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Whimsical Storybook House

In architecture, it is usually much more difficult to be successful small and compact than it is large and expansive, and it’s especially cool when architects and designers manage to get it right. This extension to a Victorian patio is a fine example of how this can be done.

The two-story extension was designed by local Folk Architects and consists of an open plan living area, study and bedroom which, despite their small footprint, are airy and bright, the result of lots of natural light, a variety of curated views and a clever design approach. The house is called Storybook and features a bohemian style of the house from the 1920s America, as well as contemporary Japanese interiors.

The design of this house is rational and practical: think of hidden storage under the built-in sofa and a desk that doubles as a balustrade on the mezzanine. These ideas allowed designers to incorporate all the conveniences of modern living while enhancing the sense of space achieved by using open plan multipurpose spaces and providing multiple connections between indoor and outdoor areas.

An elegantly designed back courtyard with a dining terrace, a cleverly positioned inner courtyard and a terrace on the upper floor offer a generous view as well as plenty of natural light and a central skylight that covers both the living area on the ground floor and the master bedroom with work area above. The abundance of window openings not only reduces the need for artificial lighting, but also facilitates passive ventilation. Sustainable features include solar panels and microinverters, rainwater harvesting, sun protection, and reduced heat exposure thanks to the light reflection pattern of white and cream terracotta roof tiles.

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