My wise mother, Wendy, has a saying about big houses, 'it's just more to clean'. And yet Australians now have the largest average house sizes in the world. No wonder we feel like we never have enough time! So, take a leaf out of Wendy's book and eschew all that extra space in favour of something more compact, so you can spend more time drinking wine and less time scrubbing the bathroom. Here are some small house plans for inspo...

Copper House: Quality Trumps Quantity in this Small House of Rich Materials

Copper House Takt Studio for Architecture viewed from the front

Copper House Takt Studio for Architecture Floor Plan

At just 60 square metres, this two-bedroom house is considered small by Australia's bloated standards. In reality, it contains all the essentials in a compact and space-efficient package. Plus, it melds comfortably into a difficultly steep site. Copper House is doing a lot within a small package!

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The Studio: Mighty Mouse Apartment Punches Above Its Weight

The Studio Apartments, Black Kitchens, Joinery, Black Tapware, Concrete Floors, Sliding Door

The Studio

If you're a single guy (or gal) living in one of the world's most expensive cities, affording a place of your own probably seems like an impossible dream, right? This studio renovation helps to prove that wrong, transforming a dated and poorly planned apartment into a Might Mouse-inspired bachelor's pad.

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JR's Hut: A Unique Place to Retreat When You Can't People Anymore

A Unique Place to Retreat When You Can't People Anymore

A Unique Place to Retreat When You Can't People Anymore

Looking a little like the classic A-frame tent, but a lot more luxurious inside, JR's Hut is your refuge. As the architect says, "It is a place to switch off, quite literally, and forget about the distractions of modern life."

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Moonlight Cabin: A Tiny But Perfectly Detailed Beachside Cabin

Moonlight Cabin by Jackson Clements Burrows Architects (via Lunchbox Architect)

Moonlight Cabin by Jackson Clements Burrows Architects (via Lunchbox Architect)

Moonlight Cabin is a small footprint, 60 square metre shelter that explores the boundaries of how small is too small, challenging conventional notions of what is actually necessary in our lives. It is designed to be passively environmentally responsive, ultimately reducing energy use and running costs while maximising living (and enjoyment of those views).

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Flinders Lane Apartment: Space Efficient Apartment Renovation

Flinders Lane Space Efficient Apartment bed is raised on a platform and separated from the living area by a Japanese-inspired screen Joinery, Plywood, Sliding Door, Bedrooms, Kitchens

Flinders Lane Space Efficient Apartment Plan

At just 75 square metres, this apartment renovation is compact. But thanks to high ceilings and abundant natural light from windows along three of the four walls, the space feels open and light. This open, functional redesign utilises readily available, affordable materials like plywood to make the most of a small space and a modest budget.

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Keppera House: Keperra House: A Granny Flat Even The Young Want to Live In

Keperra House

Sometimes downscaling is seen as synonymous with downgrading. In this case, smaller isn't a dirty word. The client made the choice to downscale his three-bedroom home to a much smaller, single occupant building. By building a 'Granny flat' in the backyard, he was able to leverage his investment and take better advantage of an amazing site that overlooks a creek reserve - all without changing his postal address!

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Prospect House: A Galvanised Nugget for a Gold Prospector and His Family

Prospect House Country Homes

A Galvanised Nugget for a Gold Prospector and His Family

On a windy and exposed site, nestled behind a hill, sits a metal-clad nugget; a home for a gold prospector and his family. Looking a bit like a country tin shed, this small house uses galvanised steel and raw ironbark cladding to nestle into the landscape, feeling like it's excavated from a contour.

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Samford Valley Small House: This Modern Tropical Home is a Granny Flat for a Hip Elderly Couple

Samford Valley Small House

This Modern Tropical Home is a Granny Flat for a Hip Elderly Couple

Large open decks make this compact home feel spacious and connect to the lush sub-tropical garden. In this friendly climate, the decks can be used as extra living space virtually all year. With large sliding doors, the front deck is designed as an extension of the living area, making a modest living space feel much larger than it is in reality and bringing the outdoors in.

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Pump House: A Compact Off-Grid Home for Simple Living

Compact Off-grid Pump House by Branch Studio Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Affordable Housing, Small Houses, Country Homes, Black Houses, Living Off The Grid

Compact Off-grid Pump House by Branch Studio Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) House Plans

Pump House is a compact, off-grid home for simple living. Owners and guests can enjoy a quiet night, a cup of tea and quality time with their horse, George. At just 62 square metres, this small house worries less about size and more about the beautiful surrounds.

