Modern Living in a Small Family Home

across the globe the rising cost and housing is encouraging many people to get creative and search out alternatives one of those alternatives being models of multi-generational living where families come together to share housing and land resources here in Sydney Australia we're about to visit one very unique family home that's been designed to slot right in to a suburban backyard get a note how's it going mate good brass how are you good thank you great to meet you now you are the designer behind the spectacular home aren't you that's right this is a house that I've designed for a lifetime friend actually and this is a secondary dwelling built on the block of PMO's now this home it's obviously brand new on the site and you've just started living work around it and everything that's right what is the concept behind what you've done here so locally we have the opportunity to build secondary dwellings on particular Lots and this is one of those Lots and we've developed what is commonly referred to as a granny flat we don't like to refer to as a granny flat we refer to it more as a backyard architecture but we've taken advantage of that legislation to build a second dwelling on this lot in cities like Sydney this is becoming very commonplace isn't it because housing affordability it's just gone crazy and intergenerational living this is really one of the only options that's available to a lot of people now isn't it with affordability issues we've really wanted to champion the idea of multi-generational living where families can stay together shared responsibility and particularly shared financial burden so absolutely it's an opportunity to take advantage of that legislation but also help to densify our suburbs which is really really important because when they were set up their large lots a single house and it's important to be able to make use of this underutilized space I think and the owners here were interested in having a sizable mortgage and they've got a young child and they're looking to have another young child and if there's an opportunity to keep a family together and as I said share responsibilities then why not you know it makes a lot of sense originally we were living in an apartment I need the beach and then I felt pregnant so we decided to move closer to our parents and a family and we had out our baby Noah and we were living with their parents which was lovely for the help but it was a lot or asked being all together in under the same roof so we were looking for something that allowed us to be close to our parents but also you know have a bit more privacy so this is a great option for it was very much about the benefits of living with family more than anything else and the whole appeal of having blanks parents close by was was a big part of this and now it loves that he's said is he one minute and the next minute he's he's been there with them and yeah it's just so nice to have Noah's grandparents close by to be there for him as he grows up and yeah we love that lifestyle can you tell me about the inspiration for the exterior and the kind of look of the home well the idea is that as you look on this block there are a lot of native trees and with age they tend to gray and sort of settle into their environment we want the house to do the same so this house has only been here for a couple of months but you can already see that timber starting to lighten and gray and as that happens it'll help to really sort of bed into its environment here in this home you've definitely gone for a very modern and super minimalist aesthetic can you talk to me about that we have but just in sort of refraining from that I guess contain a look we've sort of inserted this entry step which is a acts almost like a wayfinding device for guests to kind of coming into the house but yes we have gone for a very sort of contemporary modular look and what about the construction method that's been used in this honor now this house is built from a material called cross laminated timber so there's structural solid panels of timber and all of the timber is locally grown and locally sourced and it means that we can erect a structure of this size in a day and in building this dwelling unfortunately we had to lose some trees which were gum so we decided to clad the house in gumm's is a sort of nod to what was here the council dictated that we position the house in a particular location that's exactly where the trees were we wanted to put the house off to the side of the trees and use the trees of shading but unfortunately we have to put it here and the trees have to go so the plan now is to replace those trees and wait considerable number of years for them to come back bureaucrats probably one of them for more paper right have to go pee right what a shame well I love the look of the house and I cannot wait to see what you've done on the inside can we check it out yeah absolutely let's go thank you this is lovely I really like how you've kept all of the timber exposed because it really just helps to warm up the space doesn't it that's right that feeling of warmth and that sort of natural environment is what the clients really wanted yeah so this is just the structure completely expressed without any additional or superficial wall linings and all we've done is sand the palace and there's no additional treatment and you can see up in the corner there we've left a section of the structure expose so that we can highlight to people how the house goes together very clever so in addition to this being a very strong home it's obviously incredibly well insulated because walking in the noise level has just completely dropped it's very quiet in here that's right cross laminated timber house certainly aids in acoustic properties but also very much in thermal comfort and we have gone to great lengths to insulate the house because the temperatures can really drop in this area and then if some of the temperatures can get very very high so insulation with something is very important and it's really nice how this room just opens out onto that back yard as well I can see a few chickens scratching in the dirt out there that's right it very much feels like they are the only dwelling on this property it feels like the yard belongs to this house and yeah the view is really lovely and I can see that that really is something you've done here you've minimized the windows on the southern side so that there really is no connection or sort of visible looking out onto the main dwelling and then keep all of the glazing on the North Face that's exactly right and we've done that for privacy and for some level of separation between this dwelling and the primary drawing but also in facing the house north that's the ideal orientation and it means that we attract all of the heat of the Sun in winter and so yeah each of the rooms connects to the yard and in doing so faces north now talk to me about the living room here well the living room is quite a generous size given the size of the overall house and we've positioned that as close as possible to the deck so that we get that sort of indoor/outdoor living and I see you've got fans throughout the house is this the only kind of cooling you've got here that's right we rely on the circulation of air and we've positioned all of the windows for the best cross ventilation but we also rely on drawing cool air from the by the concrete slab the Polish concrete floor is a really lovely finish isn't it yeah it's beautiful it's a very sort of quiet finish and it's very robust given that there's a young child living in the house and potentially another one in the future and so what about services in this home power and water the services here are shared with the primary dwelling we do