A few weeks ago I went to the home of one of my new clients for an initial site consultation. As we were walking through her home and property I asked her how she wanted her new outdoor space to feel. She shared with me that a major influence in how she has approached her home design is the book, The Not So Big House, by Sarah Susanka. She wanted her landscape to fit with the style of her home, and with her design philosophy.
I had heard about this book, and now had a perfect reason to order it and pour through its pages.
The book covers a bunch of topics, but primarily it’s about valuing quality of space over quantity of space. This is true for homes or gardens; bigger doesn’t always mean better. With a lens towards the landscape, here are a few of my interpretations from from Susanka’s book.
One way to make space count is to create built in features. There is both permanence and practicality to built in elements, and those elements can add a lot of charm and uniqueness to a home or garden.
|A space for fire wood built into a retaining wall. This wall, located near the home’s garage, offers easy access to fire wood in the winter. I love how beautiful and practical this is!|
|This garden in San Francisco used a small space on the side of the house as an “away room”. All you need is a table and two chairs and a bit of separation from the rest of the yard.|
|This garden similarly created an “away room” by tucking two comfortable chairs, and an in ground fire pit, away from the rest of the garden.|
There are so many other great concepts in this book; these were just a few that I thought related perfectly to designing beautiful, comfortable, and useable landscapes. For those of you interested in good design, whether house or garden, this book is well worth a read!