Urban homes come with a lot of constraints. Tight sites, neighboring houses, heritage controls and planning regulations affect how urban homes are designed. Obviously constraints breed innovation because architecturally designed urban homes are some of the most innovative and interesting houses around.
At Lunchbox Architect we pride ourselves on sourcing the best examples of small urban homes. We argue that homes don't have to be huge to great. In fact, small urban homes are easier to maintain, cheaper to run and, when designed right, a joy to live in.
Block out the hustle and bustle by concentrating on these top-quality urban homes we've featured on Lunchbox Architect:
Bustle House by FMD Architects Featured Project
This Old Victorian-era 'Lady' Gets a Modern Bustle Dress Makeover
The history and beauty of this old home are respected and celebrated by a bustle dress-inspired addition.
Tess + JJ's House by po-co Architecture Featured Project
A New Two-storey House That Won't Upset the Neighbours?
A new house, in an old area, on a tight site, with space for a family of four that won't upset the neighbours? Are they dreaming?
House SE by Walter&Walter Featured Project
Perforated Sliding Door Provides Privacy Without Blocking Views or Light
Inspired by the spaces and ornamentation of the original home, this home plays with light and space to create a dramatic addition.
Yeronga Renovation by Smith Architects Featured Project
Love Mountain Sports? Put a Climbing Wall in Your Lounge Room
This adventurous renovation transforms an ugly duckling into a fun and functional family home, celebrating the owners' hobbies.
Brunswick West House by Taylor Knights Featured Project
Introvert or Extrovert? Here's an Open-Plan Space with Room for All!
Three sculptural walls create nooks and niches within a larger open-plan space, creating the opportunity to mingle or seek solitude.
North Avoca Studio by Matt Thitchener Architect Featured Project
A Multi-purpose Space to Work, Relax, Entertain and Enjoy the Views
Perched dramatically on a steep slope overlooking the ocean, this separate studio is the perfect retreat for work, rest or play.
The Light Box by Finnis Architects & Damon Hills Featured Project
A Garden Pavilion Nestled in this Backyard Brings the Outdoors In
In a street of Californian Bungalows, it was important to maintain the status quo. It's a whole other story at the rear of this home...
Carlton House by Tom Robertson Architects Featured Project
A Double Height Space Brings Light Into This Previously Dark Cottage
And he said, 'Let there be light', and there was light. Thanks to a new double height space, this cottage is transformed.
McGunnigle Shack by mishack Featured Project
When Fans of Mid-century Design Saw Mishack, They Saw a Kindred Spirit
This modern home captures the spirit of mid-century design, with a taste of American diner-style breakfast booths for good measure.
Lawes Street Extension by Habitech Systems Featured Project
What You Can Do to Rectify a 1980s Brown Brick Atrocity
The '80s was responsible for numerous crimes against taste (but some pretty fabs music). What can you do to right some of those wrongs?
Melbourne Vernacular by Featured Project
Sustainable Owners Renovate with Minimum Carbon Footprint
With a passion for sustainability, these owners salvaged whatever they could to reduce the carbon footprint of their renovation.
Lake Wendouree House by Porter Architects Featured Project
Despite Its Age, This Home Was Anything but a Renovator’s Delight
This home's meticulous maintenance record details upkeep such as 'biannual repainting'. It was in A1 condition, but still needed modernising.
Cubby Office by Krisna Cheung Architects Featured Project
School Holidays Are No Longer a Nightmare for These Working Parents
Cubby Office to the rescue! A fun, connected, yet separate space for the kids to play while the parents get back to work.
Garden View House by Featured Project
Stuck on Whether to Renovate or Demolish and Start Over?
These owners decided to work with what they had rather than start afresh. The result is a functional and character-filled home.
20 April 2018 Article
Dark and Dingy to Big and Bright: 7 Terrific Terrace Renovation Ideas
Terrace renovations are a challenge. How do you get light and a sense of space into a narrow block with neighbours all around?
Leederville House by RYANarc Featured Project
A Unique Vaulted Ceiling and Clerestory Windows Bring in the Light
A home on a corner block maximises light without sacrificing privacy by reorienting to the north and some strategic clerestory windows.
A Sunroom by Arcke Architecture and Interior Design Featured Project
A Sunroom and Articulated Fence Were All it Took to Update this Home
We love simple projects that make a big difference. And it doesn't get much simpler than a sunroom and a fence.
Saturn II by McManus Lew Architects Featured Project
A New Rear Living Area Creates a Better Connection to the Outdoors
We love to get out and enjoy the backyard, but too often our homes are disconnected from our outdoor spaces. Here's what you can do...
Saturn II by McManus Lew Architects
Saturn II by McManus Lew Architects
Saturn II by McManus Lew Architects
Port Melbourne House by Finnis Architects Featured Project
Former Milkbar Now a Light-filled Family Home Among the Treetops
Floating above the original milkbar is a recently renovated pavilion which makes this unique family home feel like it's a treehouse.
Brunswick House by Chan Architecture Featured Project
How to Create a Modern, Flexible and Bright Space on a Narrow Block
Renovating an older, inner-city home comes with a peculiar set of challenges - how to make it seem bright and spacious when it's not.
Crisp House by Robert Nichol & Sons Featured Project
Heritage Homes Are Romantic, but They're a Challenge to Renovate
An architect wrestles with the romance of renovating a historic home and the challenge of meeting planning and regulatory requirements.
