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Developer offers ‘Not So Big House’

2,450-square-foot Sarah Susanka design fills up lot, so no backyard

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

Devotees of the "Not So Big" school of architecture now have a brick-and-mortar place of their own -- at least for awhile.Architect Sarah Susanka, who has developed something of an anti-McMansion cult following with her popular series of eight "Not So Big House" coffee table books, recently opened a showcase home in Libertyville, Ill., that will function as what she calls her 3-D thesis."I think of it as a walk-in book," the North Carolina architect said as she walked through the 2,450-square-foot structure before it opened for a six-month run of public tours on Nov. 19. "I want people to feel what I've been writing about."What she has been writing about, with 1.2 million "Not So Big" volumes sold, is the idea that you can live large in less space, so long as the house is smartly designed.In Susanka's designs, rooms do double-duty. Ceiling heights are varied and manipulated to define living spaces without having to erect wal...