Small Interiors

Just the Right Amount of Space – in a Nutshell

In a Nutshell

Front walkway in small home.

Home pool in front of house

I am back down-under in Melbourne, Australia again. With yet another Andrew Maynard (W*90 Architects’ Directory) innovation. This time it is his THAT House which won the Australian Residential Architecture Award in 2016.

The client asked Maynard to design a home that had ‘just the right amount of space’. He went about it by creating large openings and generous connections to the garden. The objective was to make this modest sized house feel both abundant and broad.

The outcome was stupendous although it is about half the size of the old fashioned neighboring homes and livability (not really a word), was not compromised.

small entryway with geometric wall cut-out

Going against the grain – the use of Upward Blinds

Most homes in Australia are kept secret behind walls and gardens. This one is transparent – but is able to adapt to privacy needs. Upward blinds were installed instead of downward ones to ensure that privacy was maintained, but at the same time allowing for openness when required.

This is an interesting point as many of us are blind to the fact that downward blinds tend to be constantly down. An upward blind provides you to cut out what you don’t want to see and gives you control over all levels of privacy and light into each space.

Small office space decor

Small office space design with large windows

Living room with doorway to the washroom

closed hidden door.

small living room with grey couch

Alone but together

Maynard cleverly designs around this statement. His aim is to have secluded spaces within shared spaces and this home personifies this. Landscaping also plays a crucial part in creating the right look and feel in the outdoors as well as indoors. Local Australian companies such as Vorstman Construction ( can help provide professional services.

Inside, the arrangement of the spaces in this home allows the owners to be secluded or together – whatever or whenever they need to be. Someone can be working in the study, whilst another watches TV and another is in the kitchen. It is a large shared area, but not open-plan.

A very clever concept and one that most trends run against these days. The owners can be engaged or removed as much as they care to. (Would suit me down to the ground, thank you!)

Living room with grey couches and wood finished walls

Modern stairway

Modern kitchen with stairway

Kitchen island with seating white colour scheme

Outdoor patio with garden

I love it. Hope you find some great ideas here as I have.

The overriding take-out of this is how much space do you need and what is the best configuration to have to ensure a balance between privacy and togetherness?
Nothing wrong with being able to escape – me thinks.

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