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:

 (via Lunchbox Architect)
Collection Terrace Renovation Full of character but dark and stuck with a long, narrow block, terrace renovations are a challenge, but the outcomes can be incredible.
Watersedge by Jamison Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Watersedge by Jamison Architects
Featured Project A clever duplex design takes advantage of the waterfront location... With the water at the back door and a lush tropical courtyard bringing in light and breezes, this duplex has the best of both worlds.
Terrace House 1 by DREAMER (via Lunchbox Architect) Terrace House 1 by DREAMER
Featured Project This terrace house renovation creates a lush outlook from every room A terrace house typically makes you think, long, narrow and dark. This terrace might be long and narrow, but it's also light and lush!
SL House by Ben Walker Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) SL House by Ben Walker Architects
Featured Project Would you like a home that feels like it's floating in the treetops? Taking advantage of a mature native landscape, this home captures all the right views so it feels like you're floating in the treetops.
Maribyrnong Mods by Michael McManus Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Maribyrnong Mods by Michael McManus Architects
Featured Project Sometimes it's the little things that can make a big difference... A focus on the small changes with the biggest impact was key to keeping the renovation of this 1980s project home budget-friendly.
East Juliett by Sandbox Studio Architecture & Design (via Lunchbox Architect) East Juliett by Sandbox Studio Architecture & Design
Featured Project There's a Lot Hiding Behind this 5-metre-wide Frontage Looks can be deceiving. Hidden behind this narrow frontage is a spacious, light-filled and fun home thanks to a recent renovation.
Green House Preston by Circle Studio Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Green House Preston by Circle Studio Architects
Featured Project A home addition inspired by the tiled facades of pubs in the area! For a client who lives alone, this renovation was about creating the perfect home for their lifestyle, not more space.
House in Newtown by Architect George (via Lunchbox Architect) House in Newtown by Architect George
House in Newtown by Architect George (via Lunchbox Architect) House in Newtown by Architect George
Featured Project This home proves there's nothing pokey about small footprint living Good design means you can live larger with less, meaning this compact home feels bright, spacious and surrounded by greenery.
Poppy's House by Northern Edge Studio (via Lunchbox Architect) Poppy's House by Northern Edge Studio
Featured Project Updating a Modernist Home Without Losing Its Character Damp-ridden, cold and leaking, this 1960s home needed a revamp. Luckily, a sensitive approach retains the home's unique character.
Dover Townhouses by  (via Lunchbox Architect) Dover Townhouses by
Featured Project What If Your Young Kids Could Grow up Next Door to Their Cousins? A pigeon pair of townhouses allow two brothers and their young families to live side-by-side; the perfect place to raise their kids.
Fitzroy North Residence by buck&simple (via Lunchbox Architect) Fitzroy North Residence by buck&simple
Featured Project Modern Addition Creates a New Heart for This Weatherboard Cottage By removing poorly constructed add-ons and creating an open-plan living area as the new heart, this quaint cottage is transformed...
Laneway House by Subtract Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Laneway House by Subtract Architecture
Featured Project Face Swap! This Home Has Been Flipped to Face the Rear Laneway... A complex, compact site on a slope and facing a busy road calls for a creative solution: switching the front and back!
Preston Retreat by Drawing Room Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Preston Retreat by Drawing Room Architecture
Featured Project Have a Garage You Never Use? Put the Space to Better Use... A double garage has the perfect amount of space for a new multi-functional studio the owners will get far more use out of.
Offset House by Amrish Maharaj Architect & Kitty Lee Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Offset House by Amrish Maharaj Architect & Kitty Lee Architecture
Featured Project When a Series of Renovations Leave a House Feeling Confused... A house can become dysfunctional as poorly planned renovations alter the layout and strip away original details. But it can be fixed!
Modular Passive House by ARKit (via Lunchbox Architect) Modular Passive House by ARKit
Featured Project This Stunning Modular Home is Also a High-performance Passive House! Built to Passive House standards, this home has exceptional energy-efficiency performance for comfortable living year-round.
Windsor Castle by Antarctica (via Lunchbox Architect) Windsor Castle by Antarctica
Featured Project Unique Cladding Makes Living in This Home Like Living in a Greenhouse Half greenhouse, half barn; despite being in a dense inner suburb, this home means it feels like it could be in the country!
