Many people strive to ‘do more with less’ when building their home, but author and recipe writer Harriet Birrell aka Natural Harry, and building designer Fraser West, walk the talk. Eight years ago, the couple renovated an exisiting structure into their 40 square metre house, and have happily lived here ever since.
Living in such a small house requires a hardworking design with multipurpose features. For example, the couple’s wardrobe is also their bathroom, a stand-up desk doubles as a bookshelf, and the kitchen includes Harriet’s study. Even the bedroom is a multipurpose space, adopting a nook in the living room wall! ‘It fits a queen size bed snuggly. It is very cosy and nice to be right next to a window in the summer months,’ says Harriet.
Harriet describes her home as warm, light, natural and comfortable. ‘The feeling is welcoming and airy, yet with a grounding earthy feel,’ she says. Dulux Stowe White has been used indoors and out to complement raw plywood and corrugated iron. ‘Because the space is so small and the ceilings quite low on one side, it has been important to use white to make the space feel bigger,’ says Harriet. ‘It has made a huge difference.’
After eight years living in this house, the couple still have no desire to extend the space or make major changes. ‘I love that we have not increased the size of the building and stuck to the existing footprint, instead altering the layout of the interior to be super clever and practical,’ Harriet says. ‘It has forced us to live more simplistically and with less.’
This house has also given Harriet and Fraser a greater appreciation of the space around them, including their veggie patch, and outdoor area where their dog Fred loves to roam!
You can find out more about Harriet’s lifestyle in her brand new book, Home by Natural Harry, which is out tomorrow (just as Melbourne’s book stores reopen)!