Growing up, I dreamt of building my own house in the country and living like a hermit. I would have a garden and a lot of pet animals. As I got older, I realized that dream was, well… just a dream. When I heard about “Handmade Houses: A Century of Earth-Friendly Home Design,” I thought it would be interesting to review it although it’s not really about mid-century modern. Will I find my childhood dream house in the book?
Handmade Houses: A Century of Earth-Friendly Home Design (Rizzoli New York, 2012) showcases eccentric, innovative, and yet environmentally friendly “green” homes from around the world, from Big Sur, California to Sardinia, Italy. Author Richard Olsen, a former Architectural Digest editor, explores origin and development of these handmade houses and how these homes and their owners (some trained architect/carpenters, some without any training in design and construction) constructed one-of-a-kind homes using natural and salvaged materials.
The main part of Handmade Houses: A Century of Earth-Friendly Home Design is two sections called “Architecture without Architects” and “Architecture with Architects.” These sections feature 23 handmade houses built between 1950’s and the late 2000’s, including the house made with only $1,000! Each of the 23 houses in these sections are featured with ample photographs and interesting “behind the scenes” stories.
If you are curious about the evolution of the handmade house over the last century, this book tells it all. If you are like me, interested in environmentally friendly design and unique style in the home, you will appreciate this book. I will be moving into my new house soon – the house needs a lot of renovation. I hope I can apply the lessons from some of the stories of talented builders in this book to my home renovation!
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Rizzoli (March 20, 2012)