Usonian homes were originally the invention of Frank Lloyd Wright with the first example, The Jacobs House, which was completed in 1937. He imagined these as small low-cost single-family homes that were designed unlike many of the common homes of the day. Like most of Wright’s work Usonian homes inspired much of what is considered modern architecture today.
Usonian homes featured flat roofs, open living areas, small bedrooms, limited storage space, a passive solar design, and were often “L” shaped to provide a central exterior courtyard. While there were few Usonian homes built by Wright they have inspired architects and designers interested in frugality for decades. Joseph Sandy just posted this small 350 square-foot home on his blog which was inspired by the Usonian concept. Here is a sample of Joseph’s design.
While Joseph’s design is much smaller than Wright’s Usonian homes it’s captures many similar features and values. As you can see the interior space is optimized for living with the sleeping, storage, and systems areas tucked out of the way. Most of the furniture is also built-in to maximize the space. I’m looking forward to seeing more illustrations of this house on Joseph’s blog in the future. He has a real talent for simple home design and I suspect this new design will contain more great ideas.