Houzz Tour: Smart Design Tricks Make a Tiny House Feel Bigger
Before and after photos show how a smart layout and ingenious design turned a dark space into a bright, welcoming home
The catch? The inside was dreary and cramped. So Breffnie called on the expertise of architect Eva Byrne of Houseology to make her new home feel light, airy and spacious.
Who lives here Professional property hunter Breffnie O’Kelly and her teenage daughter
Location Dublin, Ireland
Property Early 20th century terraced house
Size Two bedrooms and one bathroom (55 sq m)
Architect Eva Byrne of Houseology
Photos by Philip Lauterbach
Everything about this two-up, two-down cottage said ‘good buy’ to Breffnie O’Kelly and her teenage daughter when they spotted it – everything, that is, except the dark and dreary internal layout.
But it wasn’t long before she’d come up with a complete redesign of the property, and Breffnie had commissioned Eva to take on the full project.
At the front of the property, Eva replaced the windows and door and took down the modern railing that surrounded the flowerbed. “We fitted a timber door in a welcoming colour,” she says.
Front door painted in Dix Blue, Farrow & Ball.
“You don’t do anything near the door anyway, so you’re not losing any living space by adding a division,” she adds.
The team put in a ledge with hooks underneath and a round mirror to turn the space into a useful hallway.
Eva kept the fireplace minimal, too, with a flush hearth and a plain opening for the wood-burning stove. Storage was built into the chimney alcoves – there’s a bookcase and cabinet to the left.
Langbrook 5kW wood-burning stove, Dimplex. Sofa, SOUL Lifestyle. Linum grey board rug, The Orchard.
The seat is positioned next to a window, which Eva had lowered to maximise the view of the courtyard and bring plenty of light into the room.
She chose some botanical prints for the walls to further connect the inside with the outside space.
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The existing floorplan shows how a shower room was blocking the view. Eva removed it and located an open-plan kitchen-diner in its place, then tucked a bathroom at the back of the property.
“As Breffnie’s daughter is a teenager, we thought it was important for her to have her own space,” says Eva. So her design takes into account a separation of each area of the house, so that mother and daughter can enjoy time together and apart.
Porcelain tiles have been laid on the floor both inside and on the patio to further connect the two areas.
Find a range of dining chairs in the Houzz Shop
A row of narrow picture ledges provides enough room for books without encroaching too much on the space.
Table base, Häfele. Dining chairs; picture ledges, Ikea.
There was already a rooflight in the space, and Eva maximised the brightness by choosing a quartz worktop and glass tiles for the splashback. “These were remnants from a discontinued line, which is a good way to save money,” she says.
Quartz worktop, Egan Stone. Green glass tiles; porcelain floor tiles, TileStyle.
“We used white in here and lots of mirror, so it doesn’t feel small,” she adds. “We put two shallow Ikea cabinets side by side for storage. With bathroom storage, you only need a cabinet deep enough to fit a toilet roll.”
Cabinets, Ikea. Sanitaryware and tiles, TileStyle.
Slim, wall-mounted shelves in place of a bedside table save space, while a picture ledge above provides a surface for books. Opposite and out of shot is a 44cm deep wardrobe from Ikea. “It’s a good option if you don’t have a lot of space,” Eva says.
Bed; bedding; picture ledge; wardrobe; rug, all Ikea.
What do you like about the new layout in this compact house? Share your thoughts in the Comments section.
2. Solid Wood 7-Hook Coat Rack
3. Imaginfires Bredon Bioethanol Fireplace
4. Ada Textured Area Rug
5. Monroe 3-Seater Sofa, Grey Linen
6. Set of 2 Hella Cotton Hammam Throws
7. White Porcelain Accent Table
8. Complements Tall Lantern With Faux Leather Handle
9. Stockholm Fabric and Birch Wood Armchair
10. Stirrup Floor Lamp With Aluminium and Etched Glass Shade