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.
Auburn Residence, Hawthorn East by Chan Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Auburn Residence, Hawthorn East by Chan Architecture
Vy and Matt's House by Elaine Richardson Architect (via Lunchbox Architect) Vy and Matt's House by Elaine Richardson Architect
Featured Project A colourful terrace renovation captures the owners' sense of fun Most terraces are dark and pokey, but with pops of colour and a full-width opening to the garden, this home is bright and full of fun.
Kirribilli downsize apartment by Tsai Design (via Lunchbox Architect) Kirribilli downsize apartment by Tsai Design
Kirribilli downsize apartment by Tsai Design (via Lunchbox Architect) Kirribilli downsize apartment by Tsai Design
Featured Project Space saving and design tricks help these downsizers live large With just 75 square metres and an awkward floor plan, this downsizing couple have a stunning, space-efficient and functional home.
10 May 2024 (via Lunchbox Architect) 10 May 2024
Article Australian Style: do modern Australian homes have a defining style? Is there an emerging Australian 'style'? Are these homes forging a new Australian style?
Black Betty House by Studio 15B (via Lunchbox Architect) Black Betty House by Studio 15B
Featured Project New addition to Queenslander is a bright alternative to raising it... A two-storey addition to a Queenslander cottage which avoids raising the original home without taking up too much backyard space...
Grace Park House 2.0 by POLYstudio (via Lunchbox Architect) Grace Park House 2.0 by POLYstudio
Featured Project Addition to Queen Anne-style house creates modern, light-filled home A new two-storey addition reorients this home to garden and the sun, creating a light-filled living space for everyone to enjoy...
Pump up the Volume by Hobbs Jamieson Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Pump up the Volume by Hobbs Jamieson Architecture
Featured Project Epic makeover leaves suburban cottage unrecognisable An expansive renovation and extension of this suburban cottage has transformed it into a stunning family home filled with light…
Prahran Rescue by Block Architecture Studio (via Lunchbox Architect) Prahran Rescue by Block Architecture Studio
Featured Project Renovation of a warehouse conversion creates and inner-city oasis Focussing on natural light and outlooks to greenery has creates a private sanctuary despite being in the middle of the action
Glebe Castle by KLK Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Glebe Castle by KLK Architecture
Featured Project A renovation with an heir of whimsy (pardon the pun)... This fun-filled renovation and extension of a local landmark is perfect for anyone who’s ever dreamed of living in a castle!
The Snug by Green Sheep Collective (via Lunchbox Architect) The Snug by Green Sheep Collective
Featured Project When half the size of the average Australian home is more than ample Transforming a run-down, dark and poorly insulated Californian Bungalow into a comfortable, efficient and sustainable home...
Fondue House by Castlepeake Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Fondue House by Castlepeake Architects
Featured Project Renovation creates a sustainable, all-electric home... Despite a tall neighbour to the north, this renovated home is full of light and lush views. Plus, they were able to disconnect the gas.
LOA Studio by  (via Lunchbox Architect) LOA Studio by
Featured Project Mid-century-inspired home office makes working from home a dream... This creative decided to transform his double garage into a functional and beautiful home office - just *before* the pandemic hit.
Jacoby by Lucy Clemenger Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Jacoby by Lucy Clemenger Architects
Featured Project A dream home renovation for a lover of fashion, art and design... What does the dream home of a multi-creative look like? Beautiful details, a relaxed beach house vibe and a healthy splash of colour.
Fin House by Aterre (via Lunchbox Architect) Fin House by Aterre
Fin House by Aterre (via Lunchbox Architect) Fin House by Aterre
Featured Project A house for self-confessed 'habitual over-caterers'... Opening up the back of this semi to light and the backyard has created the perfect entertainer.
10 Fold House by Timmins + Whyte (via Lunchbox Architect) 10 Fold House by Timmins + Whyte
Featured Project An intricate roofline, folded like origami, grabs light and views Folded perfectly, the 10-fold roofline of this home grabs the light and views of treetops and provides privacy from neighbours.
Meta-Morphology by Sandbox Studio Architecture & Design (via Lunchbox Architect) Meta-Morphology by Sandbox Studio Architecture & Design
Featured Project A new addition to this home completely transforms its look and feel The addition creates a new living area and main bedroom suite, completely transforming the functionality and style of this home.
Whiffling House by Wexhaus Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Whiffling House by Wexhaus Architecture
Featured Project (Re)Creating a warm house the owners can entertain in... Much of the charm of this original Edwardian cottage had been removed, painted over and, in some cases, plastered over.
Brunsiwck House by Michael McManus Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Brunsiwck House by Michael McManus Architects
Featured Project This addition feels spacious in spite of a long, narrow block... With clever planning and bringing light and framed views in at every opportunity, this long, narrow site feels surprisingly spacious.
Neville Street Residence by Chan Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Neville Street Residence by Chan Architecture
Featured Project How to make your home feel spacious, even if it's on a tight site 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!
