Architect Sarah Susanka was one of the first to articulate the concept of a smaller house that is tailored to a resident's lifestyle. Her successful book, The Not So Big House, offers language to define the feeling created by a cozy and well-designed house. Susanka says remodelers and designers need to start by looking at what is not functioning in an existing space. "Homeowners think they need to add a 12-foot-wide addition across the back of the house. But they end up living in the addition, and the old space is unusable," she says. The not-so-big house has more practical living space. "It's more tailored to the way you live and has a more human scale," Susanka explains.
Remodeler Tom Moore is encouraging his customers to follow the same basic design principles. He believes so strongly in the idea that he built a concept home so his customers can see and feel a small, detailed space. The model, in Underhill Center, Vt., has built-in armoires, storage systems, coffered ceilings, raised paneled walls, parquet floors, and archways - all of which showcase the detailed work of the Tom Moore Company.