have a 5,000 litre water tank and that water feeds the washing machine and the toilet and but the client is putting some money aside for both a solar system and a battery system so that they can effectively be off-grid and then behind us as the kitchen yeah it's a really good-size kitchen because what we've tried to do in every instance is put a conventionally sized piece of utility in the space so that it doesn't in fact feel like a small home and we've gone with a concrete color bench top to match and I guess with the floor and just try and create a quieter pallet as possible and fully cut out with the appliances in here yeah I mean the kitchen has every luxury that you would find in a conventional kitchen there's a fridge of 600 oven and cooktop and integrated dishwasher which is great and the kitchen also contains the utility of a laundry and one of the things that I see you've tried to do here is connect everything so the kitchen for example is very open to the living space yeah that's right we've tried to break down as many of the barriers as we possibly can to make the space feel as generous as possible and the kitchen hugs the southern wall because we don't need any openings there and it sort of blends into what we've kind of called this function wall that runs along that southern boundary of the house and then can you tell me about the design of the study what we did is we reused the cutout of the door to make the death so the desk is in the same material as the walls which helps to make the space feel a little bit bigger and there's some integrated desk lighting and then a large storage unit here which can become a wardrobe in the event that a second occupant occupies this room as bedroom great and as this felt that you've got on the wall here this is this is a felt so this is imagined as a as a pinball I guess given that it's an office it's a nice way to treat the wall without having to use plaster board and it gives us some very cool sticks as well and then what do we have next door next thing we have the kids room now the idea with this is at the moment we have two small spaces so we have the office and we also have the kid's room but if this family was to grow this room could effectively swell by removing this party wall which is the other wall in the house that is not structural or made from cross laminated and then there's quite generous proportions in here too isn't there well I mean look this room is probably the smallest in the house but it has all of the amenities of a bedroom and it's very comfortable for a child I really like the way that you've thought about future proofing this home for the family because even though it is such a small home by adding elements like the removable walls you really have given them so many options as to what these rooms might become in the future haven't you that's right if that wall was to be removed and this would become a very generous space and perfect for two kids and a play area the proportions of these rooms are present are designed so that we can move from a cot to a single bed and a single bed will slot perfectly in within that proportion and that's the same for in the study a single bed can slot directly in next for that wardrobe or what would become a wardrobe and then when the kids are gone as well maybe a pool room maybe a bowling alley this we have a design for a man cave nice yeah I like that gotta have what eventually right and then what do we have down the other end of the home down the other end we have firstly the bathroom and then the master bedroom generous sized bathroom here it is quite generous but it's very well designed it's it's extremely functional we have a good-sized bath and given the the sort of narrow proportions it's much longer than it is wide but we have all the sort of conventional set out that you would have in a much larger bathroom with respect to space fantastic important to have a bathtub when these kids as well and yeah absolutely that was one of the primary concerns was to have a bathtub and it took us a little while to find something that would work both really well for a bath and for a shower given that there was only one of them and then master bedroom through here that's right last room in the house is the master bedroom and as you can see the proportions are at like a conventionally sized bedroom this is a king bed and it fits really really comfortably and then we've taken advantage of this little nook to continue the function wall in for the wardrobes very nice so what was it that motivated you to start designing smaller homes when I began designing small homes there was a real synergy with the clientele that I'd be working with I was in that environment myself living in something small and with considerations around cost and the cost of living in our cities small real estate was an opportunity for me and new for young people so I took a strong interest in designing complex spaces and obviously the affordability is a huge issue and a huge part of why people are downsizing what is the cost of this one this house at 60 square meters is around about $4,000 a square meter but it can be very difficult to measure the cost of a very small space in square meters because you need all of the amenity of a larger home and there's very little wasted space and it's the wasted space that is cheap or free cheapest thing to add to a home as sighs that's right and so all that what is the vinyl figure they're about two hundred and forty thousand for this house so how does that for example compare to an the average house price in this area look the average price in this area is probably at least five or six times that so the ability to be able to share with the owners of the primary dwelling has created a living environment where there is very little financial stress and not only that I think the most important thing is that here they have obviously not pulled their costs anywhere it's high quality it's well insulated it's beautiful its well-designed they really have got a tremendous amount of home for that money albeit in a very small footprint that's exactly right the quality is very high that was the paramount consideration this house cost nothing to run it's super insulated all of the lighting is low voltage LED there's no air conditioning this is a very natural home this is a very easy house to live in that doesn't have ongoing cost for maintenance or repair or anything like that we wanted to feel like we blended in with nature and we do actually it does feel like that we have big windows that we can kind of look at to the trees we we leave our blinds up at night which is nice the Sun coming in the morning waking us up so I guess it's kind of like gonna fucking camping feel but you really well protected yes it's really lovely I think for us we do it what we thought would work for now and it feels really good right now and I think we'll definitely handle a second a second baby hopefully at some stage in here and it's a really good time you know having a family and having small children living in this environment and also being close to family it's you know it kind of works really well for all of us well I definitely think it is a really beautifully designed home you've done a very good job on this one thank you so much for sharing it with me thanks for coming out having a look to me multi-generational living just makes so much sense and it's about so much more than just affordability it really comes down to connecting people or connecting families and allowing them to live with one another and share space but still have the little bit of separation wonderfully designed homes like this are truly facilitating that and there is no question in my mind that we are going to see a lot more of this in the future you

