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Outside the Not So Big House: Creating the Landscape of Home

Outside the Not So Big House: Creating the Landscape of Home
Julie Moir Messervy and Sahara Susanka
Taunton Press
Publication Date: 

hardcover, 210 p., $34.95

Collaborating on the theme of the ideal design of the moderate-size home and garden, landscape designer Julie Moir Messervy and architect Sahara Susanka have developed a set of design principles as guidelines for creating a pleasing composition. Their goal is the integration of house and grounds, so that the whole property lives up to its potential and fulfills the needs of the owners. Susanka best expresses their philosophy when she says: “It’s about the transitions and connections between the inside of a house and the outside, and about the journeys and the places that can be made to extend the experience of the home to the outside.”

They demonstrate their theory in a series of plans and photographs of twenty sites across the United States, ranging from a hillside in Vermont to a modest property in California. Frequently situated on challenging topography, the homes and gardens are brilliant expressions of thoughtful design, illustrating the value of good teamwork. Although most residences are contemporary structures, the homes are in various styles, materials, and sizes. In the gardens, the designers have employed a wide range of materials, often using simple and inexpensive ones to create serenity in a small space.

— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden