Luxury Modern Small Home Built In Suburban Backyard


There are lots of reasons why people choose to downsize sometimes it’s financial and sometimes it’s just an opportunity to do something very Fun and creative that is exactly the case with this next inspiring family that we’re about to visit who have done something truly remarkable with their homes backyard Hi Marnie hi fights. How are you? I’m great. Thanks lovely to meet you. Good ident. Has it go mate. Very good This home looks absolutely beautiful Can you tell me first of all how you actually came to be living in this space? So we bought the block about five years ago And there’s a house at the front that we’ve lived in for three and a half years So it all started with a pool We wanted to pull and then it turned into a pool in a Cabana and then maybe a pool and some Space for our parents to come and stay in and then it turned into our own home That we as a family of four now living in what was it that inspired you to go smaller with your home? I Guess I was really interested and I like the idea of minimalism I guess I’ve been one of those people who were always wanting more and one day it clicked in the foot. This isn’t making me happy So I started going through all my stuff minimizing everything and decided that we didn’t need a lot of stuff to be happy and Hence, we didn’t need two big hats to be happy. So that’s why we’re here now And so when she came to you and suggested that she wanted to actually do a tiny house project. What did you originally? Think of that. Did you take a little bit of convincing to come on board? Yes Yes, I saw the advantages in it eventually What was it that ultimately convinced you in the end? Something different something would be exciting and we did have a lot of junk and getting rid of a lot of junk was good Now what size is the home here? 31.5 square metres and how big is the house that you’ve come from in comparison? Probably be out three four times the size over thing Yes, and it looks like your swimming pools about the same size as your house. I’m a big fan of that. Yeah, it’s actually bigger Yeah, yeah swimming pools may get 2 square metres bigger than the house So it does surprise a lot of people I’ve been but especially in the hot Australian weather what a phenomenal way of doing it Yeah, I think so. I mean we spend a lot of time in there as well so sometimes Dan and Ella can spend five hours in at a time driving playing games and then they Inside collapsing on the land at the end of the day It’s fantastic the way that you’ve really connected the house with this outdoor area Can you talk to me about how everything’s laid out here? Yeah, so when we were doing the design the brief was that we wanted to spend as much time outside as possible So with the kitchen we’ve got this big gas trap window So we’re often sitting here having a meal or just to chat at the table We have a lot of meals at the outdoor table then outside here we’re always relaxing on the big beanbags or Having parties around down the fire pit area and with the garden I didn’t want anything That was too formal or structured. So we’ve gone with basically an edible garden So almost everything in here is something that you can eat So a lot of our food comes from our house so you can just go outdoors and pick something for dinner And did you build this was this a DIY project? Yeah, so we did it as an owner builder We engaged a friend who was a builder and he did all the site side and we did the project management, I guess Procurement that sort of stuff he looked after all the all the hard part But then you definitely got your hands dirty as well by the sounds of it. Yes There were many many late nights and weekends and spent in here So, yes, can you tell me about the materials that you’ve used on the exterior? Yes We used a cement sheet the sky on Strayer. It was very very labor intensive. That is I think it’s come up pretty good We’ve also used raw timber recycled posts, which have been quite a bit of which you could say character in them There’s a lot of raw timber around the place the deck into recycled timber as well They’ve all been pulled from an old bridge as well So it’s nice to have a little bit of history mixed in within you So what are you doing with the main house at the moment? So we rented it out So the income that we get from that helps us pay down the mortgage a little bit quicker Which is helpful, and it was an advantage when we were building that we were able to add in some privacy details so we’ve just added some screening we tinted some windows and So really we’ve got our complete separate spaces There is such a good way of doing it because of course Sydney right now This is one of the world’s most expensive real estate markets so being able to create this kind of living situation gives you an affordable and really Effective model of being able to own your own home without the burden of a tremendous mortgage Right definitely and getting that extra income helps us pay down a lot quicker as well like you said Sydney is Ridiculous at the moment. No, it’s hard for younger people to get into the market So this could potentially be an alternative for people. Well, I absolutely Love the outside of the house. The style is really cool I’m already ridiculously jealous of your swimming pool, but can we go inside and take a look? Yeah, I mean, thank you This is lovely and immediately walking in here I love the way that this giant window