Bonjour. Welcome to the 181st edition of Tranquility du Jour: A Guide to Bringing Tranquility to your Every Day. Today’s show features musings on living the not so big life with Sarah Susanka.
Featured Tranquilista: Sarah Susanka is leading a movement to redefine the American home and lifestyle. A cultural visionary, Susanka is the author of eight books that collectively weave together home and life design, revealing that a Not So Big attitude serves not only architectural aims, but life goals as well. Her books have sold well over one million copies and continue to rank highly on best-seller lists.
In her Not So Big House series, Susanka helps readers understand that the sense of “home” they’re seeking has almost nothing to do with quantity and everything to do with quality. She points out that we feel “at home” in our houses when where we live reflects who we are in our hearts. In The Not So Big Life, she uses this same set of notions to explain that we can be “at home” in our lives only when we engage everything we do with this same integrity, each action reflecting who we truly are. In both realms she believes that Not So Big should be the first step in sustainability, both for our own well being and for the well being of the planet as a whole.
Thought Leader, Speaker and Expert Resource
A master in the use of metaphor to explain new dimensions of understanding, Susanka has a gift for making the complex simple and for demystifying even the most obscure subject matter. Susanka’s “build better, not bigger” approach to residential architecture has been embraced across the country and her Not So Big philosophy has evolved beyond our physical habitations and into how we inhabit our lives.
In September 2008, Susanka’s groundbreaking first book The Not So Big House, was re-released as a special 10th anniversary edition with a new cover, introduction and a new chapter. Other Susanka titles include: Creating the Not So Big House (Taunton, 2000), Not So Big Solutions for Your Home (Taunton, 2002), Home By Design (Taunton, 2004), Inside the Not So Big House (Taunton, 2005), Outside the Not So Big House (Taunton, 2006) and The Not So Big Life: Making Room for What Really Matters (Random House, 2007). Her latest book, Not So Big Remodeling: Tailoring Your Home for the Way You Really Live, was written with co-author Marc Vassallo and was released in March 2009. The Taunton Press will release Susanka’s ninth book, More Not So Big Solutions for Your Home, in March 2010.
Susanka has been interviewed by hundreds of television and radio shows across the nation including “Oprah,” “Charlie Rose,” “Good Morning America,” CNN’s “American Morning” and “Diane Rehm.” She is regularly tapped by major news organizations including The New York Times, USA Today and national magazines for her insights into home design, lifestyle and sustainability.
Fast Company named Susanka to their debut list of “Fast 50” innovators whose achievements have helped to change society, Newsweek magazine selected her as a “top newsmaker” for 2000, and U.S. News and World Report dubbed her an “innovator in American culture” in 1998. Susanka was presented with the 2007 Anne Morrow Lindbergh Award by the Lindbergh Foundation for outstanding individual achievement in making positive contributions to our world.
Susanka is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects and a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council. She was born in Kent, England, and today lives in North Carolina.
OMwork: How can you live a not so big life?
Signature Style: The ballet-inspired spring collection has sprung at TranquiliT.com in en pointe pink, sugarplum purple, and noir. Whimsical, girly, feminine, and fun!
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Au Revoir: To close out the show, we’re playing “Jars of Fireflies” by Pocket. You can learn more about their music at
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