Sarah Susanka Visits Fearrington

Yesterday, on one of the most perfect days of the year, we had the pleasure of attending a reading in the Barn. The “Fearrington Friends of the Arts” group (one of over 100 interest groups for Fearrington residents) hosted Sarah Susanka, author and architect best known for her “Not So Big” message. It was a great turn out of both residents and local community.

During her reading, she spoke about designing a house so it is a home, making it a space personal to you and designing it so it is comfortable for you to live. To quote Sarah in the Not So Big House, “quality matters far more than quantity” meaning you do not need a large quantity of square footage, but instead focus on the quality of the spaces and the materials you use. The tendency is to focus on how big a house is, when we should be asking ourselves how is the space best suited for our needs?

Sarah mentioned how her clients almost always ask for a formal living room and dining room, but when asked how often they used them, most respond, “rarely”. We have also seen this transformation with our Fearrington customers in recent years to a layout in which the kitchen is open to the family/living/dining spaces. Sarah also shared many great ideas about how to make informal eating space formal when needed, and how ceiling heights, strategic lighting and simple archways can help define and diversify a multi-use space.

While we have all been big fans of Sarah’s books (I read The Not So Big House cover to cover when building my own home), we had never had the opportunity to meet her or hear her speak – until now!