This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

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.

View Comments

Similar Stories

Interior Design

Top 10 Beautiful Bookshelves

Our favourite beautifully ordered bookshelves and impressive home libraries.

How To

Our Favourite Art Walls

Ideas from our archive to inspire your own in-home gallery!

Roundup

Top 10 Indoor Jungles

Our roundup of lush indoor gardens, from the TDF Homes and Studios archives.
Elle Murrell

This Week

Studio Visit

Shannon Garson's Exquisite Hand Painted Porcelain

A studio visit with celebrated Sunshine Coast ceramicist, Shannon Garson.
Jo Hoban

News

Billie Justice Thomson Presents Human-Sized Paintings in ‘Big Show’

A show of epic proportions (literally) by Billie Justice Thomson at Modern Times!
Amelia Barnes

Interiors

A New Standard In Architectural And Interior Hardware

Linear Standard is a sleek new range of door handles and hardware, designed in Melbourne.
Miriam McGarry

Exhibition

A New Lens On Mid-Century Icons!

Celebrated photographer Derek Swalwell launches his latest exhibition, Farnsworth + Miller, at Fini Gallery, opening this Thursday!
Lucy Feagins
  3 hours ago

Homes

The Rainbow Rental

Kitiya Palaskas shares her Pascoe Vale rental, filled with art, plants, textiles and life!

Architecture

The Perfect Red Hill Retreat

Templeton Architecture connect a collection of buildings on a rural site into a contemporary country dream home.
Miriam McGarry

News

Your Chance To Step Inside Tasmania’s Most Iconic Buildings + Homes!

Over 70 buildings in and around Hobart will be open to the public across November 9th-10th!
Sponsored

News

Australia’s Largest Celebration Of Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Art

The Tarnanthi Festival returns in 2019 at the Art Gallery of South Australia.
Sponsored

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Anna Schwartz, Gallerist

Passions for art, food and culture intertwine, in the daily routine of this inimitable Melbourne icon. 

Art

Flock To The New Exhibition From ‘Bird Nerd’ Leila Jeffreys!

The photographer shares her upcoming show ‘High Society’ opening October 16th at the Olsen Gallery, Woollahra.
Miriam McGarry

Photography

Celebrating 10 Years Of Photography With Broadsheet Editions

A new collection of framed photographic prints, from Broadsheet's stable of stellar local photographers.

Modernist Australia

A Secret Modernist Stunner For Sale On Sydney's North Shore

After cherishing this unbelievable home for over 45 years, the current owners are ready to hand over the keys to a considerate new custodian...
Patricia Callan

Interiors

These Are Officially The BEST Rooms In Australia!

Australian House and Garden's celebrate their Top 50 Rooms for 2019.

Join The Conversation On Designing A Sustainable Future

Lucy hosts a dynamic panel discussion with three local leaders (and ladies!) in sustainable design – Join us!
Miriam McGarry

Art

Muted, Geometric Paintings by Bec Smith

An exhibition of subdued and stunning paintings by Melbourne artist Bec Smith opens tonight at Saint Cloche gallery in Sydney.
Miriam McGarry

Similar Stories

Interior Design

Top 10 Beautiful Bookshelves

Our favourite beautifully ordered bookshelves and impressive home libraries.

How To

Our Favourite Art Walls

Ideas from our archive to inspire your own in-home gallery!

Roundup

Top 10 Indoor Jungles

Our roundup of lush indoor gardens, from the TDF Homes and Studios archives.
Elle Murrell