Design & Style
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Trends in Not-so-big Design

Cabin owners lead the way

By Andy Bennett
Published: April 28, 2011
JUST RIGHT – Goldilocks would approve of this cabin's perfect size for its lot.
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More often than not, trends are something we follow. The clothes we wear, music we listen to and renovations we make to our houses are all inspired by the current ideas flowing from the imaginations of the trendsetters in those fields. However, one such leader in the field of home design says the credit lies with us, cabin owners, for starting one trend.
“When I first began talking about not-so-big house design, it was actually informed by seeing how happy people were in their cabins, their second homes,” says architect Sarah Susanka, author of The Not So Big House. “I realized that if people just designed primary homes as they live in their secondary homes, it would allow people to live a little more comfortably.”
“When people are designing their second home, it’s often very much related to the piece of property they are on,” she continues. “They aren’t using the same materials used in their city house. They’re more comfortable with things looking well-worn and lived-in.”
And that extends to things like modern conveniences and the comforts of our primary home.
“Just because we can make something more convenient doesn’t necessarily make it more of an enjoyable experience,” says Susanka.
So it would seem that, in the modern movement of designing and building to maximize usability and truly live in every corner of your home, cabin owners are true trendsetters.

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There's something to say about a huge cabin. It's just not as cozy as a small one.
4 stars
I think smaller is better." You know that relatives and fish stink after 3 days," said my grandfather. We need to keep in mind what is happening in our economy.
That sounds like a great idea, Michael! Why replicate a cookie-cutter design when you can combine elements you love and create the perfect cabin? Be sure to share photos with us once your project is underway/complete! :)
I'm in the process of refining ideas taken from dozens of floor plans in the 900-1100 sq ft range. Rather than paying 100s of $ for commerical design drawings I think I can take my rough plans, many taken from cabins featured in Cabin Life, to a competent builder and get on with the process. 2 bedrooms, 1 large bathroom, utility room big enough for washer/dryer, water heater, open living/kitchen area and lots of floor to ceiling windows on the south side to take advantage of the view and the winter sun, Whattaya think?
Research the word "cabin" as a noun and you'll discover there is no such thing as a "big cabin"'s an oxymoron. (as a verb it means to "confine in a small space")
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