just completely celebrates the fact that the pool is right there Yeah, definitely. The window was a must wasn’t it? And I feel like that’s our piece of art now We don’t have any room for any other art. So looking out there it just makes the fuck you I absolutely Love the way that in here the light hitting the pool reflects on your ceiling. Yeah, it’s really beautiful So we’ve put a lot of effort into the ceiling we used to call this when we were building the tiny house for giants So we’ve done the v-groove ceiling and we’ve made sure it’s connected perfectly to the at all so you get that really nice flow from Into house and it looks like you’ve done some very interesting things with the furniture. Can you tell me about that? Yeah, so I guess this was Dan’s idea We’ve done the built-in seating, which is also storage as well So the captures a lot and we can move them around as our needs change So the girls can have a play on the mat or we can push them together if we want to watch movie So it works really well Excellent. So these kind of like beanbags or something? Yeah, they are they’re being bags What a great idea and I love how much versatility that brings into the space, too. Yeah, definitely It’s good to see that you’ve really prioritized Entertaining and relaxing in this space and I can see you’ve got a really wonderful place for watching your movies and everything That stands dumain you TV, isn’t it? Well, not really We don’t watch that much of it, but it is important that we had a TV and it’s up right at the right level So you can watch it from thus far as well No way Yeah And you can also you can have this set of bluetooth headphones or use the pool speakers and watch a movie or you know The tennis or whatever out there generally construction you would have seen me out there sitting in the half built pool and Trying to get the right angle and height on the wall here fortunately What a great idea And now tell me about the kitchen here, yeah so with the kitchen Because we’ve got a family and I’m cooking all the time I wanted to make sure that it had all the functionality of a normal kitchen So we’ve got the two burner stove The microwave combi oven we’ve also got a dishwasher drawer here as well And that’s the perfect size so it fills our whole day and I turn it on every night. So it works really well It’s a smaller size fridge That probably did take a little bit of getting used to but it works fine now Fantastic, and it looks to me like you’ve hidden everything away very well, but you’ve got a lot of storage in this kitchen Oh, yeah heaps of storage probably even more than what we need We’ve got our long pantry here and it was probably four times the size in our previous home But honestly now I don’t have things in there, but with the expiry dates from about four years ago So works. Well, we’ve tried to keep it functional you can see underneath the top cupboards there We’ve got power points and light switches and things like that so that on the wall in your face Hidden, but still there. So space is functional. I guess what a great way of doing it. And what’s in the next room So we’ve got the bathroom come and have a look cool. Oh This looks great I love the tiling work in this room. Yeah. Thank you We try to do something a little bit different in here not too out there. So it still goes with everything But yeah, we really like it. And can you tell me a little bit about the layout in the bathroom? originally in the design We had an exterior door on the outside the bathroom that was going to be used for the pool as well in the end We ditched the door and put a live window there the architects sort of did the layout as a standard layout we originally had a concrete bath in the design but it turns out with the plumbing it was going to become quite expensive as well as the grinds and Everything so we ditch that idea as well and the kids doing buckets now and then is this your bedroom in here? Yeah, it is come and have a look. Oh This is lovely. I really like what you’ve done with the side table things here because yeah Obviously you wouldn’t be able to have a proper sight table. So that’s a great alternative, isn’t it? Yeah, my dad made those for us so made to fit and then it looks like you’ve built storage in here as well Yeah, so we’ve got heaps of storage in here. It’s probably more than we actually need so that’s a linen press We’ve also got our clothes basket underneath and then behind us is our wardrobe and we’ve got even to the ceiling Cupboards as well. I’ve tried to really make sure that everything has its place and being a small space You don’t want things lying around. Otherwise, it gets messy very quickly So we also have this really cool storage underneath initially when we first moved in it was actually used as storage But as the girls needs have changed Our elder daughter needed somewhere that she could play So we’ve made this into a really cool place face for the girls. No way That is such a cool idea yeah, Ella must absolutely love this she does she does It’s like a little play cave I really love what you’ve done and I love the way that even though this home is so small It really is a family home and you’ve really given the kids so much consideration and what’s going on in the space Haven’t you exactly I mean not everything has been purpose-built for the kids? But we’ve really tried to make the spaces work for them. So it’s a fun house as well And then what do we have next door? So it’s