Lighthouse by Room 11 Featured Project
A Courtyard for Outdoor Living Helps a Hobart Family to Downsize
Blessed with a large block in a good area, this family decided to downsize in the backyard, in spite of the constraints.
Beyond House by Ben Callery Architects Featured Project
What to Do When You Outgrow Your House but Love Your Neighbourhood?
Craving more space (and sun) and considering a move? Are you really better off uprooting your family and moving somewhere new?
Joyful House by Mihaly Slocombe Featured Project
This Joyful House Brings in Light and Opens Onto the Garden
A family of five create a joyful home with a series of open, colourful and light-filled spaces for their energetic young family.
Northcote House by Winwood Mckenzie Architecture Featured Project
Some Simple Modifications Transform This Unrenovated Family Home
Simple, yet intelligent changes, which reference to the home's post-war cream brick heritage create a period drama of a difference.
Bluestone Terrace Pavilion by Featured Project
A Sunny Glass Box Helps This Bluestone Cottage Connect to the Garden
Owned by a landscape gardener, this 1880s bluestone cottage is now connected to the garden and full of natural light and sea breezes.
Nest House by Zen Architects Featured Project
A Cozy, Nest-Like Mezzanine Studio Floats Above This Living Space
To unite all living spaces without creating one large space, a unique nest-like studio sits above the living area in this reno.
House Au Yeung by Tribe Studio Featured Project
A Quirky Renovation Beautifully Reinterprets this 1930s Bungalow
Inspired by the whimsical flourishes of the original 1930s home this renovation reinterprets brick sunbursts and Tudor detailing.
Taringa Treehouse by Phorm Architecture and Design Featured Project
Taringa Treehouse: An Unorthodox Addition at the Bottom of the Garden
A delightfully fun, cubby-like folly at the bottom of the garden provides extra space and encourages the full use of the garden.
Brunswick Cottage by EM Architects Featured Project
A Compact Home Was Made Even Smaller but the Outcome is Extraordinary
This compact home was made even smaller yet better, proving the amount of space you have is less important than how you use it...
Villa Unit Reinvigorate by SWG Studio Featured Project
Removing Internal Walls Gives This Home a Modern Open-Plan Vibe
By removing the internal walls of this unit and incorporating plenty of built-in joinery, it feels more spacious and modern.
St David Street House by Drawing Room Architecture Featured Project
With Good Design Even the Smallest of Spaces Can Live Large
This compact addition proves small spaces can be highly liveable with plenty of storage, daylighting and a connection to the outdoors.
D+K House by buck&simple Featured Project
These Owners Take Their Love of Gardening to New Heights
A deep soil green roof improves this home's environmental credentials, looks great and satisfies the owners' love of gardening.
Glass Link House by Robbie Walker Featured Project
New Master Bedroom Pod for a "Very, Very Deserving Mum"...
After buying a "rough" knocker-downer in the 'burbs, builder/designer/snow boarder, Robbie Walker decided to renovate instead.
Casa de Gatos by WOWOWA Architecture Featured Project
Crazy About Cats? We May Have Found Your Perfect Inner-City Abode...
If fur-babies, travel, colour and fun are ticking some mental boxes for you, you'll love Casa de Gatos (or 'House of Cats' in Spanish).
Like Living in the '70s by Steffen Welsch Architects Featured Project
Modernist 1970s Home Addresses its Shortcomings For 21st Century Life
A home rich with character is updated to improve comfort, privacy and connection to the landscape without losing its vintage feel.
Ethel by Lisa Cummins Architect
Ethel by Lisa Cummins Architect Featured Project
What Surprises Are Hiding Behind This Humble Victorian-Era Facade?
'Ethel' has a number of delightful surprises up her sleeve, proving there's more to this humble Victorian home than she lets on...
Jindalee Outlook House by Trace Studio Featured Project
1970s Home Opens Up Front and Back to Connect Indoors and Outdoors
A series of small additions left this home's living areas dark and detached from the garden, but Trace Studio have changed all that.
Studio Garage by Krisna Cheung Architects Featured Project
A Translucent Studio Creates a Soft Backdrop for an Inner City Yard
A garage and studio with seperate access from the laneway is a flexible and sensitive space at the rear of this inner-city terrace.
Waverley House by Sam Crawford Architects Featured Project
Could You Live Overseas During the Construction of Your Home?
With a good architect, much of the stress of building can be alleviated. This home was renovated while the owners were overseas!
Brunswick Extension by ArchiBlox
Footscray Apartment by BoardGrove Architects Featured Project
Footscray Apartment Renovated for More Flexibility and Light
An unorthodox, but clever, renovation creates a series of light-filled flexible living spaces and creates the illusion of space.
Northcote House by Adam Dettrick Architects
Northcote House by Adam Dettrick Architects
Adelaide Terrace by vittinoAshe Featured Project
Apartment Renovation Turns Out to be the Perfect Retirement Plan
In this woman's retirement plan? A desire to downsize and determination to age in graceful style in a city central apartment.
Loft House by CHORDstudio Featured Project
A Building at the Back of the Garden Solves a Lot of Problems
A building at the bottom of this Perth garden contains a music studio and sleeping loft while connecting to semi-outdoor living areas.