Not So Big House
Not So Big Principles

Sarah's fourth book, Home By Design, explains in detail the Not So Big Principles that are embedded in the entire Not So Big House series. Explore each principle below through Sarah's Ideabooks on Houzz.

Not So Big House: Not So Big Principles


In the context of home design, the word space is usually preceded by the phrases "too little" or "lots of." In other words, we tend to conceive of space only in terms of quantities. But the way that architects use space is quite different. We quite literally shape the interior spaces to make better, more comfortable, and more engaging "containers" for the activities that take place within. There's so much more that's possible when you understand the malleability of this medium we call space. It's capable of giving us an extraordinary variety of experiences that can delight us spatially and accommodate our lives and needs in ways we'd never dreamed of. ~Home By Design, p.19


No matter how much care and effort you put into the sculpting of a home's interior, if there's no light, you won't be aware of the shapes of the spaces that surround you. Light has the power to reveal the forms of things, to bring definition to their textures and colors, and in so doing to give the spaces they inhabit a particular ambiance. Architects use light to animate their designs in ways that subtly influence our perception, engaging us in the exploration of interior space and helping to create that longed-for feeling of home. ~Home By Design, p.125


Many people delight in organization, seeking "a place for everything, and everything in its place." This is how we bring order to our "stuff." But there's another kind of order that's less visible, yet just as important to the sense of home. Architects use this more hidden type of order in their designs to arrange all the forms, spaces, and surfaces, using visual or experiential characteristics like alignments, rhythms, and geometries. If we can't find an order to what we're looking at or experiencing, we perceive it as chaos. It's the underlying order that makes a home (or any other type of building) intelligible, and that allows us to feel both safe and comfortable there. ~Home By Design, p.177

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