the girls room next door. All right. Can we check that out? Yeah, so This changed I guess from the initial plans and then one night came up with this fantastic idea so the girls can get into their room in their own special way, so Initially, we had a ladder up so Dan Created these stairs that they climb up into their own secret little door into their beds that is Ridiculously cold and you’ve even built a little fairy door into it. That’s so cute. Yeah, and it’s really cute So Ella has gone through a lot of adjustments moving into the house having a new sister So we actually have fairies who come and visit us and change up the spaces for her as things need to change So Frankie moving into her room, etc So it’s a really fun way for her to get excited about the new spaces Great. So the fairies created the place based under the bed. Yes Yes, and it looks like you’ve built a lot of storage in this space, too Yeah, we’ve built some functional cupboards to keep things like their kids school bags a place for everything And so I think you’re not coveting. It’s the vacuum cleaner and the broom but You’re not sure you’re never never seen inside And then the kids bedroom through there yeah, let’s go let’s check it out This is so clever, you’ve actually got three levels in here. Yeah, we do so it’s a vertical bedroom so To meds and a play space which is now actually Frankie’s nursery, but you’ve got the second bed up the top as well Yeah, that’s right. What was it that inspired you to do the space like this? I think when you’re tight on space and you’ve got constraints that you actually become more creative and so what does the normal bedroom have it’s got normally a bed in a little play space and a Wardrobe and we were able to do that and you know something that perhaps may have been unusable Yeah in a fraction of the size of the normal space. You’ve created something really special in here. That is very cool Yeah, and so when Frankie moves up to one of the beds the intention is to turn the downstairs here into a play space Yeah, that’s right. We can move some things around and put their toys in here So this will be a play space for the girls as well. We put a few fun things in there as well There’s some talking tubes. And so the kids can be down in the play space and talk to other kids up in the beds I get the feeling that you are having just as much fun in here as the girls are absolutely Hello wake up I’m awake So, how long have you been living in the home now? It’s been about 16 months now and how are you adapting to life in the new space? We love it We wouldn’t change a thing about it. So no regrets Everything’s working really well so I think living in a small space has changed the way that we moved completely and Really? Everything’s worked better than what we’d imagined I spend less time cleaning you spend less time maintaining A house, and we just get to spend time together as a family We’re outdoors so much more works really well. We’re happy Is there anything in here that you’re finding isn’t working for you? I think there’s anything that it’s not working at the moment It’s all working really well Yeah, probably moving into the future when the girls get a bit older the bedroom might become a bit of a problem You know getting into the small door there and the bunk beds and the small play space But we’ll deal with that as it comes like so we’re constantly Evolving and changing things. Yeah And Can you talk to me about the cost that was involved in creating this home sort of hard because there was so much Involved we did go over-budget a lot on excavation. We had a lot of problems early on everything in his custom made Everything’s difficult. Very labor intensive. We actually did work up at the house as well so we’re still trying to break it all down, but including the Landscaping and the pool and everything. It must be around 400 Huh? Yeah, but at the end of the day, we could never build a house to this standard or quality on a large scale So that was kind of the advantage that we saw was being able to have something really Beautiful and functional that works and it was affordable I guess I think you’ve hit the nail right on the head when you said that part of the trick with these spaces is Everything has to be customized. Nothing in here is mass-produced everything in here is high-quality And I think that what you’ve done here is absolutely money. Well spent. Thank you We agree the build has given us options in the future. Yes. We have a bigger mortgage But we look at it as we’ve spent an extra roughly four hundred thousand dollars to buy an investment property in Sydney That is positively geared. So there’s not many opportunities in Sydney We can buy a positively geared property worth that much money That’s kind of how we look at it from the financial point of view I just think you’ve created such a beautiful home here the idea of downsizing moving into your backyard saving money on the mortgage and living in a small house with a huge pool is Just absolutely brilliant. Thank you so much for sharing your home with me. Thank you, bro. Thanks rice. This is a very clever design Architectural II. It is modern. It’s beautiful. It’s functional but what I love most about it is it doesn’t forget to be playful the way that the kids are honored in this space and Family life was prioritized as evident all throughout and ultimately that is what makes it a home

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