Humble Homes Fri, 29 May 2015 16:57:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 A Small Apartment Design for a Family by Mormundas Vilkas Fri, 29 May 2015 16:57:31 +0000 This small modern apartment can be found in Vilnius, Lithuania. The clients approached local architecture firm Mormundas Vilkas to redesign the apartment’s interior so it would be fit to serve as a family home.

Apartment in Vilnius - Normundas Vilkas - Lithuania - Entry - Humble Homes

The apartment is part of a newly built housing complex. According to Vilkas, a low budget combined with the relatively small space made it a challenging project. The apartment contains a total of 678 square feet (63 square meters) and is divided up into four main living areas.

Apartment in Vilnius - Normundas Vilkas - Lithuania - Living Area - Humble Homes

The apartment contains an open plan living and dining area with a kitchen, a bathroom, master bedroom, children’s bedroom, and an entry hallway. It’s been finished mostly in white – white walls, storage cabinets, and curtains – with a bare concrete ceiling and a wood floor to bring some warmth to the home.

Apartment in Vilnius - Normundas Vilkas - Lithuania - Storage - Humble Homes

The living spaces have been defined by a series of partition walls. The cabinets have been used to both store items, as well hide certain elements – the TV and desktop computer can both be hidden by the folding and sliding doors of the wardrobe system, helping to keep the apartment free from visual clutter.

Apartment in Vilnius - Normundas Vilkas - Lithuania - Bedroom - Humble Homes

Large windows provide plenty of natural light and panoramic views of the urban setting. Furniture pieces, colorful fixtures and fittings, and plywood shelving have been used to avoid creating a sterile environment, although the sheer amount of white may still be too much for some.

Apartment in Vilnius - Normundas Vilkas - Lithuania - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

For more apartments check out the Zoku Loft, a stylish micro-apartment with a pull-out staircase. Or, this small apartment renovation in Spain. See all apartments.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: Leonas Garbacauskas

]]> 0
Ecocapsule – A Tiny Off-Grid Dwelling by Nice Architects Thu, 28 May 2015 19:57:03 +0000 This concept tiny egg-shaped dwelling has been produced by the Bratislava-based firm, Nice Architects. Called Ecocapsule, it’s intended for off-grid use and features a variety of renewable energy systems to power it regardless of the weather.

Ecocapsule - Nice Architects - Sweden - Exterior - Humble Homes

Ecocapsule features 28 square feet (2.6 square meters) of photovoltaic cells on its roof. In addition to this, there’s also a 750 Watt wind turbine. Both the PV cells and the turbine are used to charge a 4200 Wh battery bank. The third renewable feature is it’s built in rainwater catchment and harvesting system.

Ecocapsule - Nice Architects - Sweden - Graphic - Humble Homes

Unfortunately it’s not clear how the rainwater catchment system works; there’s no indication from the concept images where rainwater is siphoned off from the roof. The capsule itself measures 14′-7″ by 8′ (4.5 by 2.4 meters) and has an internal floor plan of 86 square feet (8 square meters).

Ecocapsule - Nice Architects - Sweden - Interior - Humble Homes

The interior contains a kitchenette, a bathroom with a toilet and shower, a folding bed, a storage area, and a dining/study desk. There are two windows, one on each side of the main living area. On the outside you’ll also find a section of the pod dedicated to external storage.

Ecocapsule - Nice Architects - Sweden - Exterior Night - Humble Homes

The architects can see it being used for anything from an independent research station, to tourist lodgings, or emergency housing. I would scrub emergency housing off the list as there are a number of much more cost-effective disaster relief options already available.

Ecocapsule - Nice Architects - Sweden - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

Nice Architects claim it will offer long off-grid stays, easy transport around the globe, and that it doesn’t require any supporting infrastructure (a point that’s been contested by Lloyd Alter of Treehugger). No doubt some of it is nonsense, but it is after all just a concept, and a rather pretty one at that.

For more off-grid houses check out this micro-retreat in Cape Russel. Or, this tiny off-grid cabin by Moxon Architects. See all off-grid posts.

