining room perhaps? Or do the words “cozy,” “intimate,” and “warm” come to mind–a cheery little breakfast nook or a window seat complete with plenty of pillows and a breathtaking view? More than likely, you–like thousands of other homeowners–are drawn to the more personal spaces in your home, where comfort, beauty, and efficiency meet. In The Not So Big House, respected architect Sarah Susanka and coauthor Kira Obolensky address our affinity for the “smaller, more personal spaces” and propose “clear, workable guidelines for creating homes that serve both our spiritual needs and our material requirements.” The heart of the not-so-big house–which is not “just a small house … [but] a smaller house,” that uses “less space to give greater quality of life,” and is designed to not only “accommodate the lifestyles of its occupants” but also to express “our values and our personalities,” is discussed in chapter 1, entitled “Bigger Isn’t Better.” Susanka’s urging for homeowners to get creative with their space as well as loads of ideas to encourage that creativity are covered in “Rethinking the House” and “Making Not So Big Work.” Discussions of specific needs, such as a home for one and designing for kids, can be found in “Lifestyles of the Not So Rich and Famous,” while “Dreams, Details, and Dollars” gets down to the nuts and bolts of the operation, looking at quality versus quantity, budgeting, and what “low end,” “middle ground,” and “high end” really mean in home design and construction. Lastly, the authors look at the home of the future, which involves simplifying, recycling, reducing waste, and using energy-efficient construction. With more than 200 color photographs, as well as floor plans and Susanka and Obolensky’s intelligent and lively dialogue, The Not So Big House is perfect for homeowners ready to rethink their space. –Stefanie Hargreaves

From Library Journal

Architect Susanka believes that the large homes being built today place too much emphasis on square footage rather than on current lifestyles. Here she shows how homes can be designed to feature “adaptable spaces open to one another, designed for everyday use.” She describes how to examine occupants’ lifestyles, how to incorporate the kitchen as the focal point of the home, how to give the illusion of space, and how, with storage, lighting, and furniture arrangement, a smaller home can be comfortably livable. Photographs of contemporary homes as well as those by Frank Lloyd Wright and other modern architects illustrate Susanka’s ideas and show the timelessness of the style she advocates. This thought-provoking book will be a good addition to architectural and interior design collections.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More Small Houses

More Small Houses

Publisher: Fine Homebuilding

ISBN: 1561582786

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In this is new collection from Fine Homebuilding magazine, you’ll find 31 articles — each one a study in craft and efficiency of space. The homes include a mountain retreat, an island homestead, an urban row house, a timber-frame farmhouse, an apartment over a garage, a duplex with roof-top garden, a Craftsman-style cottage, a surprising number of towers and more. Some are simple, some elegant… but none are plain. As you would expect from Fine Homebuilding, the articles illustrate a wide variety of real world situations, clever design and superb craftsmanship. A thread of sustainable construction runs through many articles including descriptions of passive solar heating, water efficiency and super-insulation. Whether you’re remodeling your existing house or building a new one, More Small Houses will inspire you to think big about small spaces. Hardcover,160 pages, 1998

Creating the Not So Big House: Insights and Ideas for the New American Home

Creating the Not So Big House: Insights and Ideas for the New American HomeAuthor(s): Sarah Susanka

Publisher: Taunton; First Edition edition (October 1, 2000)

ISBN: 1561583774

ISBN-13: 978-1561583775

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Sarah Susanka’s first book, The Not So Big House, created a movement that is changing the way people think about the American home. That groundbreaking book proposed a new blueprint for the American home: a house that values quality over quantity, with an emphasis on comfort and beauty, a high level of detail and a floor plan designed for today’s informal lifestyle.

Creating the Not So Big House is this blueprint in action. Focusing on key design strategies such as visual weight, layering and framed openings, Sarah Susanka takes an up-close look at 25 houses designed according to Not So Big principles. The houses are from all over North America in a rich variety of styles — from a tiny New York apartment to a southwestern adobe, a traditional Minnesota farmhouse to a cottage community in the Pacific Northwest. The description of each house is accompanied by a floor plan and several beautiful color photographs by Grey Crawford. Informative sidebars sprinkled throughout the book show how specific house features and clever design details illustrate “Not So Big” principles. Whether new or remodeled, these one-of-a-kind homes provide all the inspiration you need to create your own Not So Big House.

As an advocate of “less is more” in residential architecture and interior design, Sarah Susanka has emerged as one of America’s favorite home architects. As a result of the success of the Not So Big House and the new vision it holds for the American home, she was featured by U.S. News and World Report as one of 18 innovators in American culture. Susanka has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, the Charlie Rose Show, and numerous radio programs around the country. She is a former principal and founding partner of the firm chosen by LIFE magazine to design its 1999 dream home. Plans are available for all the houses featured in Creating the Not So Big House.

