WoodCentral's Book Reviews
Patterns of Home

Patterns of Home
by Max Jacobson, Murray Silverstein & Barbara Winslow

Taunton Press: 2002
Hardback, 282 pp., $34.95
ISBN 1-56158-533-5

     Patterns of Home is a philosophy, a way of thinking about how we occupy living spaces, both inside and out. For example, on a simple idea concerning site selection for constructing a home, the authos advise: "Don't build on the best spot. When you visit a site, note where you pause and sit for a while. That spot is probably a good place to point the building toward..."
     This is a full-color idea book of inside and outside spaces and places in between, meaning sheltered outdoor rooms linking indoors and out. Much is made of how living spaces are actually used and what a homeowner's priorities are. The 'car connection' is shown as a priority, lending the garage and driveway entry its due importance.
     'Capturing light' is a main chapter with ideas for remodelers as well as new construction. Placement and sizing of windows, designing with light, using light to balance an interior, and climate considerations are all concerns expressed with patterns in mind. Interior flow patterns, gradients, movement along edges of a living space and transitions from one space to another, are some of the ideas presented in an overall whole for the way a homeowner utilizes these spaces.
     Beautifully photographed with spectacular homes of all sizes, the book is a page by page marvel of ideas. These are homes designed around an idea of use, an acknowledged and efficient expression of patterns in our living spaces. The authors' Ten Essentials of Enduring Design are the elements linking the patterns into a whole. Rather than just a coffee table picture book, the text is an education in architectural thinking, and is well worth reading.

. . . Barb Siddiqui