North South House by Preston Lane Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) North South House by Preston Lane Architects
Featured Project A Sustainable and Energy-efficient Home in Spite of Tricky Orientation Getting light into living areas with a south-facing backyard is tricky. Here it's handled elegantly for an efficient and bright home.
Kingsford House by GSBN Studio (via Lunchbox Architect) Kingsford House by GSBN Studio
Featured Project Extending the Original Roofline Creates Stunning Cathedral Ceilings Wanting a place to entertain friends and family, this new addition creates a grand living area overlooking the garden
Castray Apartment by Field Labs (via Lunchbox Architect) Castray Apartment by Field Labs
Featured Project Ply and Steel Joinery Items Turn This Heritage Warehouse into a Home This heritage warehouse has been sensitively transformed into a home with the careful insertion of joinery units to divide the space.
Ripple House by FMD Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Ripple House by FMD Architects
Featured Project A Series of New Spaces Unfurl From Single-fronted Victorian Cottage Far from the classic box-like addition, a series of unique spaces unfurl from the rear of the cottage, opening up to light and garden.
Surry Hills Terrace by CO-AP (via Lunchbox Architect) Surry Hills Terrace by CO-AP
Featured Project Terrace Transformed Without Extending the Footprint of the Home A series of expert moves brings in more light, improves livability and connects this terrace to its courtyard all without extending.
GER/ by PLY Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) GER/ by PLY Architecture
Featured Project Clever Design Brings Light Into the Heart of this Bungalow Bungalows are charming homes, but they tend to be dark. This addition finds a way to bring light into the depths of this bungalow.
Longueville House by Vanessa Wegner Architect (via Lunchbox Architect) Longueville House by Vanessa Wegner Architect
Featured Project A Modern Take on the Verandah Creates a Connection to the Garden The front verandah of this Californian Bungalow is reinterpreted at the rear of the home to create a shady outdoor living space.
Pop Up House by Fabric Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Pop Up House by Fabric Architecture
Featured Project 1970s-era Red Brick Home Completely Transformed by Modern Renovation Not that you'd know it now, but this sleek, modern-Japanese-inspired home was once a tired '70s brick pad and what a transformation!
Flinders Addition by Michael McManus Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Flinders Addition by Michael McManus Architects
Featured Project Charred Timber Creates a New BAL-12.5 Wing for This Country Home To create space for the kids as they grow, this new bedroom wing sits beautifully in the landscape and meets BAL requirements.
9 July 2021 (via Lunchbox Architect) 9 July 2021
Article Why Working With an Architect Isn't the Ordeal Some Make It Out to Be Wesley Spencer from RARA Architecture was shocked at a recent auction. Find out why...
9 July 2021 (via Lunchbox Architect) 9 July 2021
Brighton East House by Ansari Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Brighton East House by Ansari Architects
Featured Project A Quirky Fireplace Becomes the Focal Point of This Modern Renovation The owners would have ripped this out-of-place fireplace out if they'd had their way, but it's become the centrepiece of this reno...
Little Maggie by ROAM Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Little Maggie by ROAM Architects
Featured Project Little Maggie: The Perfect Sunny Addition to this Weatherboard Cottage Creating a light-filled addition where the garden and outdoor spaces feel like an extension of the living areas for year-round use.
Stepping House by Rob Henry Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Stepping House by Rob Henry Architects
Featured Project A Mid Century-inspired Home Designed to Work Well With the Landscape On a tricky, but naturally beautiful battle-axe site, this home celebrates its assets and minimises its drawbacks.
U House by C.Kairouz Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) U House by C.Kairouz Architects
Featured Project Is a Light-filled House With a South-facing Backyard Possible? Creative ways to bring more light into the home, even when the backyard doesn't get much sun, makes this home light-filled and airy.
Moorooka House by Maytree Studios (via Lunchbox Architect) Moorooka House by Maytree Studios
Featured Project 1970s Home Transformed by a Charred Timber Addition The charred timber addition float in front of the home, complementing the original cream brick and transforming the street appeal.
Art House by SG2 Design (via Lunchbox Architect) Art House by SG2 Design
Featured Project A Forever Home Designed to Showcase Art and Furniture Collection This Carlton terrace renovation updates ageing interiors to create the perfect home for a collector of colourful art and furniture.
