SchoolStreet on the Front Page of the Chicago Tribune’s Real Estate Section!

SchoolStreet and the Not So Big® Showhouse were featured on the front page of the Sunday Real Estate Section of the Chicago Tribune.

Living large in less space

New Libertyville house showcases architect Susanka’s ‘not so big’ principles

Mary Ellen PodmolikThe Home FrontNovember 25, 2011

For the past 12 years, architect Sarah Susanka has espoused the need for houses that are smaller, yes, but also more practical and eminently more livable.

She’s written books, given presentations and worked privately for homeowners. Now, with the era of the McMansion in the rearview mirror for many, Susanka has partnered with a Chicago-area developer to construct a “not so big” home in Libertyville to show consumers what she has been talking about all these years.

The showcase home, located at the 26-site SchoolStreet Homes development under construction a block east of downtown, is open for weekend tours until May 20…. Read the rest of the article here

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See the Video of the Green Roof Installation at the Not So Big® Showhouse

Hursthouse Landscape Architects and Contractors create a rooftop garden on top of Sarah Susanka’s Not So Big® Showhouse located in Libertyville, Illinois. Here is the fantastic video they made of the installation!

For more information on the Hursthouse, visit http://hursthouse.com/

Not So Big® Showhouse featured in Minneapolis Star Tribune

‘Not So Big House’ takes center stage

Article by: LYNN UNDERWOOD , Star Tribune

Updated: November 19, 2011 – 2:34 PM

Sarah Susanka wanted to show people how they can live comfortably with less space.

So the celebrated architect and author of “The Not So Big House” series of books designed a showhouse in SchoolStreet, a new housing development in Libertyville, Ill., which opened for tours this week. We chatted with Susanka about “better-not-bigger” design, strategic wall color and the house of the future….

Read the Interview:

http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/homegarden/134121678.html

Over 500 People Attend the Not So Big® Showhouse Grand Opening!

Despite the gray skies, and blustery weather, over 500 people showed up to get the first glimpse of the Not So Big® Showhouse, and meet the architect, Sarah Susanka.

If you didn’t have a chance to see it today, there is another open house Sunday from 1-4pm.

Spread the word, and come see Sarah Susanka’s Not So Big® design concepts firsthand!

Open House

Sunday , November 20 1-4pm

138 School Street

Libertyville, IL 60048

A Local Perspective on the Not So Big® Showhouse

Libertyville resident and blogger,  Jen Merrill, was at Sarah Susanka’s presentation of the Not So Big® Showhouse last night, and wrote a very nice piece from her local perspective:

Not So Big but Just Right

November 17th, 2011
It’s no secret I was living in real estate hell last spring. A good third of my house was in storage, I had to keep the place showroom perfect, I was flying solo, and I had no earthly idea where we were going to live or when. Good times, good times. Somehow I heard about Sarah Susanka and her Not So Big House concept. Intrigued, and knowing that no matter where we ended up the house was going to be considerably smaller, I devoured her books and fell hard.Read the whole post: http://laughingatchaos.com/2011/11/17/not-so-big-but-just-right/

 

 

Sarah and John Interview with Residential Architect Magazine

Not So Big® Showhouse architect Sarah Suanaka, and StreetScape’s John McLinden sat down with Residential rchitect Magazine this week. Read the Original Article

q + a: sarah susanka, faia, and john mclinden on the not so big showhouse in libertyville, ill.

by: meghan drueding

On Nov. 19, Sarah Susanka’s 2,450-square-foot Not So Big (NSB) Showhouse in Libertyville, Ill., will open to the public for six months. The house is part of SchoolStreet Homes, a community of 26 single-family homes and 15 lofts. residential architect’s Meghan Drueding spoke with Susanka and SchoolStreet’s developer, John McLinden.

ra: What sets SchoolStreet apart from other developments?

jm: Three key things: One, we purchased the property out of foreclosure, so we have a price advantage. Two, we’re adjacent to fabulous, vibrant downtown Libertyville, a town of 22,000 people. Three, the product. We have an architect-guided process. We have architects on staff as well as working with different firms.

ss: The quality of the architects is excellent. They’re not just giving lip service to design. A house can have less square footage, but it’s got to be better quality. John has 21 of 26 homes sold and has increased prices by 15 percent to 18 percent. Quality is what people are looking for, and a sense of community.

ra: Sarah, how did you come to build the NSB Showhouse there?

ss: I was looking for a developer who really got that quality and character are important. I told John my desire to do a show house that was available for the general public to go through. I did a show house at the International Builders’ Show, but nobody but the trade knew about the house. I wanted someplace where I could have a showcase that would be open at least six months, so that people could kick the tires.

ra: What are some of the key design features of the NSB Showhouse?

ss: The size [2,450 square feet] was very intentional. When downsizing comes up, the press goes to the far end of the spectrum and talks about tiny houses. A minute segment of the population is ever going to live in tiny houses. A big segment of the population is looking at 3,000- to 5,000-square-foot houses. They don’t want to go much smaller.

I’m trying to show that if you eliminate the spaces you rarely use, you can actually have a house that lives large. I like to show a really, really comfortable 2,300- to 2,500-square-foot home. You make that home by eliminating formal living spaces, by having an “away room” where you can go to be quiet and get away. You have the home be accessible. You have it be close to downtown so you can age in place.

