Customer Review

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Glossy and superficial, 15 Aug 2012
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This review is from: The Very Small Home: Japanese Ideas for Living Well in Limited Space (Hardcover)
This is a book about purpose built houses and it does not focus on interior design. The houses are completed to very high specifications. The general style is minimalism - which looks very good in photographs but is very hard to achieve day-to-day (especially with children).

It doesn't address the question of cost: clearly the sites for some of the houses were very expensive. The high quality finishes suggest some generous budgets. There is little about the practical issues: finding and working with an architect who can deliver a house like these. Costing the project and balancing must haves against the available budget.

The book focuses on the use of space using sketches. Most people would rely on the architect to produce these and would find it hard to engage with how to use space that radically departs from the lay-out of most houses and apartments.

I tried counting the number of windows with curtains or blinds - few. I use this as a barometer of how practical the rooms are and to decide whether these are style statements or practical rooms. My experience is that occupiers soon need to put up curtains and blinds (once the stylish photographs have been taken).

I can find nothing about energy, ventilation and little about lighting. These are likely to be important issues in most climates.

I find the book disappointing: some pretty pictures that may stimulate but I was just left with questions about practicality and deliverability.
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