The author explores the way the design of houses during the last and this century percolated down from custom-designed structures by world-famous architects to homes we live in today. It's an interesting story divided into nineteen thematic sections from the Arts and Crafts Movement to 21st Century Vernacular. Each considers the work of significant architects for each theme, for example, California Dreaming looks at Schindler, Neutra, Eames, Koenig, Elwood and Lautner or Houses of the Future with Deaton, Foster, Berglund and Lovag.
Most of the ninety houses (pictured) in the book were custom designed but many of the ideas in these homes influenced mass-market builders like Span estates in Britain and Eichler Homes in California. On Chicago's Lake Shore Drive Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed two stunning apartment blocks and the author rightly says there is a connection between these one-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments in the two blocks and the famous Farnsworth House designed by Mies in 1951. He explored the idea of open-plan living which is an accepted format in lots of today's housing.
The book is a departure from the author's usual architectural surveys which are heavy on photos, here he writes in an easy conversational style about the creative use of past living space and its influence on the houses we live in today. The back pages have a handy glossary, bibliography and index.