The Courtyard House by Maryanne Taskovski Architect (via Lunchbox Architect) The Courtyard House by Maryanne Taskovski Architect
Featured Project A courtyard creates the perfect transition between old and new Getting the transition right is a challenge in any addition. Here, a courtyard creates breathing room between old and new.
Elizabeth Street House by O'Neill Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Elizabeth Street House by O'Neill Architecture
Featured Project This modern Queenslander has a surprise behind its unassuming facade Following the traditional layout at the front, this modern Queenslander defies expectations to create a vibrant modern home.
Laneway Loft by Shelley Roberts Architect (via Lunchbox Architect) Laneway Loft by Shelley Roberts Architect
Featured Project Laneway Loft is the perfect self-contained guest house! Previously an overgrown garden and outbuildings, this space is now the perfect self-contained guest retreat facing a rear laneway.
The Rose House by Brcar Morony Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) The Rose House by Brcar Morony Architecture
Featured Project Creating a peaceful urban sanctuary close to a busy highway Your home is definitely your castle at this renovation which uses an elegant take on fortification to protect the home from noise.
Mischa's Place by Circle Studio Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Mischa's Place by Circle Studio Architects
Featured Project Marrying old and new leaves this renovation full of character Old homes are full of character. By carefully marrying old and new in a renovation, you can retain some of that warmth and personality.
Alexandria House by PASSER Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Alexandria House by PASSER Architects
Featured Project Ugly ducking of the street has transformed into an elegant swan... The neighbours once dubbed this home the ugly duckling of the street, now they're green with envy at this stunning entertainer.
Brunswick Bush Shack by Sarah Kahn Architect (via Lunchbox Architect) Brunswick Bush Shack by Sarah Kahn Architect
Featured Project Not your average terrace extension... This home has a surprise at the end of the typically ornate Edwardian-era hallway, and it's far from your average terrace renovation!
Peek House by Kuzman Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Peek House by Kuzman Architecture
Peek House by Kuzman Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Peek House by Kuzman Architecture
Featured Project Peek House is a personalty-packed renovation of a Victorian-era home The history of this home as well as the personalities of its owners shine through in this clever renovation of a Victorian cottage.
Garden House by  (via Lunchbox Architect) Garden House by
Featured Project A garden pavilion is the perfect partner for this heritage home Redbrick and terracotta-tiled Californian Bungalows are beautiful homes, but they can be dark. Here's a bright solution...
Tandem House by Fiona Drago Architect (via Lunchbox Architect) Tandem House by Fiona Drago Architect
Featured Project These down-sizers wanted a modern home in a walkable neighbourhood... Moving from their large family home where the kids grew up, this family opted for a modern home closer to the things they love.
Kew Courtyard House by Drawing Room Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Kew Courtyard House by Drawing Room Architecture
Kew Courtyard House by Drawing Room Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Kew Courtyard House by Drawing Room Architecture
Featured Project Mid-century never goes out of style for this creative couple A mid-century-inspired home designed to navigate a long, skinny block is this creative duo's forever home...
Light House by Alexander Symes Architect (via Lunchbox Architect) Light House by Alexander Symes Architect
Featured Project Thoughtful renovation brings this home into the light side... While retaining as much of the original house for cost and environmental reasons, this home is completely transformed.
Mt Eliza House by Bent Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Mt Eliza House by Bent Architecture
Featured Project A home fit for ageing in place doesn't need to look institutional... When you think of ageing in place, you might imagine ramps, grab rails and a lot of linoleum. But it doesn't have to be that way...
Mt Eliza House by Bent Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Mt Eliza House by Bent Architecture
Mt Eliza House by Bent Architecture (via Lunchbox Architect) Mt Eliza House by Bent Architecture
Graffiti House by Durack Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Graffiti House by Durack Architects
Featured Project This old clothing warehouse is transformed into an incredible home... Turn an existing clothing warehouse into a bold new home without losing its industrial aesthetic? Let's see how it turned out...
Silvertop House by Architopia (via Lunchbox Architect) Silvertop House by Architopia
Featured Project Buy the plans for this sustainable, cost-effective four bedroom home Clad in native timber, Silvertop House is at home in the country or the 'burbs and you can purchase the plans to build it on your block!
10 December 2021 (via Lunchbox Architect) 10 December 2021
Article A much better alternative to your average duplex development A powerhouse team of women, the BuildHer8, took a meh townhouse development and turned it into something quite exceptional...
Gantry House by OOF! Architects (via Lunchbox Architect) Gantry House by OOF! Architects
Featured Project What do you get if you cross a house and a warehouse? This house crossed with a warehouse is the perfect live/work space for a family who are always making or doing something...
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.
East Juliett by Sandbox Studio Architecture & Design (via Lunchbox Architect) East Juliett by Sandbox Studio Architecture & Design
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.