The Not So Big House

By Sarah Susanka, Kira Obolensky,

Book cover of The Not So Big House: A Blueprint for the Way We Really Live

Book description

This title offers an inspiration for homeowners and builders from a leading architect. "The Not So Big House" has sold over 500,000 copies since 1998. It features clear guidance that emphasises the use of quality not quantity. This anniversary edition includes 32 extra pages and a new introduction. Now available…

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Why read it?

2 authors picked The Not So Big House as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

When Susanka’s book first came out in the 90s, I felt like she had hit on something that many architects were being challenged by—the expanding popularity of the McMansion. Now with Tiny Houses bookmarking her work at the other end, and with all the at-home needs and complications that came with the pandemic, I still think she has got the formula right: Build better, not bigger. Her chapters include many principles on how to build smaller eloquent, gem houses, and to get away from the clunky, gaudy costume jewelry architecture ruining the American suburbs.

When I realized Alexander’s Pattern Language…

From Shannon's list on timeless architectural principles.

There is a reason this book was a best-seller when it came out in 1998: It is full of wisdom about how to create a deeply personal home that is right-sized to your life. The interiors in The Not So Big House feel a little dated nearly 25 years later (and are not to my personal tastes, which skew more modern), but I still consider this book a must-read for anyone building or renovating a small home. I also love Sara’s book for its quality over quantity message that helped shift the conversation about homes when it debuted. I own…

From Laura's list on small space design.

Want books like The Not So Big House?

Our community of 11,000+ authors has personally recommended 90 books like The Not So Big House.

Browse books like The Not So Big House

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in architecture, philosophy, and urban planning?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about architecture, philosophy, and urban planning.

Architecture Explore 81 books about architecture
Philosophy Explore 1,632 books about philosophy
Urban Planning Explore 53 books about urban planning