36 thoughts on “Modern Living in a Small Family Home

  1. The space is good , it lacks some wow and beauty .. there is something bad .. not color coordinated and needs more work to do

  2. I mean great view and sun light is nice but you want to place your house on the grid, this guy is such a dick to orient his house directly to the sun light and look like just a random fucker walking by the house behind his.

  3. As informative as the builder was, his business like interactions made this video a bit of an ad. Would much rather hear from the cool family that lives inside! Nice house regardless

  4. I enjoy all of the videos on your channel, some amazing homes in beautiful areas. Lately I’ve been wondering if these homes are designed with climate change in mind, they are all very energy efficient, will they withstand flooding, fires, hurricanes,typhoons and tornadoes? Seems like any kind of extreme weather is going to be and in many areas already happening. Could you discuss this in future videos?
    Many thanks! Love your programs and your passion.

  5. If the parents sell half of the plot, would that mean the family could build another 60 sqm building on the new plot belonging to the existing small house?

  6. So the community stated that the house had to be placed where the trees were? Why? Because someone just thought that was a good idea or because of some clear statement in the regulations?
    Could it be that the house's architect actually knew a better way to integrate the building to the surrounding than the community official?
    Just curious. Not Australian nor architect so I know little how these things work.

  7. Cute! If it were mine, I'd want more windows (maybe skylights?) and to slather all the walls & ceilings in white. But it's very sweet.

  8. So, as I'm watching these videos of the houses in Australia, they kept taljing about orienting towards the north, to capture the sun in winter. Given that I live in the US, that was confusing to me (here we orient to the south if we want solar gain in winter). I never thought about it being opposite in Australia. .

  9. I'm curious concerning the legalities of ownership. Since the land is owned by the parents would they not own the dwelling? Wouldn't mean if you needed to sell both houses would be included?

  10. This is small for an actual house in Sweden but not for a converted summer house or older house, then it would be a standard size a bit on the large side ( standard old working class home would be around 50 m2 or 20’s and 30’s actually 35-40m2)

  11. For us We can build up to 25m2 for an additional house on a property without extra permits costing in Sweden

  12. $240k x 50 (php) = 12,000,000 pesos. Thats a house in the city + a condo. Or a condo unit in cebu city and a rest house down south where the beautiful beaches are. Lol.

  13. It is a cute little house, but there is no way I’d pay 240,000.00 for any house this small. It kind of defeats the purpose to get into a living cheaper environment. You’ll never get out of debt. & enjoy financial freedom.

  14. This one is the GREATEST🏆 I am all for a open floor plan & spacious functional rooms….🏆 CLOSET WAS EVERYTHING so was the bathroom

    Im not a fan of their location & how close the homes are together….

  15. I wonder what the planning/zoning commission's rational for the house placement is. Is the removal of mature trees arbitrary and lamentable?

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