Via TreeHugger
Photos: Ecocapsule

]]> 0
Gali – A Compact Kitchen Designed for Small Homes by Ana Arana Wed, 27 May 2015 17:48:20 +0000 With the trend of single person occupancy on the rise, and the current move towards small and tiny houses, not everyone needs a large and luxurious kitchen with all the bells and whistles. Gali, a standalone kitchen by designer Ana Arana, attempts to address the issue, providing all the basic functions in a single compact unit.

Gali - Micro Kitchen - Ana Arana - Counter and Cooktop - Humble Homes

The Gali kitchen contains a two-burner cooktop, a sink, a refrigerator, a variety of storage drawers and a fold-away prep area that doubles as a table. If you’re the nomadic type and want to take your Gali kitchen with you wherever you go, it can be split up into four separate components, making it easier to store and transport.

Gali - Micro Kitchen - Ana Arana - Closed and Open - Humble Homes

According to Arana, the kitchen is the result of research into how we consume food with respect to social and living arrangements. From Arana’s website: “As a response to this growing trend of compact, changeable lifestyles in small apartments of single living people I would like to make a revision of the kitchen.”

Gali - Micro Kitchen - Ana Arana - Cooktop and Side View - Humble Homes

“It is a part of the house that is essential but it occupies a big space and not everybody uses it the same way. The Gali kitchen is the intention of letting each individual distribute their space as they want having everything necessary to cook when wanted or needed but allowing the living space to embrace new possibilities.”

I’ve seen a number of these compact kitchens come and go over the years. Some of them, like this circular kitchen from Compact Concepts, have had moderate success. However, it seems larger more permanent, or fitted kitchens are generally preferred over these alternatives, despite spacial restrictions.

For more furniture posts, check out this space-saving furniture from Atelier Opa. Or, this ingenious fold-out dining table that can be stored in a single compact unit. See all furniture.

Via Dornob
Photos: Ana Arana

]]> 0
A Terrace House in London Gets Renovated by Fraher Architects Tue, 26 May 2015 19:56:58 +0000 This London terrace recently received a makeover with the help of local firm, Fraher Architects. The project involved an extension to the property, as well as extensive interior works. The textured brickwork of the extension has lead it to be called the Brick House.

The Brick House - Fraher Architects - London - Exterior Rear - Humble Homes

The house is set in north-west London within a conservation area. The architects decided to use a slate-grey brick instead of the yellow London stock brick that typifies the area, making the newer works immediately obvious. The face of the new walls also feature a faceted texture, giving them the look of much older brickwork.

The Brick House - Fraher Architects - London - Living Area - Humble Homes

All told, the house has three storey’s including the basement. During the course of the renovation work, the basement was extended to accommodate a TV snug/living room. It acts as the homes main living area with a now open plan kitchen, dining and living room.

The Brick House - Fraher Architects - London - Living Area and Kitchen - Humble Homes

All partition walls were removed to create an open space, however the living room can be concertinaed off with the use of white shutters. The bathroom was also moved from the basement to the ground floor, which looks to feature two further rooms, both of which appear to functions as a home offices or studies.

The Brick House - Fraher Architects - London - Bathroom - Humble Homes

The final level of the home contains the master bedroom with an en-suite, and a second bedroom. New windows have been introduced throughout, particularly in the extension where long slender skylights provide daylighting for the basement and bathroom above.

The Brick House - Fraher Architects - London - Floor Plans - Humble Homes

Whilst not shown, wildflowers were planted on the staggered roof to reduce the sharp brickwork edges when viewed from the upper levels. All in all, I think it’s a pretty good redesign. It may not have the smallest of footprints, but it’s certainly been successful in creating an environment that’s comfortable for the occupants.

For more small houses check out this minimalist house set in the countryside of the Netherlands. Or, this small house in Australia by Edwards Moore architects.

Via Dezeen
Photos: Jack Hobhouse

]]> 0
Zoku Loft РA Stylish Micro-Apartment with a Pull-Out Staircase Mon, 25 May 2015 17:30:26 +0000 Called the Zoku Loft, this micro-apartment in Amsterdam is catered towards the nomadic professional and has been designed by local design studio, Concrete. The word Zoku is a Japanese word and translates as family, tribe or clan, and is meant to represent the variety of client̬le that the Zoku Loft can accommodate.

