An Extra Small Home, Streamlined For Tiny Living

Tiny homes are ALL the rage on Instagram… but how do people actually live in these teeny spaces? Architect Nicholas Gurney is an expect at compact spaces, and in his 5S home, the design is informed by a Japanese strategy for five practices of everyday living.

Get ready to streamline your life, inspired by this pocket-sized pad!

Miriam McGarry
Supports The Design Files

Photo – Katherine Lu.

The multi-use dining table slides perfectly into the kitchen cabinetry when not in use. Photo – Katherine Lu.

Micro living in the 5S home by Nicholas Gurney. Photo – Katherine Lu.

Storage and screens making the most of every space. Photo – Katherine Lu.

The key to living small is versatility, multi-function – and plenty of storage! Photo – Katherine Lu.

Micro luxe vibes in the bathroom. Photo – Katherine Lu.

Precision design where no space is wasted. Photo – Katherine Lu.

Storage in high spaces makes use of what would otherwise have been an empty void. Photo – Katherine Lu.

Miriam McGarry
8th of July 2019

With an Instagram handle of @xs_sml, Nicholas Gurney is THE architect to talk to about living large in tiny homes. He explains that the 5S home in Potts Point is informed by a Japanese methodology of ‘sort, straighten, shine, standardise and sustain.’

These principles influenced the design of the space, where no millimetre is wasted. Before the design was planned, the residents provided Nicholas with a list of their (minimalist) belongings, so he could ensure there was space for everything. Nicholas relished the opportunity to design a space meticulously  customised for his clients. He highlights that ‘I like to go for walks that often turn into long walks. There is no pen to paper or hand to mouse until I’ve conceived ideas strictly in my mind.’

The 5S home features streamlined joinery with 900mm deep internal storage that allows for ‘primary objects to be stored at the front and secondary objects at the rear.’ Nicholas also makes use of overhead spaces for additional storage, and sliding mirrored doors to create an illusion of extra room.

Incredibly (unbelievably!?) the clients of the 5S home wished to be able to host 6-8 people for dinner, which Nicholas was able to facilitate by including a multi-use table that slides perfectly into the kitchen cabinetry when not in use. A tiny home doesn’t mean you can’t have a big social life, if the design is right!

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