Inside A 28 Square Metre Basement, Turned Bold Red Studio!

This small self-contained studio is hidden in the basement of a Sydney family’s heritage sandstone home.

The new apartment makes the most of 28 square metres of under-utilised space, which architects LINTEL reworked to find space for a home office, a fold-down bed, kitchen, bathroom, and wine cellar.

With statement red interiors and clever joinery solutions, the resulting Studio Elroy project is now a calming space for work, rest and play.

Christina Karras
Editorial Styling

Benjamin Clay

Inside the tiny basement turned functional studio.

The protruding joinery unit has transformed the use of the space.

It serves as storage space, decorative shelves, and a kitchenette, complete with a sink.

The clever unit is one of the ‘Swiss army knife’ style solutions that has transformed the dwelling.

There’s even a small bathroom by the space.

The study nook is crafted from light-tone timber.

The queen-sized bed is built into the wall.

The fold-out also hides open shelves.

The rich red tones bring a calming energy to the compact space.

The beautifully tiled shower.

During the week, the space is used for work and as a retreat, but it’s also designed to host family and friends over the holidays.

They worked within the confines of the sandstone build, only adding two square metres.

Christina Karras
Editorial Styling

Benjamin Clay

18th of September 2023

Manly, NSW/Guringai Country

‘Today, Australian families are looking beyond purely functional living, growing increasingly interested in conjuring beautiful and varied environments to enjoy at home,’ LINTEL director Emiliano Miranda says.

‘Small-scale living must respond to this aspiration, as spaces used to house disparate moments of relaxation, contemplation, and nourishment within a limited footprint.’

He tackled this exact dilemma in his recent project, dubbed Studio Elroy. The owners of a Sydney sandstone home engaged the architect to turn their unusable basement into a self-contained space that could promote, rest, relaxation, work, and play.

The obvious challenge finding room for a bed, kitchenette, bathroom, and office in what was originally a 28-square-metre basement — tangled up in ‘ventilation ducting and construction scraps’.

Emiliano says it was a bit of an organisational ‘puzzle’, but they worked almost exclusively within the parameters of the original sandstone build. Inverting the placement of the window and doorway bought new light into the structure, while also making way for a functional joinery unit, equipped with a sink, and a study nook, which looks out to leafy views.

This kind of clever intervention was enhanced by the craftsmanship of builder Joshua Maule Construction and joiners Kinship Customs, who helped create a fold-down bed on the opposite side of the space.

‘The queen-size platform stands with elegance in the space when lowered and can be swiftly tucked away, leaving few hints of its whereabouts between ribbed timber batons,’ Emiliano adds.

They selected the ‘cochineal-red’ colour palette in hopes of enveloping the room’s multi-purpose functions in a cohesive and soothing tone. Painted and tiled surfaces feature shades of salmon through to rich garnets, with sophisticated brass detailing and natural stone bringing a sense of ‘peace’ to the interiors.

Emiliano describes the resulting Studio Elroy as a ‘Swiss-army-knife’ style solution that manages to go beyond the diverse functional needs of the initial brief, to make ‘something out of nothing’.

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