The tiny F House by Amaud Lacoste and Jerome Vincon of Lode Architecture in Normandy, France is all about creative ways to maximise usage in a very small space.
Rather than miniaturise everything to fit, the architects have boldly remade the rules.
For example, a luxurious soaking bathtub, lit by LEDs from underneath takes pride of place in the main living space in front of a roaring fire.
This way, the bather also overlooks the scenery in the countryside from one end of the barn.
The most economical materials are used, just unfinished plywood.
What appears to be the entrance for horses is the bathroom/living room window.
Similarly, the kitchen is simply a narrow passageway, but because the entire wall is glazed and opens onto the terrace, is not confining.
Almost no furniture uses up space in the young family’s plain dining room overlooking the peaceful scenery.
Bunk beds surround the stairwell, both above low windows to one side and set into the wall on the other side.
A safety net acts as a balustrade.
The windows under the bunks can be seen as clerestory windows above the entrance to the kitchen off of the large deck.
The result is a tiny retreat that embraces the simple life while not breaking the bank, so a young family can relax and unwind as they leave the hustle and bustle of their Monday to Friday city life behind.
Who says that bedrooms need to be large? On the contrary, we think that small bedrooms can actually be more practical, cozy and efficient than large ones, which tend to invite clutter. A pared down, modestly-sized bedroom is in many ways much more restful than one that is very large. Think of an animal’s den which represents safety and repose. Do you have a small bedroom and you’re having trouble figuring out how to furnish it? Here are a few tips:
1) Furnish minimally, but purposefully.
In the photo above, the architect chose to furnish a small bedroom with a multifunctional concept wall. The wall acts as a headboard, a bookshelf and storage space and room divider. It also conceals a small changing area.
Below, the owners made use of a bit of room at the foot of the bed for a storage locker which can house shoes or clothing, as well as act as a space to stack books.
2) Make use of built-ins.
Built-ins can save the day in tight spaces. Below, a built-in acts as a headboard, storage space, and even a desk when necessary.
And below, a long, low, built-in console acts as a place to store clothes, without using up much floor space.
3) Go streamlined on closets.
If your small bedroom doesn’t have a built-in closet, go very simple on any freestanding armoire or closet system you add. The simple, white, enameled closet below is unfussy and actually lends the room a feeling of spaciousness. The fact that the doors have no hardware also helps.
5. Avoid mirrors unless you’re extremely tidy.
Most designers will tell you that adding mirrors can make any room appear larger. But adding mirrors to a room can cut both ways. If the room is extremely tight, or busy in color, pattern or clutter, mirrors can also make it feel even busier and not very relaxing. We think the better bet is to keep the room light, bright, white and simply furnished. You can never go wrong, and you’ll find you get a really good night’s sleep!
This curious looking facade – the children’s bedrooms – gives no clue as to the wide and expansive spaces around the corner.
Dock4 Architecture designed the family home with careful attention to maximising passive solar from passage of the sun with high value double glazing and insulation.
The super efficient home overlooks the endless Pacific Ocean from Bull Bay on North Bruny Island, in Tasmania.
The house is built on a steep site with sweeping views to the open ocean, making the most of its spectacular surroundings.
The master bedroom suite is to one wing, with the children’s bedrooms in the other.
The challenge was how to design for energy efficiency when the views across the South Pacific Ocean are all to the south and east, but the sun is to the north.
Noon sun is allowed in through clerestory windows surrounding three sides of the kitchen work area.
Human sleep cycles are altered by the siting.
These sleepers would be roused by the very first rays of morning sun as it ascends over the distant horizon.
The earlier householders are up, the earlier they tend to go to bed.
So less electricity is consumed after dark, simply by getting up with the earliest rays of the sun.