One of the main floor plan ideas for the NSB Showhouse is that there is no formal dining room. You can take the dining table and move it into the library alcove and extend as needed. Also, there’s a lot of ceiling height variety, rather than walls, to indicate different spaces. And the stair tower becomes a light shaft from the third floor.

ra: Why Libertyville?

jm: Libertyville is a pedestrian kind of town. Out of the New Urbanist playbook, the homes at SchoolStreet are positioned close to the street to encourage pedestrians. It really does that. There’s kind of a romance to a front porch … front porch parties have already started to break out.

ss: In Libertyville, almost 30 years ago, people in the community started to focus on how to keep their Main Street vital. Its downtown doesn’t feel like a suburb. It feels like its own entity. It’s a cool place to come to.

ra: Is the NSB Showhouse for sale?

ss: In early 2012 the house will be released for sale and we will release the sale price then. But it will be open on weekends to the public for six months. We will have events where people can learn about SchoolStreet and the NSB house concept.

Read more on this project in our sister magazine, EcoHome, or follow the included links to learn more about the Not So Big Showhouse and SchoolStreet Homes.

excerpt taken from Residential Architect, November 17, 2011:

http://www.residentialarchitect.com/green-design/q–a-sarah-susanka-and-john-mclinden.aspx?cid=rabu:111611

 

SchoolStreet Teams with MainStreet

From the Lake County News-Sun –  November 15, 2011:

See the Original Article Here

Learn More About MainStreet Libertyville Here

MainStreet Libertyville showcases ‘Design Week’

MainStreet Libertyville is in the midst of “Design Week,” which highlights all of the businesses in the downtown that offer a service or a product pertaining to home décor or design.

“We decided to highlight our resources for home design and products in conjunction with the public opening of the ‘Not So Big’ Showhouse designed by acclaimed architect Sarah Susanka for the School Street Development at 138 School St. on Nov. 19,” said Pam Hume, MainStreet Libertyville’s executive director.

“I think so many people, after walking through model homes, decide their own homes need a little sprucing up,” she said. “We want people to think first of our downtown shops as a destination for their home décor projects. Not only do we offer furniture and accessories, but also design and building expertise.”

Some of the participating stores include A Perry Designs and Builds, Arden’s Fine Furniture, Buss Floral Shop, Curtis Frame/Back Alley Gallery, Eclectic Design, Great Rooms, How Impressive, Idea Design-Build, Leggy Bird Design, Motif, Parkview Gourmet, Someone’s in the Kitchen, Studio West, Sweet Peas Design and Chelle Design.

Not So Big® Showhouse Featured on “Make It Better”

The Showhouse is the focus of an article on the North Shore online newsletter Make It Better. Make sure to view the article and share it with your friends. The most-viewed stories make it to the print edition!

Read the full the full story here:

Making Less Feel Like More: Not So Big Showhouse

Not So Big® Showhouse Featured in EcoHome

Ecohome is a magazine of the American Institute of Architects and focuses on green products and technology.

Sarah Susanka Opens Not So Big Showhouse in Illinois

Walkability, healthy indoor air, and attractive design appeal to small town buyers.

ByRick Schwolsky

The SchoolStreet Development in Libertyville, Ill., includes architect Sarah Susanka’s Not So Big Showhouse.

The SchoolStreet Development in Libertyville, Ill., includes architect Sarah Susanka’s Not So Big Showhouse.

Credit: Courtesy SchoolStreet Homes

Architect Sarah Susanka’s latest project is a showhouse demonstrating many of the architect’s design solutions for maximizing lifestyle within reasonable sqare footage—an approach she has famously coined as the “Not So Big House” architectural pattern. The showhome, which opened to the public this month, is part of a 26-home infill development built by SchoolStreet Homes on a Libertyville, Ill., “redfield” site—a term that refers to a financially damaged and dormant site, joining “brownfield” and “greenfield” in the lexicon of our industry.

“With all the challenges in the housing market, it’s clear we need a new vision for the way we design our homes, our communities, and even our lives,” Susanka says. “This is the first time I’ve designed a showhome that’s located within an existing small town and in a new walkable community that’s just off the town’s main street.”

The 2,450-square-foot home was designed to meet the new Energy Star for Homes 3.0 performance levels, as well as EPA’s Indoor Air Plus requirements, and is pre-wired for subsequent installation of rooftop PV panels.
The SchoolStreet development includes a historic school that’s being transformed into 15 urban lofts that will be available starting in the second quarter of 2012. It is within blocks of downtown shops and restaurants as well as a commuter rail station 30 miles from Chicago. “Even before we opened the doors, the showhouse design and the entire SchoolStreet community have been met with great enthusiasm from the public,” says John McLinden of SchoolStreet Homes. “We’re bucking national housing trends with 21 of the 26 homes sold in less than a year and five of the 15 lofts sold within the first eight weeks of being released to the public.”

Rick Schwolsky is Editor of Chief of EcoHome.

Read the original article:

http://www.ecohomemagazine.com/news/2011/11-november/sarah-susanka-opens-not-so-big-showhouse-in-illinois.aspx

Room and Board Furniture Delivered for the Showhouse!

We are so excited to have Room and Board design, furnish, and install the furniture for the Not So Big® Showhouse!

The furniture was installed today and looks even better than imagined. We would love to show you photos, but it is top secret for the time being… so you will just have to wait and see for yourself at the Grand Opening on November 19.

Room and Board has also sent out their own invitations to the open house: