Photography by Barry Rustin

Architect Sarah Susanka, author of the Not So Big book series, put her design principles to work with the Not So Big Showhouse in Libertyville, opening Saturday. The two-story, 2,450-square foot home has three bedrooms, three bathrooms, and mud- and hobby-rooms, all designed with the idea of building better, not bigger.

Some of Susankas design tweaks? Instead of placing a formal living room at entrance to the house, Susanka put the kitchen closest to the front door to take advantage of the large porch . “Ninety percent of the time, the kitchen and eating area are where the family hangs out,” she says. The first floor is an open plan (see a photo here) to maximize the smaller size of the house, so Susanka used a variety of ceiling heights to create the feeling of different rooms, such as a reading alcove. Grand opening (all are invited) is November 19, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., and the home will be open for tours for the following six months, 138 School St.