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The Smaller House, Part III

How You Can Have More in Less

Part III

Creating thoughtful, efficient, comfortable smaller space is a process. An example from our practice is the best way to illustrate the ideas and thought that can go into creating smaller homes.

We were approached by a discerning builder and his family to design a river-front cabin for four families in limited space. The building we designed has common living areas, bathrooms (some compartmentalized with separate shower/toilet rooms and common vanities with multiple sinks) a shared kitchen with multiple preparation areas and work areas, a […]

The Smaller House, Part II

Small Houses Big Spaces

Part II

Tiny houses are not small and small houses are not tiny. The tiny house movement, while illustrating a sought-after trend toward living with less encompasses single spaces in which all functions are combined. Living, dining, cooking, working at home happen together, usually in one largely undifferentiated room. All or most of the tiny house shares the same space and the same scale.

Smaller houses do not mean the creation of one room in which different functions are combined, sharing the same room dimensions, ceiling heights, views or […]

The Smaller House

How You Can Have More in Less

Part I

“Sustainable” is Nonsense and Smaller is “Green”

Your grandparents grew up and raised your parents in a house about a third of the size of yours. They raised a family of four in it. According to the National Association of Homebuilders the average American family of 2.6 persons today lives in at least 2,687 square feet or 1,033 square feet per person. Our grandparents raised larger families in just 983 square feet (245 square feet per family member) and I grew up […]

Questions You Should Answer Before Designing Your House

When my firm begins a new house with a client, and after an initial meeting, we create a customized “design questionnaire” that we think will be useful in asking and soliciting answers to a number of important questions.

These questions form a framework for uncovering your needs and desires for your house, what you expect in a home (including expectations that you may not have consciously examined) and how you may plan on using your home.

We ask couples and family members to answer these questionnaires separately since many of our clients […]

What You Should Ask When Interviewing a Builder

Fourteen Recommended Questions for Initial General Contractor Interviews

Rhodes Architecture + Light

When initially interviewing a general contractor, you will want to gather as much information as you can before making your decision about who to work with. Eventually, the potential contractor should walk through the design and plans with you. In the initial interview, you have an opportunity to assess the contractor’s experience, work ethic and personal demeanor. We are sensitive to builders who try, in the early meetings, to re-design or who quickly suggest changes in materials and construction.

Let the […]

How Your Architect Designs Your House

In collaboration with you and your family an Architect is trained to think about your house in an integrated and systematic way. An Architect also brings a sixth sense for light, space, your land, and your family’s needs. Architects are trained to think deeply about “home”. They seek to reach you to unlock and learn ways you will use space, to synthesize many design influences including land, topography, environment, the neighborhood and the context that will support your house; the seasons, sunlight, wind and weather, the climate, a local design […]