Cover image for The house to ourselves : reinventing home once the kids are grown
The house to ourselves : reinventing home once the kids are grown
Lawson, Todd.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Newtown, CT : Taunton Press ; [Berkeley, Calif.] : Distributed by Publishers Group West, [2004]

Physical Description:
217 pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
NA7195.E56 L38 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Home Improvement

On Order



Parents with grown children represent one of the largest demographic groups in the country today, and their living needs are often radically different from when they were raising families or working full-time. Architects are responding with innovative solutions to the demand for homes designed for two but with room for more. This book, featuring hundreds of color photos and illustrations, covers renovations and remodels, brand-new homes, and even new types of communities throughout the U.S. Ideas vary from single-level designs to accommodate the physical needs of people as they grow older, to flexible open-floor plans that welcome visitors and allow plenty of socializing. "The House to Ourselves helps boomers explore a wealth of possibilities.

Author Notes

Tom Connor writes about houses and home design for The New York Times "Home," "Real Estate," and "Magazine" sections, and for other publications including House and Garden and Connecticut Magazine. He lives in Southport, Connecticut.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

The glossy photographs in this beautiful book suggest a life of activity, comfort and pleasure for empty-nesters-who make up one of the fastest growing demographics in the U.S. today. The authors argue that "design-savvy baby boomers are using their life experiences and knowledge of their deep-seated desires to rewrite the book on architecture after having their children and careers," and certainly, the book suggests that for boomers who have saved enough money, the possibilities are limitless. Image after image shows spectacular remodelings and new constructions. The apartment featured in "A Hip Retirement Haven" looks more like a New York artist's loft than a typical retirement-community pad. And the river valley home built by 11 friends who decided that they wanted to retire together resembles nothing more than a woody resort: it contains a main lodge, a bedroom wing, a library, an enormous kitchen and a pavilion. Other chapters feature homes designed to be private retreats, family compounds and workshops or offices. The authors preface their many examples with an opening essay that highlights the six design "essentials" for late-stage homes: single-level living, an open floor plan, flexible space, specialty rooms, low-maintenance exterior landscape and quality craftsmanship. Throughout the book they use floor plans, sidebars and photo captions to clearly explain how these principles have been applied in each home. A stimulating and inspiring book for couples who are looking forward to or already living alone, this book also contains many original and practical innovations. (Apr.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Library Journal Review

For many couples, the time when the children move out is a period of great adjustment and change. Architect Lawson and Connor, an author whose work on architecture and home design has appeared in numerous magazines, team up to show readers several homes designed specifically for empty nesters. Building one's dream house is always much easier with money, and the owners of the featured abodes certainly seem to have it (one 2600-square-foot home is described as "relatively small"). Although designed for empty nesters, the homes often have accommodations for visiting children and grandchildren. Other important design factors as people age are accessibility and space for the pursuit of lifelong hobbies and interests. Profuse color photographs and floor plans are provided throughout. For comprehensive collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 2
The Joy of Having the House to Ourselvesp. 4
Part 1 Finding Our Place: The Next House as Pure Possibilityp. 22
A Hip Retirement Havenp. 24
At Home on the Rangep. 32
In the Company of Friendsp. 40
The Geometry of Two Livesp. 48
Part 2 Just the Two of Us: The House As Retreatp. 56
Together on the Riverp. 58
A Shipshape House for Twop. 68
A Couple's Island Lodgep. 78
Refining the Ranchp. 88
Field of Dreamsp. 98
Part 3 Separate but Together: The House As Family Compoundp. 106
An Old Cottage Made Newp. 108
A Nest for the Futurep. 118
An Addition for Two or Morep. 126
Designed with Offspring in Mindp. 136
A Modern Desert Homep. 144
A Family Compound Spreads Outp. 154
From Cramped to Comfortablep. 164
Part 4 Pursuing Our Passions: The House as Office, Studio, and Workshopp. 172
Time for a Changep. 174
A Weaver and Woodcutter's Refugep. 182
A New Old-World Housep. 190
A Retreat Far from Homep. 198
Harvesting the Landp. 208
Directory of Architects and Designersp. 216