For those who are contemplating a remodeling project or building a new home, I have a great resource to help you in the planning process. It is by one of my favorite architects, Sarah Susanka. The book is entitled, “The Not So Big House”. In this book she guides the reader through a process that helps them to decide the kind of spaces they need in their new or remodeled home. The book also gives some useful tips for designing a home that focuses on quality of space, not quantity.
One of the activities she invites readers to do is to “Understand Where You Live Now”:
1. Make a list of the rooms you have in your current residence, along with the area in square feet.
2. List what happens there, the frequency of the activity and who does it.
3. Reorganize your list of rooms in order of most used to least used.
For many owners, the results offer some surprises. A large room may be rarely used. This is a clear indication that one needs to re-think the space to see if there is any way to accommodate the activity it houses in another part of the home. The goal of this exercise is to identify how you live and then to tailor the house to accommodate those needs instead of assuming that every house has to have the same set of rooms.
“Not So Big doesn’t mean small. It means not as big as you thought you needed. But as a rule of thumb, a Not So Big House is approximately a third smaller than your original goal but about the same price as your original budget. The magic is that although the house is smaller in square footage, it actually feels much bigger.”
To find out more about “The Not So Big House” Series, click on the picture above.