The Cottage Book
The Cottage Book
San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1989
Out of Print
The Cottage Book is a photo-essay on the tradition of cottage living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Nestled within the urban fabric of one of America's densest cities are a variety of rustic, hillside cottages, many of them on pedestrian alleys and in the rear yards of townhouses and apartment buildings. The terrain and stratospheric housing costs of the Bay Area have spawned considerable creativity and alternative living situations, like the houseboat community in Sausalito. The Cottage Book was inspired by these compelling urban conditions. Sexton had purchased a funky hillside cottage in San Francisco in 1983. The experience of renovating this little cottage and the firsthand knowledge of the strikingly different lifestyle that cottage living affords ultimately resulted in The Cottage Book.
Sexton's photo-essay on the cottages of the Bay Area is complemented by an introduction by architectural writer Sally Woodbridge and a concluding essay on the contribution of the cottage to affordable housing, by architect Donald MacDonald.
...this book shows how to style minimal space to create the ideal cottage environment. Through his photographs, Sexton captures the "intimacy, coziness and unabashed goofiness" that makes cottage living so special.
From primitive refugee shacks built in the wake of the 1906 earthquake to the sophisticated cottages of Bernard Maybeck, this elegant photo-essay is a definitive survey of the Bohemian tradition of cottage living in the San Francisco Bay Area.
A common feature of all the examples given here is a kind of cheer and sneaking satisfaction at cheating the odds of limited space with ingenuity and crafty solutions.