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Resource Review: The Distinctive Home

Emily Oster


Several weeks ago, I had coffee with a former professor (hi Ben) who after taking a look at my blog suggested I read The Distinctive Home - A Vision of Timeless Design by Jeremiah Eck. I just recently finished the book and could not recommend it more. In fact, instead of doing just one post dedicated to the book's review I have planned a small series. 

In the introduction, Eck defines distinctive houses as those that "avoid the sameness, blandness, and thoughtlessness of many new houses being built today" (Eck, 2).  He goes on to state that the means to create a distinct home is to take a step back and look at four fundamental design concepts - the site, the floor plan, the exterior elements, and the details. Each principle is given its own section of the book and uses examples of contemporary residential architecture to support the points being made.

A premise of the book, which is never clearly stated, is its assumes all new construction. I find this to be somewhat isolating in that the majority of people are not building their own homes from ground up but rather are in some way modifying an existing home. This is not to stay that Eck's points don't apply but rather they just need to be adapted; which is what I will attempt to do in my forthcoming posts. Stay tuned for the first installment on the site!