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3 Small Homes with Layers of Living

Even small spaces can make use of stairs and storeys

By Designlines

Small homes need not be cramped, flat shoeboxes. With clever, considered geometry, a well-edited collection of furniture and the addition of split levels and storeys, a small home can have an outsized appearance and feel that’s welcomely out of step with its modest footprint. Below, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite compact homes that we consider a step up from the rest.

small home

Around Back

Out of a dilapidated, two-storey, century-old home, LGA Architectural Partners (who designed our favourite public space last year) designed a tri-level laneway wonder. A sunken kitchen, oversized dormers and corkscrewing metal stairs were amongst LGA’s bag of tricks that made the build possible. Read the full story to see the rest of their creative solutions.

Small home

Market Special

Nestled in the heart of Kensington Market, this Superkül-designed home, which they named Origami House, is folded into the same footprint as an old worker’s cottage. Special attention was given to its “ceiling-scapes,” which paid dividends by opening up both floors with a generous allocation of natural light. It’s the kind of talent that made them our Designer of the Year. Read our full take here for the details.

Window Shopping

Another example from LGA, this Parkdale home’s owner had to forego a flat roof due to her tight budget. No matter – the sloped roof allowed for variable ceiling heights inside, including a skyscraping 7.3 metres in the stairwell that, besides creating an airy, light-filled space, made room for an LED-filled clerestory that blurs the line between interior and exterior. See the full story here.


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