In my book The New Small House from The Taunton Press, I identify 10 small-house design strategies and feature 24 case-study small houses (and five retreats) that illustrate them. I thought this might be a good place to share new examples of the design strategies as I happen upon them. Today's strategy is Shape pockets for privacy (strategy number six in the book).
An open living space with some volume -- in which several different uses overlap like the kitchen, dining, and living space -- can help a small house feel more expansive. Spatial variety within that open space can lend it comfort. A pocket for privacy -- like a window seat, a fireplace alcove, or a loft -- provides an opportunity for slight remove off a shared common space while still within sight and ear shot of the hustle and bustle. These pockets for privacy are generally more intimate in scale, perhaps with a lower ceiling or semi enclosing walls, but they're still part of the bigger space. They offer connected refuge.
In the current March 2016 issue of Fine Homebuilding, architect Mark Hutker describes these pockets as "spaces within spaces". The article illustrates three nooks: a built-in bench, a breakfast banquette, and an entertaining bar pass-through. To check it out, look for the issue on newsstands now or view it as an online member of the Fine Homebuilding website.
(As an aside, an art studio in Marion, Massachusetts designed by Hutker Architects appears in the Retreats chapter of The New Small House .)
by Katie Hutchison for House Enthusiast