Zoku Loft - Concrete - Amsterdamn - Main Living Area - Humble Homes

The interior is crisp, clean, and contemporary. It features a number of furniture items from local companies, such as the “Rest” sofa, and “Fibre” chairs from Muuto, which, according to the architects, have been adopted and customized specifically for the apartment.

Zoku Loft - Concrete - Amsterdamn - Staircase Pulled Out - Humble Homes

The apartment is split up into two main spaces: the more private, screened bedroom and bathroom to the rear, and the open plan kitchen, dining and living room to the front. The large windows and tall ceilings help to keep the space bright and airy.

Zoku Loft - Concrete - Amsterdamn - Kitchen and Dining Area - Humble Homes

The kitchen is a simple and small affair with a two-burner cooktop, microwave, sink, under-counter refrigerator, a kettle and a coffee maker. On the opposite side of the apartment you’ll find built in storage and the home’s entertainment center; a TV.

Zoku Loft - Concrete - Amsterdamn - Living Room - Humble Homes

The storage area also features an inventive staircase – with a handrail – that can be pulled out so as to access the sleeping loft. When not in use it’s simply pushed flush against the cabinets to free up the living area. The loft contains a king-size bed, and is partitioned off with wooden screens that help to prevent too much light from entering.

Zoku Loft - Concrete - Amsterdamn - Bedroom - Humble Homes

Interestingly, the Zoku Loft has a set of exercise rings fastened to the ceiling, ensuring you’ll still your acrobatic workout session for the duration of your stay. According to the architects, 133 of these apartments will be opening in the center of Amsterdam in 2015.

For more apartments check out this 175 square foot dwelling with a hide-away kitchen. Or, this small Swedish apartment that exudes style. See all apartments.

Via Home Adore
Photos: Ewout Huibers

]]> 0
A 175 Square Foot Micro-Apartment with a Hide-Away Kitchen Fri, 22 May 2015 18:17:06 +0000 This tiny apartment of just 175 square feet (15 square meters) features some rather ingenious design ideas in order to make the most of the – limited – space available to it.

Micro-Apartment - Living Space with Hidden Kitchen - Humble Homes

The apartment is composed of two rooms: an open plan living, dining, kitchen and sleeping area, and a separate bathroom. The multi-functional living area makes use of a 3.2 foot (1 meter) tall addition that’s used for storage of belongings, as well as the kitchen.

Micro-Apartment - Hidden Kitchen Revealed - Humble Homes

The floor of the raised section can be lifted up to reveal a small kitchen sink, counter space, a cooktop and a variety of utensils. Further kitchen cabinets, drawers, and an oven are also incorporated into the unit. There is an issue with this set-up though, as pointed out by Lloyd Alter of TreeHugger; you would need to be finished cooking and cleaned up before trying to get to the dining area above.

Micro-Apartment - Underfloor storage - Humble Homes

More storage can be found at the foot of the bed, which contains a trap door in the floor revealing some much need clothing space. Lastly, the bathroom can be found at the end of the kitchen and it (presumably) contains a shower, sink and toilet based on its depth.

Micro-Apartment - Bathroom Entry - Humble Homes

This tiny apartment succeeds in creating a functional home on a tiny scale while also reducing visual clutter. Albeit, it’s probably geared towards the young with its sometimes awkward storage solutions.

For more apartments check out this micro-apartment that features sloped walls and custom furniture to make it more functional. Or, this tiny mordern apartment on the Italian Riviera. See all apartments.

Via TreeHugger
Photos: Boiserie & C.

]]> 12
A Modern Apartment Block in Nishiazabu by SALHAUS Thu, 21 May 2015 15:42:33 +0000 This apartment block in Japan has been designed by a local architecture studio called SALHAUS. The street in which it’s been constructed features a mix of low-rise residential timber houses, and high-rise condominiums. The new addition acts like a bridge between the two.

