Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Small Space Wizard of Oz

Australia isn’t exactly a haven of small space living. In fact, they’re the only country with homes larger than the US. But with increasingly high property values and a population consolidating in the cities, that might be changing. And when it does, Australian designer Nicholas Gurney will be ready. Gurney has made a couple apartments designed specifically for small, single living in the city.

Gurney’s website is as minimal as his Sydney apartments, so we don’t have a ton of information about his design philosophy. His multicolored unit, called “The Studio,” got a high commendation for the Australian Interior Design Awards. A description of the 27 sq m (290 sq ft) apartment says it “offers a proposal for future high-density urban living for one person families; the fastest growing demographic.” As of 2006, Australia has an average household size of 2.3–lower than the US and Europe–so building small will be a big deal in the coming years if they don’t want to experience massive sprawl.

We would also deduce from the pictures that he is interested in doing retrofits of older spaces, using fairly inexpensive materials (though “The Studio” sold for AUS$406K or US$366K, which seems like a hefty sum). He’s all about hiding stuff when not in use and built-in storage. He’s not that fond of freestanding furniture.

The designs might strike some as overly austere, though we’d argue that the main way to keep small spaces feeling open and spacious is to remove as much visual noise as possible from the space–something Gurney seems expert at. We think he did a great job.

Via Shoeboxliving

  • Nicholas Gurney did a wonderful job of creating a space efficient living environment in only 290± sq. ft. I really like the sliding panels to separate and isolate functions and privacy, like the entry, bed, and bath in the first apartment. The sliding panel and desk that reveals the bed in the second apartment is quite ingenious.

  • Christopher Tilley

    I think that it’s a great use of the space, especially as it’s a conversion of an existing space rather than new build.

    The sliding panels do a great job of hiding the bed when not in use, always a challenge in a studio. There’s enough clothing, etc storage for 1, possibly, 2 people.

    I don’t think that the sale price is high, considering that Sydney is a major city. But, as I live in San Francisco, almost everywhere else seems cheap.

  • Mihail

    I really like the second studio. I’m curious how the upper part of the shelves doesn’t fall.

    • Ironman

      Because steel?

  • omordah

    This I like, great job!