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Solutions for Living Small

Roundup

Whether you’re short on space or simply seeking ways to live more minimally (thanks Marie Kondo for ushering in an offence to throw-away consumerism!), today we highlight some of our favourite solutions for small space living!

 

16th August, 2017

Paul Marcus Fuog and Dan Honey‘s apartment in the heritage-listed Bible House building on Flinders Lane, Melbourne. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Paul Marcus Fuog and Dan Honey‘s apartment in Melbourne’s CBD utilises clever bedroom zoning. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Paul Marcus Fuog and Dan Honey‘s apartment offers a unique take on small footprint family living. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Smart Storage

Paul Marcus Fuog and Dan Honey‘s apartment in the heritage-listed Bible House building on Flinders Lane, Melbourne, remains one of our firm favourites. At just 75-square-metres, the footprint is essentially a small rectangle (measuring 7.5 metres x 10 metres).

With the help of architect Clare Cousins, the apartment was neatly re-configured to create a modern and flexible space, with two separate sleeping areas – a master ‘sleeping nook’, and a smaller kids bedroom.

Simple joinery, incorporating lots of inbuilt storage, is used to separate Dan and Paul’s sleeping nook from their daughter’s room, whilst the generous ceiling height allows for mezzanine storage accessible by ladder.

The South Yarra studio apartment of interior designer and stylist Andrea Moore. Styling – Andrea Moore. Photo – Eve Wilson.

 

Divide and Conquer

Andrea Moore‘s minuscule studio apartment in South Yarra is one of the sweetest pocket-sized pads we’ve seen!

This tiny studio apartment is cleverly divided into living and sleeping zones with the help of the Ikea Stolmen shelving system, which screens off the bedroom without adding visual bulk to the space, or blocking natural light.

The self-contained Carlton studio apartment of Alex Kennedy. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

The self-contained Carlton studio apartment of Alex Kennedy. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

Embrace Open Plan

The self-contained Carlton studio apartment of Alex Kennedy is the tiniest home we have featured, and still one of our most popular and shared homes ever!

Entirely built within the footprint of a converted two-car garage, this compact space fully embraces open plan living – even the bathroom is on display.

When faced with the tiniest of proportions, living ‘studio style’ (ie with combined living/sleeping zones) is the way to go. Ditch internal walls in favour of sliding screens, two-way shelving or curtains for privacy in sleeping/bathing zones.

The inner-Sydney home of Frag and Naomi Woodall. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The inner-Sydney home of Frag and Naomi Woodall. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The inner-Sydney home of Frag and Naomi Woodall. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Minimalism

The beautiful two-bedroom Sydney apartment of designer Frag Woodall and family epitomises Scandinavian Minimalism – sleek, contemporary, understated and uncluttered.

When it comes to living small, discipline goes a long way. Be vigilant when it comes to clutter, and commit to buying nothing new without culling something that no longer ‘sparks joy’.

A place for everything, and everything in its place.

 

 

 

The Melbourne home of maker Gemma Patford Legge and Duncan Legge. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The Melbourne home of maker Gemma Patford Legge and Duncan Legge. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Ship Shape

Look at boat and caravan interiors for clever, versatile space saving ideas.

Gemma Patford Legge‘s tiny Brunswick apartment maximises a small footprint by taking inspiration from caravan-style kitchens. Utilising a ramshackle arrangement of salvaged cabinetry, the kitchen incorporates clever hidden storage, and a versatile bench/dining table which stows away when not in use.

 

Melissa Avery and Christopher Lloyd‘s Melbourne CBD home. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Fixed Furniture

Fixed bench seating, like this sleek in-built solution in the CBD apartment of Melissa Avery and Christopher Lloyd, is often the most space-conscious seating option in small living spaces.

Likewise, wall-mounted cabinetry and shelving and is another great solution where floorspace is at a premium.

 

 

The McCraith ‘Butterfly’ House on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The McCraith ‘Butterfly’ House on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Looking Back

Look to mid century architecture for great, functional ideas on living small. Typically, homes designed and built in the 1950s were significantly smaller than today’s homes, with modest-sized bedrooms and living spaces, and surprisingly small kitchens.

Such in the case with Dromana’s McCraith House (or ‘Butterfly House’), designed by Chancellor and Patrick in 1955. We were surprised to discover just how compact this iconic home is – the main part of the home comprises a modest kitchen, and just one small bedroom adjacent to the living space. Downstairs, one guest bedroom is furnished simply with six built-in bunks!

Alex Nielsen and Liz Walsh’s The Barn is a cleverly converted sandstone barn in Hobart, Tasmania. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Alex Nielsen and Liz Walsh’s The Barn is a cleverly converted sandstone barn in Hobart, Tasmania. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Vertical Volumes

If floorspace is limited, consider vertical volumes. Attics and roof space can often be converted into an additional bedroom, study or storage zone, as seen in The Barn – a cleverly converted sandstone barn in Hobart, Tasmania, belonging to young architects Alex Nielsen and Liz Walsh.

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