The Very Small Home: Japanese Ideas for Living Well in Limited Space

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Dept. of Mini. If New Yorkers are good at dealing with cramped quarters, the Japanese are pros. We crave good pictures of Japanese home ideas and this new book by Azby Brown provides some solace.

The Very Small Home offers a forward by renowned architect, Kengo Kuma, along with detailed tours through a number of small Japanese homes. It provides great photographs and axiometric drawings that show how each house fits together.

You will be surprised (perhaps) at how neat and minimal the Japanese really are, along with how their color schemes differ to the point of discomfort in our eyes. These are not houses you want to live in, so much as houses you want to borrow genetic code from.

There are good, small storage ideas and a very cool glass garage that allows you to see your Porsche at all times. Available directly from Kodansha ($30). MGR

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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.