Apartment in Nishiazabu - SALHAUS - Small Apartments - Japan - Exterior - Humble Homes

The apartment block has been constructed in Nishiazabu, and features 10 micro-apartments, each with its own balcony. Unlike a lot of other Japanese buildings which aim to provide privacy for their occupants, SALHAUS decided to incorporate a degree of transparency and openness to the apartments.

Apartment in Nishiazabu - SALHAUS - Small Apartments - Japan - Living Area - Humble Homes

The areas of the apartments that are more open include the entrances and balconies; they contain metal meshing instead of solid walls. The meshing acts as a much more subtle boundary between public and private spaces and SALHAUS hopes that the reduced boundaries will help promote social interaction amongst the neighbors.

Apartment in Nishiazabu - SALHAUS - Small Apartments - Japan - Terrace - Humble Homes

The building also features a central atrium to help create a brighter environment and improved ventilation for the occupants. The apartments come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but generally contain a large open plan living, dining and kitchen area that doubles as a bedroom at night.

Apartment in Nishiazabu - SALHAUS - Small Apartments - Japan - Balconies - Humble Homes

They also feature separate washrooms and toilets; a common trait of Japanese design. The interior finish is somewhat bare, but the photographs were taken before the residents had moved in. The interior is composed mostly of exposed concrete and white partition walls, with wooden floors and furniture pieces.

Apartment in Nishiazabu - SALHAUS - Small Apartments - Japan - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

The perimeter walls of the exterior feature plenty of floor-to-ceiling windows, ensuring that internal living areas as just as bright as the enclosed balconies.

For more apartments check out this duplex apartment in Spain that features a 36 square meter floor plan. Or, this versatile apartment by BEP architects. See all apartments.

Via DesignBoom
Photos: Masao nishikawa

]]> 5
A Writer’s Lofted Retreat in Dorset by Nozimi Nakabayashi Wed, 20 May 2015 17:22:59 +0000 Nozimi Nakabayashi has designed this tiny hut on stilts for a client in Dorset, the UK. The client, who is a writer, wanted a space that would allow them to rest and escape from day-to-day life. Like treehouses, the hut contains an element of whimsy and fairytale.

Tiny Hut on Stilts - Nozomi Nakabayashi - Dorset England - Exterior Front - Humble Homes

The hut is 8.2-by-8.2 feet (2.5-by-2.5 meters) in size, giving it a total floor area of 67 square feet (6.25 square meters). It features two living areas – the first being the wood deck set just above ground level, and the other being the main body of the hut.

Tiny Hut on Stilts - Nozomi Nakabayashi - Dorset England - Exterior Back - Humble Homes

To create the getaway Nakabayashi had the majority of its components prefabricated offsite. They were then delivered to the writer’s site, and erected using a crane. Once the heavy lifting had been completed, they were able to carry out with remainder of the work with a team of two people, and battery-powered tools.

Tiny Hut on Stilts - Nozomi Nakabayashi - Dorset England - Entry - Humble Homes

The entire structure is supported by four reclaimed telephone poles. The exterior of the hut features locally-sourced western red cedar, and Douglas fir framing. It’s also been insulated with cork, and has corrugated sheeting for the roof.

Tiny Hut on Stilts - Nozomi Nakabayashi - Dorset England - Interior - Humble Homes

A small ladder provides access from the lower deck to the upper level. A small balcony protrudes from the main body of the retreat. You can enter the hut through a large set of patio doors. On the inside it contains a wood-burning stove, an area for sitting and a hidden bed.

Tiny Hut on Stilts - Nozomi Nakabayashi - Dorset England - Wood Burner - Humble Homes

In addition to the large patio doors and two windows, the hut also contains a lantern at its apex, brightening the space further. Its unusual shape, wood-burning stove and surrounding countryside location help to create a unique experience that’s sure to help anyone relax.

For more treehouses check out the Raven Loft, a back-to-basics retreat set on Pender Island. Or, this beautifully finished lofted campsite treehouse. See all treehouses.

Via DesignBoom
Photos: Henrietta Williams

]]> 1