Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Read: "Mini House Style" by Rico Komanoya

Read: Mini House Style by Rico Komanoya, 2004, 0060589078.

I saw this book, or it's sister publication Mini House, at a bookstore last Christmas and then forgot the title. I was able to find it in the newly expanded library catalog and get both books from other libraries. Nice photos and design ideas.

I had a lot of complaints when reading the book but all of them are explained in the author's afterward. First off, there are some big houses of 1500 square feet or more included. Secondly, not all the spaces are living space, a few are artist lofts or modern building additions. Thirdly, several 'houses' are just experimental building and design projects. Fourth, a lot of the floor plans are obscured by house photos.

Most of the projects were built in Scandinavia and Japan. The truly small houses are neat to see because they are designed to make efficient use of limited space and they take a small area, maybe 800 sq. ft., and make it look bigger. Photos and floor plans of each home are shown with a standard set of questions the authors asked the architects.

The book started out with a strict limit of houses less than 860 sq. ft. But, the author ran out of homes before he ran out of book space. In expanding the criteria the author added in the larger buildings and experiemental ideas. To give credit, the larger houses are often placed on oddly shaped or small plots of land and required similar thinking on the use of space.

Some of the places are designed for full-time living while others are holiday and weekend homes. Some are wicked neat, others are very impractical.

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