258 pages, 2000

“Sarah Susanka shows how to downsize the dream house without diminishing the dream.” –Washington Post

“Sarah Susanka offers us a more hopeful strategy for sustaining human development–just make life richer, not bigger….Improve your life and everyone else’s. Use the ideas in this book–not more square feet!” –William McDonough, FAIA, architect, educator, and winner of the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development

“In The Not So Big House, Sarah Susanka offered so much sound advice for those seeking comfort and beauty with a sense of proportion. Now, she has a new book with additional solutions to that all-important question–how do we want to live?” –Barbara Mayer, author of In The Arts and Crafts Style

“Susanka’s book, Creating the Not So Big House, shows how space can be small but beautiful and visually expansive….She has tapped into those principles that Frank Lloyd Wright used in his ‘Usonian’ Houses and has presented them in a very clear and beautifully illustrated format.” –Eric Lloyd Wright, architect

Small House Designs: Elegant, Architect-Designed Homes – 33 Award-Winning Plans 1,250 Square Feet or Less

Small House Designs

Author(s): Kenneth R. Tremblay (Editor), Lawrence Von Bamford (Editor)

Publisher: Storey Books

ISBN: 0882669664

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Paperback
192 pages
July 1997

Storey Publishing’s newest book on small homes, Small House Designs, represents the top choices in Storey’s international juried competition of plans for small modern homes. The Criteria: affordable, aesthetically pleasing, functional, environmentally conscious, and innovative. The Results: geographic and stylistic diversity to inspire homeowners, buyers, builders, and designers of all kinds. Each design includes an exterior drawing, floor plan, site plan, axonometric of interior, and elevations. Judges’ critiques and the designer’s concept comments accompany plans for each project. Addresses for architects and designers are also provided for readers interested in obtaining scale plans or more information about a particular house.

The Tiny Book of Tiny Houses

The Tiny Book of Tiny Houses

Author(s): Lester Walker

Publisher: Overlook Press

ISBN: 0879515104

ISBN-13: 978-0879515102

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The Tiny Book of Tiny Houses

Hardcover
96 pages
Rei Gift edition July 1998

Synopsis
From George Bernard Shaw’s writing hut to a tiny Cape Cod honeymoon cottage, here are 17 of the smallest, most charming retreats ever built. Award-winning architect Lester Walker explores the minute details of each tiny house, captured by plentiful photographs.

Customer Comments

Ron from New Brunswick, Canada , October 8, 1998
This Tiny Book of Tiny Houses packs a BIG punch! It’s hard to believe that such a small book is so big on content — not that there’s an abundance of it, but what you read will no doubt inspire you to want (to build) one of these quaint homes for your very own.

from Whidbey Island, WA , April 23, 1998
Simplify your life by downsizing your house! This book is a great visual treat. It shows you how people can live in very small places. It got me to build a 10′ x 14′ teenager’s cottage with my two sons. We had a great time, spent about $1400 and now have a get-a-way in the woods.

Authentic Small Houses of the Twenties: Illustrations and Floor Plans of 254 Characteristic Homes

Authentic Small Houses of the Twenties: Illustrations and Floor Plans of 254 Characteristic Homes

Author(s): Robert T. Jones

Publisher: Dover Publications

ISBN: 0486254062

ISBN-13: 978-0486254067

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As all of history is cyclical, so is home architecture in America. Authentic Small Houses of the Twenties shows wonderful possibilities for houses that capture the “Not so Big House” ideal, a movement gaining momentum in this day of the McMansion. The product of a joint venture by the U. S. Dept. of Commerce and the American Institute of Architects after WWI, these house plans show marvelous use of interior space, detailing and economy. Although the house plans with sketches or photos of each shown are not available, as far as I know, in blueprint form for purchase, they furnish tremendous grist for the creative future home owner. A treasure!

Tiny Tiny Houses

Tiny Tiny Houses Author(s): Lester Walker

Publisher: Overlook Press

ISBN: 0879512717

ISBN-13: 978-0879512712

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Hardcover
July 1987

Tiny Houses contains the plans for forty-four houses so small that anyone can afford to have one—and so thoughtfully designed that anyone can build one—each offering the dream of solitude, a place to escape for a weekend of romance, meditation, or whimsy. Award-winning architect Lester Walker shows how, with a little energy and imagination, everyone’s dream of owning a home, or having a second home in the country, is within reach.

About the Author

Lester Walker is an award-winning architect and a partner in the architectural firm StudioWorks in Woodstock, New York.

 

Customer Comments

from New York State (US) , September 15, 1998
Highly recommended if you’re building a small, unique home
My father lent me this book after I bought some property (19 acres) and told him I was planning on building a small dwelling there–not necessarily with heat and running water. (But with ISDN or satellite connectivity, of course. ;) The collection of house profiles is inspiring! From a thatch dwelling, to a two-story built entirely by the woman living there. Famous tiny houses include Thomas Jefferson’s honeymoon cottage (which I will probably be building), Thoreau’s cabin, George Bernard Shaw’s rotating writing hut. Each house profile includes photos, sketches and floor plans (including tiny furniture).

I’m coming here to get a copy for the friend/architect who I’m going to have draw up the plans!

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