Architect and author Sarah Susanka is hopeful about Americans, observing that “houses continue to get smaller in their overall size but much higher in quality.” Now she’s designed a smaller bungalow to feel spacious:
- rooms defined by ceiling heights, built-ins and visual cues
- built-in shelving and seating nooks, in many different places
- artistic focal points and light to draw your attention
- visual weight by using darker colors below “chair” railings
- repeated themes carried through the home
Check out Sarah Susanka’s new bungalow concepts below.
This new Craftsman style bungalow has been updated for modern living. It contains 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and plenty of open space. Measures 1,600 sq. ft. (House Plans)
See the exterior and interior of the front entry, with the ability to pull you into the home. Note the circle etching on the front door window, a Sarah Susanka signature. (House Plans)
In the bungalow, there’s room for a kitchen/dining area, living room and bedroom on the main floor. Upstairs is another bedroom and plenty of flexible space as well. (House Plans)
A downstairs master bedroom is filled with window light and topped by an alcove ceiling. Note the proportional built-ins, including the bed, closets and other storage. (House Plans)
The kitchen features a lower ceiling and horizontal trellis. It leads into the built-in seating and dining area which works for everyday use or company. (House Plans)
To see how the bungalow’s main floor might look and flow, architect Susanka says it shares many features from the original “Not So Big House,” pictured here. (May Minazine)
To enlarge a small house, we present 10 design ideas for your consideration. Follow them to make your small house seem more accessible, inviting and larger than it really is.
First take a look at two examples, one cottage and one house on wheels, and see their spacious appeal. What are they doing?
Mad Men actor Vincent Kartheiser lives in a 580 square foot home, in Los Angeles. His great room is used for working, dining and sleeping. The bed lowers from a high ceiling, and its headboard doubles as a desk. (Dwell)
At 130 square feet, this Tumbleweed tiny house feels open with a pitched roofline and windows. It has separate kitchen and great room areas. Book this Olympia, WA house for a night, from Brittany Yunker. (Bayside Bungalow)
10 design ideas for small houses
In Fine Homebuilding magazine, Architect Russell Hamlet identifies 10 big ideas that enlarge and improve a small house. Here are key takeaways:
- Include an outdoor room — build outside the house, to make a major impact on how your home feels inside.
- Invest space in transitions — plan transitions ranging from stairs, hallways and balconies to beams and different ceilings.
- Use contrasts in light and color — place light in the foreground with slightly darker areas in the background to create perspective.
- Create contrast with scale — vary the scale of objects and elements from larger than normal to smaller than normal.
- Organize the house into distinct zones — create the impression that it contains multiple rooms and spatial domains.
- Develop multiple orientations — use windows to vary the focus from nearby features to distant horizons.
- Accentuate the dimensions — maximize sight lines, to extend space beyond its perceived boundaries.
- Put illusion to work — manipulate the scale of objects; design a space that beckons visitors into an area.
- Use thick edges and built-ins — try counter tops, window jambs and door thresholds to give the impression of strength.
- Include multipurpose rooms — combine different activities that occur at dif-
ferent times in the same space.