November 2010
You're Invited: Meet Sarah and Learn About the Next Not So Big Showhouse

Dear Friends,

I thought you might be interested to know about a new enterprise I'm embarking on over the coming months.  I'm going to be designing a new showhouse that I hope will introduce the principles behind Not So Big House design to a larger market.


Ever since the economic downturn, it has been apparent to me that a crash course in Not So Big design could be of great help to residential builders and developers, but alas, because of the tight credit market and fears about doing anything out of the ordinary, I found that few builders were willing to consider offering a smaller but better designed line of houses.


SchoolStreet HomesBut there are exceptions.  A few months ago a builder/ developer named John McLinden, of SchoolStreet Homes, approached me about the possibility of designing a house for a street of 26 new residences he is developing in the Village of Libertyville, a New Urban community about 45 minutes north of Chicago.

School Street porch view
Illustration of School Street from porch

John McLinden's vision is to create a charming street of well- designed houses, with a strong focus on the front porch and the connection to the adjacent main street. After a visit to the community, it became clear that this is the ideal place for a Not So Big showhouse.


Libertyville is the quintessential American village, with a strong sense of community, and that magical quality that so many of us long for in the place we call home.  The minute I set foot in the town I could feel that certain something that tells you people here know they have something unique.  I learned during my visit that for the past 20 years the community has worked together to keep their downtown vibrant, and to develop amenities for the residents that are rare for a community of this size (their current population is around 22,000). 

Corner of School Street and Milwaukee Avenue
Corner of School Street and Milwaukee Avenue in Libertyville

Over the next few weeks I'll be working with SchoolStreet Homes to complete the design for the house, and if everything goes according to plan, the completed home will be available for walk-throughs by the Fall of 2011.  I'll be sending along further information as the house proceeds, but I am sending this newsflash both to let you know of this new venture, and to invite you to join me at a public "meet-and-greet" and book signing that's being organized by SchoolStreet Homes, to introduce me to the community at large.  Here are the specifics of the event:

Thursday, Nov. 18, 6-8 p.m.

Libertyville Civic Center

135 West Church St., Libertyville, Ill.

If you are in the area, I hope you'll be able to join us.  There will be some Not So Big House 10th Anniversary Edition books for sale there, and you're welcome to bring your own copies for signing as well.  Call 847-918-8880 or visit for directions. 


For more information about the showhouse and the event, you can also read more here, in the official news release.


All the best,



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More Not So Big Solutions for Your Home
More Not So Big Solutions for Your Home
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Not So Big Remodeling 
Not So Big Remodeling
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