The New Cottage Home: A Tour of Unique American Dwellings

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9781561582297: The New Cottage Home: A Tour of Unique American Dwellings

The New Cottage Home taps into today's move toward lifestyle simplicity and the idea that living space should be rich in details, conservative of resources, and no larger than necessary. Jim Tolpin celebrates the diversity and charm of 30 sample cottages, from a Pacific Northwest cottage modeled after a French hunting lodge to a "salvage yard vernacular cottage" built with junkyard materials.

Each featured home reflects individual personality, priorities, and lifestyle. Whether by the water, on a mountain, or in a forest, field, or town, these homes emphasize quality of place over quantity of space.

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Review:

It takes only a drive through any typical American subdivision to confirm that in recent decades the average house has grown in size, narrowed in style, and shrunk in vision. Jim Tolpin's The New Cottage Home represents a return to a previous school of thought about living space: that it should be no larger than is needed, conservative of resources, rich in detail-- in short, that it should pay homage to honest architecture and fine craftsmanship, not to conspicuous consumption. The 30 cottage homes pictured, all recently built, have the slightly unfair advantage of almost magically beautiful locations, but each has a unique character and many cottage-style nooks and crannies: the converted island pump house with sod roof, the 600-square-foot woodland temple, the salvage-built house on the Kansas prairie, the off-the-grid shingled hilltop house built to take advantage of natural light. Tolpin does an excellent job of pulling together the elements of each that make it a cottage and make it appealing. In his own words, "These houses seem to call as much to the heart as to the head, enriching us more with the highs of nature than with the highs of technology. These are the new American cottages that embody the ancient storybook dream, and the kind of homes that many of us have always dreamed of living in."

About the Author:

Jim Tolpin has been a woodworker for more than 30 years and has written a dozen books on the subject, selling more than 750,000 copies. He teaches woodworking for a living at his school, The Port Townsend School of Woodworking.

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