Interior Design for Small Dwellings  book cover
1st Edition

Interior Design for Small Dwellings

ISBN 9781138583658
Published October 22, 2018 by Routledge
396 Pages

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Book Description

Interior Design for Small Dwellings addresses the onrush of interest in smaller homes and the possibility that small dwellings might be the answer to housing needs and sustainability. The book explores key principles essential to residing and designing small interiors with emphasis on client involvement and implementation of participatory, inclusive design as advocated by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation.

Does living in a small space mean living small? The authors believe that by simplifying one’s life intelligently and applying certain principles of design, planning and organization, one can actually live a meaningful life in a smaller space. These tenets are based on the authors’ professional experiences and living in small homes. To this end, the book provides discussion, images, case studies, interviews, worksheets, activities and suggested explorations.

Interior Design for Small Dwellings is a teaching guide and provides information and exercises that help professional designers utilize design theory, space planning and programming techniques. Throughout, the text affords sustainability, biophilic design and wellness methodologies.


Table of Contents

Part 1: Analyzing Your Clients’ Needs  1. Why Small Living and For Whom  2. How to Help Clients Examine Their Own Situation  3. Small Dwelling Programming for Clients  3.1 Programming  3.2 Daily Routine Worksheet  3.3 Inventory of Furnishings and Accessories  3.4 Essential, Desired and Future Needs  3.5 Physical Interior Characteristics  3.6 Building in Context  3.7 What Function Does Each Room Provide?  3.8 Universal-Accessible Design, Aging in Place, Health Environments, Sustainability  3.9 Budget and Scheduling  Case Study 1: Project Title, Designer, City, State, Country, Year Completed  Case Study 2: Project Title, Designer, City, State, Country, Year Completed  Part 2: Design Considerations  4. Principles and Elements of Design in Designing Small Dwellings  4.1 An Overview  4.2 The Language of Design: Elements and Principles  4.3 Observing Design in Nature  4.4 What Each Principle Can Do For Us  4.5 Practical Applications of Elements and Principles  5. Color and Light  5.1 The Abundant Color of Being: Preferences  5.2 Primer of Color Guidelines and Breaking the Rules  5.3 Psychology, Sociological and Cultural Aspects of Color  5.4 Physical Considerations  5.5 Color Schemes  5.6 Mishmash Tips from Color Experts  6. The Devil is In the Details  6.1 Space Planning  6.2 How To Put it All Together: Designing Rose’s Condo  6.3 An Example: A Walk through the Entry  7. Tapping Nature and Sustainability for Solutions  7.1 Nature and Interior Design  7.2 Nature’s Inspiration and Well-being  7.3 Practicing Sustainability and Responsibility  7.4 Where and How to Implement Sustainability principles  Case Study 3: Project Title, Designer, City, State, Country, Year Completed  Case Study 4: Project Title, Designer, City, State, Country, Year Completed  Part 3: Practical Solutions for Living Well in a Small Dwelling  8. Finding More Storage Space  9. The Small Kitchen  9.1 Space Planning  9.2 How Much Food do You Need to Buy?  10. Multi-Functional, Flexible, Adjustable  10.1 How Many Different Ways Can You Use Your Household Items?  10.2 Artwork in the Kitchen  11. One Man’s Trash is Another’s Treasure: Recycling Knowledge  11.1 Consignment Shops and Thrift Stores  11.2 Junk Yards  11.3 Websites  11.4 Free Furniture  11.5 Wabi-Sabi  12. Let Me Entertain You 

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Sherrill Baldwin Halbe, PhD, is a professional interior designer and instructor of interior design at San Francisco State University and Montana State University’s, Gallatin College and School of Architecture. Dr. Baldwin Halbe has taught interior design for two decades and has presented and published interior work nationally. With firsthand experience of living in a 600 square feet home in the Napa Valley, California, her theoretical background, design experience and aesthetic sensibilities provide understanding of living smaller and simpler.

Rose K. Mark, MA, is an educator, learning specialist, writer and food professional. Her food and travel articles have been published internationally and in the United States. Her personal journey, planning a 624 square feet home, in addition to inhabiting a number of diverse small dwellings, have given her insight and lessons on how living smaller and simpler can provide a richer life style.








The unique twist to this book – one which makes it stand out amongst all the other small house books -  is that it is from the viewpoint of  interior designers, thus leading readers on a journey towards designing their own “best” small house. 
Karen Johnson-Carroll, Associate Professor, Interior Design, San Francisco State University  


Making a commitment to living on a smaller footprint makes sense in today’s world, but the day to day realities may be hard to anticipate.  Finally, a book that takes the reader through the process, both in documentation and practical analysis, outlining what a client needs to consider using clear, concise language, suitable for those embarking on this journey alone or with a professional. 
Teresa Slye, ASID, LEED ap
Director of the Interior Design Department
Gallatin College Montana State University

Sherrill and Rose capture the essence of thriving in small spaces. Guiding the designers process from discovering clients needs, helping ease the anxiety of “letting go” of possessions, to easing the trepidation of entertaining. Engagingly written and accompanied by photographic examples of real projects the book is a pleasure for the mind and the eye.
Karen A. Libby, ASID, IIDA
Libby Design Associates
Berkeley, California