Your home doesn't need to be physically big to feel spacious. There are a few tricks to make your home feel larger than life. Sonelo Design Studio have incorporated some of these tricks into the alteration and addition of this single storey Victorian terrace in Carlton, Melbourne...
On an incredibly small 104 square metre block in dense inner-city Carlton, it was always going to be a challenge to make this home feel spacious. But Sonelo Design Studio have pulled it off.
The architects removed the existing outbuilding and lean-to to make room for a double storey brick addition. Only the front two bedrooms were left after demolition, leaving less than half of the site for the addition.
One of the keys to creating a sense of spaciousness in this compact home was the inclusion of a central courtyard. As Wilson Tang from Sonelo explains, the courtyard was "necessary yet poetic". The small courtyard acts as a lung for the home, bringing light and air into the middle of the floor plan. Planted with a deciduous tree and evergreen ground covers, the courtyard brings light and a lush outlook into the small envelope. The deciduous tree lets in more light in winter and creates a cool, shady space in summer.
Another benefit of the courtyard is access to north light, which can never be built out. Two large, angled steel openings face north. One frames the courtyard from the kitchen, while the other allows the upstairs bedroom suite to open up to distant views over slate rooftops. Glimpses of the sky from bed give the impression of a much larger space than reality allows.
Back downstairs the kitchen and dining area is clad in a smokey, grey-tinted mirror which doubles the sense of space. The edge of the room virtually disappears, reflecting instead the courtyard greenery, essentially creating another courtyard within the home. The mirrored wall also conceals a sneaky bathroom.
A timber battened door opening onto a rear laneway has a solid leaf which can open to promote cross-flow ventilation without sacrificing security. This overcomes a common problem whereby overnight 'purging' of hot air is made difficult doors and windows without security screens.
At just 112 square metres, this three bedroom, two bathroom home feels a lot larger than its size. And with the city at the doorstep, this home makes the most of its dense location to create a refuge within the urban jungle. Kudos to Sonelo Design Studio for creating such a spacious feeling home from so little.