The Simple Home

By April 26, 2011Building Ideas

For people thinking about remodeling or building a home, there’s an abundance of great resources available.  One such book caught my eye recently.  The title alone was enough to lure me in:  The Simple Home: The Luxury of Enough, by Sarah Nettleton.  I knew when I read the description on the inside flap that I would be reading the entire book:

“A simple home puts us in touch with the simple pleasures of life:  the warmth of winter sunlight, the scent of flowers through an open window, a family meal at a communal table.  By learning to appreciate the ‘luxury of enough,’ we can delight in the simple abundance of our homes’ most basic pleasures.  Finding your own simple home reflects the wisdom of good choices, the elimination of non-essentials, and the celebration of restraint.. . . Along the way, you’ll realize that it isn’t so much the things you put in your house that bring you joy as it is the way the house allow you to revel in the simple pleasures of life.”

On a personal note, our own home remodel typifies so much of what Nettleton wrote and is probably why this spoke so clearly to me.  We have many south facing windows now that provide beautiful warmth on winter days.  A row of lavender grows right outside my kitchen window–so fragrant on summer mornings, and my husband designed a breakfast nook that serves a dozen purposes for us, the most satisfying of which is family mealtime.  And the author’s comment about the “celebration of restraint”?  Yes, yes, yes.  We had a limited footprint and we had to practice restraint, a good exercise for us.  And you  know what?  It really has helped us to “revel in the simple pleasures” of family life.

Later in the book, Nettleton outlines the Hallmarks of the Simple Home:

  • The floor plan and form are straightforward.
  • Its style, be it modern or traditional, is timeless.
  • Interiors are functional, human-scaled, uncomplicated, light filled and open.
  • Rooms serve more than one function.
  • The design expresses a beauty in practicality.
  • Siting and room layouts offer excellent natural light and ventilation.
  • Details and finishes tend to be simple and unadorned.
  • Storage is well located and often built in to minimize free standing furniture.

Through the use of beautiful photos and text, Nettleton illustrates each of these principles in detail.  We have a copy available for our clients to borrow.  This book is available for purchase online and is also available at the Salt Lake City Public Library.

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