Mother Earth Living


Small Miracles: The Not So Big House

Sarah Susanka hit upon a huge idea, one that touched a major nerve, when she wrote The Not So Big House.



“One of the things I try to do is to give a house a sense of integrity on all sides,” Susanka explains. “Most house backs are pretty atrocious looking. But to me, that’s this home’s best face.”
Susanka incorporated a large picture window in her living room, which allows her to feel more connected with the woods surrounding her home and the wildlife that lives in them. Minnesota winters have never been a favorite of Susanka’s, but being able to participate with the external world while she’s in her home has made them easier. Relaxing in the home she designed for herself in St. Paul, Minnesota, has helped Susanka cope with the many demands of success. “It was incredible to move into that house—there was a sense of calm, of being pretty constantly delighted by the light, the composition,” she says.
Photography by Elisabeth Groh
A ship’s ladder, with hand holds cut into the steps, is a space-saving feature that leads to the attic meditation room.
Susanka incorporated a large picture window in her living room, which allows her to feel more connected with the woods surrounding her home and the wildlife that lives in them. Minnesota winters have never been a favorite of Susanka’s, but being able to participate with the external world while she’s in her home has made them easier. Relaxing in the home she designed for herself in St. Paul, Minnesota, has helped Susanka cope with the many demands of success. “It was incredible to move into that house—there was a sense of calm, of being pretty constantly delighted by the light, the composition,” she says.
Flanked by a half-moon Kal-Wall window, the deep tub in the bathroom is a serene spot for relaxation. “I can’t tell you how much I like that spot,” Susanka says. “It’s so far beyond what I ever thought a bathroom could be. I really love the feeling—it’s almost like being in a cocoon.”
Susanka incorporated a large picture window in her living room, which allows her to feel more connected with the woods surrounding her home and the wildlife that lives in them. Minnesota winters have never been a favorite of Susanka’s, but being able to participate with the external world while she’s in her home has made them easier. Relaxing in the home she designed for herself in St. Paul, Minnesota, has helped Susanka cope with the many demands of success. “It was incredible to move into that house—there was a sense of calm, of being pretty constantly delighted by the light, the composition,” she says.

















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