The Home By Design Showhouse featured a set of principles described in Sarah Susanka’s book, Home By Design, as the architect’s tool box. A full-scale, fully-finished showhouse was constructed at the 2004 International Builders Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, and demonstrated a new way of thinking about design, from the principles used to tailor home design to our lives, to the manner in which it was built, to the products and systems it engaged.
At the heart of any Home By Design is what Sarah refers to as “the architect’s tool box” — key principles related to the use of Space, Light, and Order. These principles underlie the surface treatments of any structure, deeply affecting how we experience our surroundings, and how we feel about them. Each design principle described in the book, Home By Design: Transforming Your House Into Home has been built into the Home by Design Showhouse.
First of all, there are principles having to do with space – with how volume can be shaped, molded and divided to give you a particular kid of spatial experience. One of the most important things to understand her is that we experience space not so much by quantity alone, but by the interconnections between one chunk of space and another.
The second category in the architect’s toolbox is light. If you’ve ever been to a truly beautifully designed building, you may have noticed that the lighting gives the structure an almost transcendent quality. Light is the great animator of space, and when placed with an artist’s eye, it can make even a simple square room into a place you’ll enjoy being in.
The third and final category is what architects refer to as order. This simply means the way in which the elements in a design are arranged to give it an identity all its own. Most houses are lacking features like these that tell you, as you move from room to room, that they are all parts of a singular whole. But a house that is a Home by Design has some underlying organizational features that help identify it as all one thing, no matter where you are in the house.