In Raleigh, North Carolina, a young couple set out to create the home of their lives: one house which they hoped would meet their needs at all stages of life.
Designed by Raleigh-based In Situ Studio, the home is located just outside of downtown in a hip and growing urban area. The major goal of the design was to create a modern home that could adapt and grow according to the changing life needs of its owners. Other major mandates were to keep costs to a minimum and to be as sustainable as possible (and therefore no larger than what the family actually needs). The end result is a "compact but spacious" 1,450 square foot home, designed to balance utility with a feeling of openness. In Situ designated an L-shaped section of the house to be the ultra-efficient space, and preserved a vertical block at the front of the house for a double-height living and dining room. Ample glazing means the house is always filled with light, and the home is sited on a lot with plenty of room for expansion or landscaping if the owners desire.
The owners and architects made a strong effort to keep costs down–upstairs flooring is actually plywood subfloor, all kitchen appliances were purchased secondhand, and the space is devoid of luxury materials. In the end, the cost of construction was about $117 per square foot. Though the cost could always be lower–the owners could have cut functionality features from their program or not invested in the upfront costs of sustainability systems–in the end, a young couple has a reasonably priced, architect-designed home tailored to their lifestyle and needs; today and for many years to come. For more information, visit In Situ Studio.
Above: Young urban modernists live here: Bikes hang from the screened porch ceiling.
Above: A compact space means making some sacrifices–one owner wishes for a mud room to dump coats and shoes before entering the rest of the house. But the structure's simple geometric design lends itself to easy tweaks and expansions later on.
Above: An open eat-in kitchen accommodates dinner parties large and small. The kitchen has a midcentury bodern vibe and looks far more expensive than it is. To keep costs down, the owners installed plain white subway tile and sourced their kitchen appliances from Craigslist and auctions.
Above: A lofted office space overlooks the double-height front room.
Above: The office is the site of a someday third bedroom, planned for when the family grows.
Above: Reclaimed doors mounted on tracks hide the master bathroom and closet. The upstairs flooring is finished plywood subfloor.
Above: The master bath is long and narrow, fitting all the necessities and ample storage in a compact space.
Above: On the first floor, the kitchen, bath, storage, and staircase are all aligned on the right side of the house behind the entryway, leaving the rest of the house open as a double-height living and dining area. A narrow upper-level window reveals the double height of the living space.
Looking for more ideas for tight quarters? See 2,125 images of Small Space Living in our gallery of rooms and spaces.