Escaping at Home: The Not-So-Big House

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Sometimes you don't have to go anywhere. It's true that the concept of "escaping" should be something that all of us can find in our own homes and reader Tessa Walker sent us a great email tipping us off to Susan Susanka's book, The Not-So-Big House.

"For those with a smaller travel budget but a bigger apartment, Sarah Susanka offers a wonderful vision for bringing the Escape home in her concept of an "Away Room" outlined in her well received books on the Not-So-Big House. An architect who champions unifying living, dining, and kitchen spaces into single designs for living, Susanka makes a point of also providing each house or apartment with one public room that has visual and acoustical privacy...Susanka frames the concept of the Away Room within discussions of designing houses, not of retrofitting apartments, but her careful inclusion of a quiet, protected social space is perhaps even more needed in smaller living spaces.

Perhaps not a subject appropriate early in the month while people are still in vacation mode, but later on as we settle back in for another year of work or school it might be fun to consider the benefits of creating an "escape place" right at home.

Especially for those of us living in limited space, how could we create a sheltered nook adjacent to our main social space? A window-seat? Part of a hallway? A loveseat screened with bookshelves on one side of a kitchen? How and where could you create a space to perch with a book while your partner cooks dinner, or for a small group to withdraw into their own conversation at your next party?

Reading AT has been a treat lately, especially with the addition of
the Green site. Thanks, and keep up the fine work."

-Tessa Walker
Brattleboro, VT

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.

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