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Darlinghurst Apartment: Proof Good Things Come in Small Packages

Darlinghurst Apartment by Brad Swartz Architect (via Lunchbox Architect) Apartments, Small Houses, White Houses, Black Kitchens, Joinery, Black Tapware, Timber Floors, Sliding Door, Kitchens

Darlinghurst Apartment by Brad Swartz Architect (via Lunchbox Architect) House Plans

The 27 square metre Darlinghurst Apartment is designed to comfortably accommodate a couple. Through high-quality design, it provides an affordable option for inner city living and challenges the need for urban sprawl…

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Footscray Apartment: Renovated for More Flexibility and Light

Footscray Apartment Concrete Floors, White Kitchens, Pendant Lighting, Kitchens, Dining Areas, Concrete Houses, Bold Colours, DuPont™ Corian®

Footscray Apartment House Plans

When you're dealing with a small space it's more important than ever to think about light and flexibility to make your home feel spacious and work more efficiently. This pretty typical apartment in Footscray was cleverly renovated into a light-filled and flexible home...

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Tintaldra: A Tiny Self-Sufficient Cabin in Rural Australia

Self Sufficient Cabin by Modscape (via Lunchbox Architect)

Self Sufficient Cabin by Modscape (via Lunchbox Architect)

Sitting quietly on the banks of the mighty Murray River in Victoria, Australia, with the Snowy Mountains as a backdrop is this prefabricated, self-sufficient cabin. With everything you need in 65 square metres, it's the perfect small home design.

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Sled House: A House You Can Relocate With a Tractor?

Whangapoua Beach Houses, Timber Houses, Folding Doors, Window Shutters, Steel Windows

Whangapoua

On the idyllic white sand of New Zealand's Coromandel Peninsula lies a stylish hut.

Built on a sled.

The whole area is within a coastal erosion zone, meaning all structures must be removable and that concept has been taken very seriously. The small home sits on two sleds, making relocating it with a tractor a cinch (BYO tractor). Movable or not, this is a space efficient and stylish beach retreat.

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House 28: Shipping Container House Floats Among the Trees with Ocean Views

House 28

Shipping Container House Floats Among the Trees with Ocean Views

House 28 is a deceptively simple small house made from two shipping containers which clings precariously to the hillside, taking in stunning views of the ocean. Measuring just 70 square metres, the two-bedroom home packs a lot into a small space.

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Gogo Bach: Two Uninspiring Cabins Bought for a Steal Become a Stylish Retreat

Gogo Bach Lunchbox Architect on Instagram

Two Uninspiring Cabins Bought for a Steal Become a Stylish Retreat

Separated by a 7-metre deck, two cabins originally bought for a bargain have been transformed into a stylish and practical small home.

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World's First Carbon Positive Prefab House Drops into Melbourne

Carbon Positive Prefab House by ArchiBlox (via Lunchbox Architect)

Carbon Positive Prefab House by ArchiBlox (via Lunchbox Architect)

This carbon positive, prefabricated, house represents a new movement — the carbon positive house provides the option for a more environmentally-conscious design, through both reducing embodied energy that accompanies new-home construction and maintaining positive-energy production.

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Sawmill House Rethinks Waste Materials to Create Raw, Rustic Beauty

Sawmill House by Archier (via Lunchbox Architect)

Sawmill House by Archier (via Lunchbox Architect)

Befitting a regional sculptor based in Yackandandah, Sawmill House is a compact handcrafted upgrade from his existing, rather rustic bohemian abode.

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Musk: A Perfectly Proportioned Prefab Cabin Secluded in a Forest Clearing

Musk Prefab Cabin by Modscape (via Lunchbox Architect) Country Homes, Timber Deck, Lunchbox Architect on Instagram

Musk Prefab Cabin by Modscape (via Lunchbox Architect)

Musk is a stylish modern prefab cabin designed as a secluded retreat to relax and enjoy 360-degree views of natural Victorian bushland. The design is broken into two separate modules — a practical way to construct the prefab house. A covered deck area separates the two modules.

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Tell us, which one is your favourite small house plan?