Anatomy Of A Great Home Book Review - Beautiful, Practical and Informative

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Anatomy of a Great Home, from Schiffer Publishing and author/expert Boyce Thompson, presents more than fifty award winning homes, built by three dozen A+ American architects and defines the technical characteristics of what makes a home great.

For Thompson, who sets the reader on a journey of discovery as they explore his latest work. “In a purely sense, a house is little more than a collection of thousands of parts assembled over six months or more to provide shelter. But to the people who live there, it is much more – it is a canvas, an intimate reflection of our lifestyles, tastes, and aspirations. It mirrors our priorities, whether they are collecting Eames furniture, breeding roses, enjoying happy hours next to a fire put, or owning a architectural masterpiece that’s the envy of the neighborhood. When a house aligns with our personal goals and enriches our lives, we live in a great house.”


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With chapters titled Characteristics of a Great Home; Make a Personal Statement; Harmonize with Nature; Anticipate evolving lifestyles, Freshly Interpret Tradition; Contain Modern Elements; Cater to Human Occupants; Make Economical Use of Space; Practice Sustainability; Pull from Vernacular styles, Build on existing DNA; Relate to Urban Environments; Welcome You Home; Rise to the Level of Art.

Each of the chapters follow a pattern introducing the element such as Makes a Personal Statement, of course, this make perfect sense as the home will be occupied by any number of diverse individuals who grow an evolved in tastes and presentation and a belief that each piece is deserving of a showcase and as one changes and evolves the prized work of yesteryear are replaced with significant works and pieces or photography of milestones. The idea that a home makes a personal statement is simply a reflection of the occupants phase of life.

Anatomy of a Great Home also addresses the negative effect a home has on the environment and the issue of sustainability. For homes seeking a more permanent “off the grid” approach, necessary storage for alternative energies or a back-up system for cloudy days or other interruptions in the natural source, have to be incorporated into he homes designs in order to sustain the full immersion of alternative energies.

Anatomy of a Great Home presents elements which are common to the area, the first language or regional dialect of home building. In Hawaii, a Lanai is considered the signature of Great Homes. In Denver a technique called the “foursquare” or the Denver Square is considered the signature style. Great Homes pull from the vernacular style of the region.

Relating to the Urban environment is also part of the anatomy of a great home. U.S. cities from coast to coast are seeing a renaissance of the once abandoned urban centers or neighborhoods such as New York City’s Harlem which enjoyed a regeneration with major developers redefining the look with upscale housing units in full amenity buildings. Downtown Los Angeles is also on the verge of a full on explosion of modern housing units.

Built on existing DNA sets the idea of renovating the home already built. Modernizing a home while restoring the original elements are presented with gorgeous results. Or taking a crumbling brick carriage house and renovating retains the historic value and charm.

Great Homes have a least one use and possibly two out of every space. Which when one translates the statement to spacing it becomes built in corner shelving, interior wall shelving, window seating, window seating doubling as a toy storage chest in children’s rooms, roof top decks.

World renown Architects are featured including A Boheme Design, Angeleno Associates, Archimania, Bar Architects, Barley Pfeiffer Architecture, Centerbrook Architects and Planners, Cuter Anderson Architects, Edingerarchitects, Estes Twombly Architects, Forest Studio, H3 Studio, House + House Architects, Jeffrey Berkus Architects, Johnson Schmaling Architects.

Also featured are JZMK Partners, Kevin Defreitas Architects, Khoury Vogt, Kipnis Architecture + Planning, Lake Flato, Lander Group, Looney rock Kiss, LPAS, McInturff Architects, Muse Architects, Obie G. Bowman Architect, Pappageorge Haymes Partners, Richard Williams Architects, Robert Chapin Architects, Ross Chapin Architects, Union Studio, Woodley Architectural Group, Zack De Vito Architecture + Construction.

Anatomy of a Great Home presents a well-planned, articulately presented, overview of elements which most builders believe should be present in order to have a "Great Home." Photos of these award winning styles are also included making this as much a specialty home guide as well as a planning guide with blueprints to each floor and rooms.


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At 264 pages Anatomy of a Great Home also includes beautiful color photos of homes from Hawaii to Los Angeles to Denver to Omaha to Washington, D.C., with striking scenic landscaping, gorgeous interior designs and décor, exterior design and use of outdoor spacing in climate friendly areas.

Industry terms such as understanding the difference between passive solar gain and solar thermal panels angled for optimized winter heat gain for those in areas where solar power abates seasonally as well as heat glaze (which translate to the side of the home which receives direct sunlight for a majority of time) and other terms which bring an comprehension to home building, and renovating are presented with blueprint plans for easy application.

For homeowners, builders, developers and laymen Anatomy of a Great Home has a chapter or concept which everyone will find interesting.

Anatomy of a Great Home is available now in better book store and through  Schifferbook.com.

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