September 2014
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Fine Homebuilding Magazine
Features NC Lake House 


Dear Friends,

Fine Homebuilding October 2014 issue I thought you'd like to know that the latest issue of Fine Homebuilding Magazine features an article I wrote with Raleigh architect Tina Govan about the house we collaborated on in Western North Carolina.  The article is called Redefining Retirement, and features the NC Lake House, which some may recall was up for Fine Homebuilding's Readers' Choice Award in early 2013.  We sent out a series of emails seeking your votes, and many of you came through to put us in 2nd place. 

NC Mountain Lake House roof deck Tina and I designed the house for a truly spectacular lakefront property, with panoramic views of the water and mountains beyond.  The homeowners wanted a place that would work well for just the two of them, but which could also expand to house their extended family when everyone gathered at the lake.  In essence, it needed to function as two houses in one. 

NC Mountain Lake House kitchen We conceived the house as a series of connected buildings with wide eaves and many outdoor spaces that offer the opportunity to move effortlessly from inside to out.  The house also exemplifies many of the principles I've written about in Home By Design, my fourth book.  You can read more about the house below in the links to the Readers' Choice emails from last year, which include many more interior photos, so that you can see further details.  (Reminder: voting is long since closed, so ignore the links to cast your vote.)

2013 Readers' Choice Newsflash

Part 2: Double Duty Dining

Part 3: A Breezeway for All Seasons

NC Mountain Lake House exterior

The NC Lake House Project Team:

Sarah Susanka, FAIA,
Susanka Studios

Tina Govan, AIA, Tina Govan Architect

General Contractor: 
Ryan McLellan,
Copperwood Builders

Interior Designer: 
Traci Kearns,
Alchemy Design Studio
Landscape Designer:
Jennifer Brown,
Green Meadow Landscaping  


Click on the links to the 2013 Readers' Choice Newsflash, above, to see the full list of participants in the project.


You can also view more pictures of the NC Lake House on my page.


Living room window I have long believed that the way to improve the overall quality of house design in this country is to make more architecturally designed homes available via the house plans market.  Before we began designing this home, the homeowners graciously agreed to allow me to make the plans for their new house available so that others might also be able to create their own version of the home.  For anyone who has worked with an architect to create their own unique home, you will know what a gift that is.  So I am happy to announce that the plans are now available at  Click here for details.

If you enjoy the photos and past newsletters about this house, I hope you'll pick up a copy of Fine Homebuilding's October issue, (or subscribe to the magazine on line), to read the entire article.




NC Lake House door window

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Home By Design
The NC Lake House uses many of the Not So Big principles outlined in Sarah's fourth book, Home By Design.

Click here to see the list of all of Sarah's books.


Not So Big House Plans for Sale
The Not So Big Bungalow

Click here to view Sarah's plans for her showhouses, as well as several of the houses she designed that are featured in her books.


To see more images of the houses featured on the plans page, go to Sarah's page






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