Just because your home is on a tight, inner-city site doesn't mean it can't feel spacious. You just need to use the right tricks!
Single-fronted terraces are not renowned for their spacious layouts. Typically long and narrow and attached on either side, terraces cant be dark and introverted. On a narrow 154 square metre site in Melbourne's bayside suburb, Middle Park, this terrace was no exception: while in a great location, the beautiful heritage terrace didn't make the most of the space available. Chan Architecture and interior designers Doherty Design Studio would need to be creative to fill the owners' brief while also obeying heritage restrictions which meant the addition would need to be concealed from the street.
The solution leaves the front two bedrooms and hallway intact before opening up to a new living, dining and kitchen area at the rear. The new open-plan living space spans the full width of the site to maximise the sense of space. High ceilings also help to visually expand the home, making it feel larger than it is in reality. This is a great trick to use on tight sites as we tend to perceive the volume of a space rather than just its length and width.
Opening full height onto the rear courtyard, the new living space takes full advantage of the entire site, making the outdoors feel like an extension of the indoors. A servery window between the kitchen and the deck as well as an extension of the benchtop also helps to merge the indoors and outdoors into one larger, usable space.
The U-shaped kitchen extends farther than you might expect, with pantry space concealed behind a wall of cupboards spilling into the living space. This creates a kitchen far more functional and family-friendly than you might expect.
A flexible study nook has even been incorporated into this practical wall of cabinetry.
A statement staircase is designed to let light through so it doesn't feel obtrusive in the space. A perforated steel balustrade and open treads, as well as a skylight above, achieve this ambition perfectly.
Upstairs, Chan Architect has managed to fit the main bedroom and ensuite bathroom as well as an additional room that can function as either a bedroom or a parents' retreat. Storage space is also created under the roofline of the original terrace, essential for compact inner-city living.
Every element of the design has been carefully considered to meet the needs of the owners, being both functional and beautiful. Durable, tactile materials bring a richness of texture to the home that will also stand the test of time and family living. While the palette is largely monochrome with touches of warming timber, a bold blue wall brings personality to the living space and makes the feature staircase pop.
A functional and space-defying design combined with a hard-wearing, textural material palette has created a warm and character-filled home that feels much larger than its actual footprint. Family life can easily spill from indoors out and the floorplan incorporated a series of flexible spaces that can be adapted to the owners' needs as they change over time. A tight site doesn't need to feel dark and cramped; it can feel light-filled and spacious with the right attention to design and detail!