CrossCut House by Bijl Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) CrossCut House by Bijl Architecture
Featured Project Sometimes Your Home Might Already Have Enough Space... The amount of space you have is one thing, but its functionality, light and flow is a whole other thing.
Woollahra Treehouse by Bones Studio (via Lunchbox Architect) Woollahra Treehouse by Bones Studio
Featured Project A Stunning Self-contained Studio Perched Among the Trees Sitting on top of the garage with leafy views, the new self-contained living space is perfect for adult children or visiting family.
Robinson Road House by Chan Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Robinson Road House by Chan Architecture
Featured Project New England-style Home Needed an Addition to Complement Not Copy An addition to this period home sits comfortably alongside the original, oriented to catch the light and open up the backyard.
Enter the Light by Hobbs Jamieson Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Enter the Light by Hobbs Jamieson Architecture
Featured Project Enter the Light: A New Home Designed to Maximise Winter Sun Access to natural light is so important, yet often overlooked. With thoughtful design, your home can be light and bright year-round.
St Kilda Home by Modscape (via Lunchbox Architect) St Kilda Home by Modscape
Featured Project This Inner-city Modular Home Has a Few Tricks up Its Sleeves! It's not what you expect when you think of a modular home, but this tricky house continues the surprises continue inside...
Brunswick Green by Drawing Room Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Brunswick Green by Drawing Room Architecture
Featured Project Architect Creates a Spacious Light-filled Home Against the Odds Despite a seemingly impossible set of constraints, this terrace has been transformed into a light-filled and sustainable family home.
Ainslie Cottage by buck&simple (via Lunchbox Architect) Ainslie Cottage by buck&simple
Featured Project Government-built Home Lovingly Transformed Into a Mid-century Gem The renovation of this post-war house leans on mid-century details and views of the native landscape to create a special home.
East Fremantle House by Nic Brunsdon (via Lunchbox Architect) East Fremantle House by Nic Brunsdon
Featured Project The Most Important Part of This House Is the Space That Is Not Built A generous north-facing courtyard becomes the best part of this house, bringing light, breezes and the outdoors into every space.
Munro by Lisa Cummins Architect (via Lunchbox Architect) Munro by Lisa Cummins Architect
Featured Project Historic Chimney Stacks Inspires Incredible Double-height Space... Chimneys of the old brickworks immediately caught the architect's attention and she knew this renovation needed to capture that view!
Malvern East Bachelor Pad by Eliza Blair Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Malvern East Bachelor Pad by Eliza Blair Architecture
Featured Project Bachelor Pad Reno Finds Unique Way to Create a Better Home for Owner Transforming a 1960s apricot-brick unit into the perfect bachelor pad meant rethinking the space and adapting what was already there...
Black Ribbon House by Studio 15b (via Lunchbox Architect) Black Ribbon House by Studio 15b
Featured Project Queenslander Renovation Creates a Home to Enjoy for Years to Come Rather than relocate, this family decided on a Queenslander renovation to create the home of their dreams in the street they love.
Waratah Secondary House by anthrosite (via Lunchbox Architect) Waratah Secondary House by anthrosite
Featured Project A Compact, Efficient Home Barely Bigger than a Typical Backyard Shed This studio was designed to minimise costs by maximising efficiency, creating a flexible space that was largely prefabricated off-site.
Gold Street Residence by Sarah Kahn Architect (via Lunchbox Architect) Gold Street Residence by Sarah Kahn Architect
Featured Project A Clever Addition Turns a Potentially Problematic Site Into Gold Others overlooked this heritage-listed home because of its exposure on three sides, but a playful addition turns it into an asset.
Wild House by Jon Lowe Architect (via Lunchbox Architect) Wild House by Jon Lowe Architect
Featured Project Inner-city Maisonette Transformed Thanks to New Living Space A new 60 square metre addition creates a bright and modern living space for this inner-city home.
Step Down House by Bijl Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Step Down House by Bijl Architecture
Featured Project Step Down Into This New Airy Pavilion Which Spills Into the Backyard Perfect for entertaining, this new living pavilion at the back of a 1910s home is light, airy and open to the backyard.