10 resourceful small-home design ideas

How do you make a small home live large? Use your outdoors and smart materials

Expanding a small space

Expanding a small space

The house that Deborah and Olivier built in Venice, California, is a monument to modern (and modernist) notions of resourcefulness. When they first considered buying the property, it was home to “a 1951 stucco box,” in Deborah’s words, which sits on the back of the lot. This they decided to keep as a rental unit; for themselves, they designed a three-story residence to fit on the relatively small patch of buildable space that remained.

By going up, not out, the One Window House—so called because all but one of its “windows” are actually glass walls or sliding doors—makes the most of its small (680 square feet) footprint. Three stories give the house a total size of 1,500 square feet, despite its relatively small footprint. And Deborah and Olivier’s design philosophy can also be seen in how they refine rough-hewn (and economical) materials and use them in interesting new ways, extend the size of rooms by connecting them to the outdoors. For example, from the street, you can see the opaque panel that lets light into the staircase.

Design: Touraine Richmond Architects, Venice, CA (touraine-richmond.com)

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