Courtyard House  -  East Dulwich:  Terrace by Designcubed

The Tiny Yet Mighty Family Home

Alissa Ugolini—homify UK Alissa Ugolini—homify UK
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We're extremely lucky and honoured to have some incredible examples of architecture on homify. Good, wholesome home design doesn't always require a large budget or a huge team of people behind it but, while this all helps, it all boils down to the passion of the designers.

Land and space are at a premium in inner city locations worldwide. When architect Stephen Blowers from Designcubed was presented with a small plot of land near a relative, the owner and architect behind this project seized the opportunity. Little did he know that this design would serve as a revolutionary example of small space architecture.

Measuring at only 17.1 x 11.5 metres and with a final build cost of only £230,000, you will see from the photos that this Dulwich home speaks in volumes. It appears as though it was built on a piece of land three times that size and with a budget twice as large.

Seeing is believing, so take a look…

Plethora of light

Courtyard House  -  East Dulwich:  Dining room by Designcubed
Designcubed

Courtyard House — East Dulwich

Designcubed

Getting ample access from a natural light source was a challenge given the shape, but fortunately for this home this principle has been cleverly and well executed. These beautiful roof lights flood the communal spaces like the kitchen and living area with light and, of course, provide an undeniably warm ambience. 

Designing the room with a mainly white colour scheme means the room acts much like a blank canvas. It's like a piece of living and breathing art every time the weather changes.

Clever space saving initiatives

Courtyard House  -  East Dulwich:  Kitchen by Designcubed
Designcubed

Courtyard House — East Dulwich

Designcubed

Little do you know, the majority of the home is furnished with budget-friendly items. Most of what you see in this photograph is Ikea or high street furniture, cleverly customised to appear bespoke and expensive. This shows that recreating a scene from a glossy home decorating magazine is achievable for the average person.

Saving in some areas allowed the owners to invest their money on the more important and larger elements of the house, such as the doors, roof lights and flooring.

Earthly delights

Courtyard House  -  East Dulwich:  Bedroom by Designcubed
Designcubed

Courtyard House — East Dulwich

Designcubed

'The Courtyard House' was designed very much with nature and the environment in mind. 

Photovoltaics, solar power and heating have all been added to minimise the carbon footprint of the home. The large amounts of glazing provide excellent access to solar heat gains, as well acting as an excellent source of ventilation.

Endless view

Courtyard House  -  East Dulwich:  Terrace by Designcubed
Designcubed

Courtyard House — East Dulwich

Designcubed

There are often times when a photo needs no caption at all. This wonderful juxtaposition between inside and outside spaces really gives you a sense of how it would feel to be standing on the outside looking in. 

You can sense the airiness and spaciousness, with no tight or dark corners in sight. Every single area is brilliantly illuminated, which is truly an outstanding example of the effective use of space, beautiful material finishes and light.

It's no surprise the architecture firm was shortlisted for a RIBA award in 2014.

Minimal space, maximum impact

Courtyard House  -  East Dulwich:  Terrace by Designcubed
Designcubed

Courtyard House — East Dulwich

Designcubed

Designcubed have successfully created a light-filled and open plan space that blends seamlessly into its surroundings. Nestled behind a 1930s cottage, the back story behind this home was not necessarily all triumphs. The space had remained vacant for some time due to planning restrictions from the local council. 

This aspect of the build was surprisingly easy for the owners, as their single-story idea went through authorities without any glitches. However, due to budget constraints, they opted for builders who quoted the cheapest build cost. Unfortunately, halfway through the build the company ran into financial difficulties, leaving the owners to finish the project on their own.

Nevertheless, the owners moved into the space, finishing the build in their own time and when funds permitted. As you can see, the team at Designcube created a wonderful family home, which is their own piece of paradise away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

To look around a wonderful home in the capital, check out: A Smart Extension in North London.

What was your favourite aspect of this home?
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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