Fun Family Living in 980 Square Feet


(upbeat music) – We originally called this
project, our next house. There is this ongoing joke in
architecture profession of, house one, house two, house three. So we thought, wouldn’t it just
be sort of tongue in cheek, if we just said, well
this is the next one. Our house is a really perfect example of the idea of focusing on the small home that really is a luxurious home. – I think the best
thing about living small is that you can’t collect too much junk. You have to be very selective as to what you want to put in the house. – [Mark] It doesn’t really
compromise on anything, it’s really full with a
wonderful sense of richness, richness of material, richness of space, richness of experience. (fun energetic music) – Our home is just under
a 1000 square feet. We started the house as a
small-scale one bedroom project, we found out we were
expecting and decided, it’d be easier to add-on to this house. We came up with a plan
to add a second space, that stayed in scale
with the original house. The second bedroom had
to be lower in scale, that’s why we had the step-down
from the original piece of the house into the lower-scale
piece that’s the bedroom. We pushed it further to
the back of the property so it looks secondary from the street. We tried to keep all of the
elements of the house, distinct. We have the little projecting
volumes on the original house are all the storage volumes, it’s the kitchen, it’s the book storage. Then we have the roof, that
essentially folds over. And then the windows are essentially the things that fill in the gap. (mellow electronic music) – Windows in this house
are super important. They really are part
of the idea of focusing the indoor, outdoor relationship. The windows are set at
different elevations throughout the space, so
if you’re sitting down you have a different view to the outside than if you’re standing up. It just has a sense of liveliness to it and connection that just
makes you feel better. – While my husband Mark
and I, have been working in architecture now for close to 20 years. Small-scale spaces for a long time, that was something we
were really interested in. One of the best ways to
explore the small-scale design is really to scale the furniture and the sort of the room layouts. – So we are book people, so how did we fit those in a small house? Well we came up with the
idea where we have a series of moving bookcases that allow us to slide the books back and forth. (whimsical music) We really thought about
it like it’s an old school Pullman train car, we
don’t have corridors, we don’t have dedicated kitchen space, each one of the rooms has discrete zones so when you’re in the living room, you’re kind of in the
living room, dining room, kitchen, but you get a sense of being in a unique spot within that space. We were very hands-on in this project. Ann and I actually built our
first house, by ourselves. Over the years we got a
little more adventurous. – Literally the first concrete wall, we built all the form work
and poured the concrete. – We’re definitely all
about playing around and trying things out. (futuristic music) We really like to focus on the
idea of juxtaposing textures. This introduction of different materials makes a different contrast
in different light patterns and different texture of quality possible. The fineness of a really elegant wood, juxtaposed against the
rawness of industrial looking concrete, the effect is this nice warm balance between the two. (relaxing guitar music) Ann and I have a really great,
finished art glass collection and over the years, family members have given us iittala glass birds. – [Anne] And we were trying to figure out what we should do with
our bird collection. – [Mark] In the bedroom
there’s a walnut feature wall and we happen to have
from a prior project, a bunch of aluminum
discs that were leftover from a custom wine rack that
we had done for a client. – We discovered that if we
trimmed these little discs, they were perfect size for the birds. They essentially become birds that, sit within the tree itself. One of my favorites is really the little library connecting space. (upbeat rock music) That’s the circulation space, between the original
house and the addition. – And it’s form is generated
about going around the trees. So the little diagonal jog
that is in our library space is all about letting
the building slide past one of the existing pecan trees. Trying to be respectful of
the site in which it inhabits. – And it’s perfect in the morning
if you sit and have coffee and you can watch the sunrise, because the whole space will just glow. One of the spaces that we really enjoy is the bedroom space. – [Mark] Our master bedroom
is completely different than the other spaces of the house. It is really meant to be a quiet space. – [Anne] It’s like you’re
sitting out in the garden space, because you have windows on two sides. (happy music) (child laughs) The girls really like playing in the house because they can run everywhere. – [Mark] They sort of sense
it like it’s a big jungle gym. – [Ann] You can’t go off and
be closeted in your own space, you’re always sort of participating in the daily life of the house. (child shouts) – Our kids love that they
live in a glass house, I think it really reinforces, a sense of adventure-ness that they have. (country music) This has been sort of an
organic evolution for us. This house has really
grown into such a refined little idea, itself, that if
we did anything else to it, it would really take away from it and make it into something that it isn’t. – With the three girls,
in a two bedroom house, we probably have you know,
five years before we have to come up with another version, (laughs). (upbeat country music)

100 comments

I grew up in a 770 square foot with my parents and sister and before watching these videos I never considered it that small really. We had everything we need, my sister and I each had our own room, the bathroom had a tub, the living room a nice big dinner table…
We DID have a huge garden and balcony though where we spent so much time and the basement had huge storage space and housed the appliances.

Ok, yall…when the average North American house is 1500-3500+ sf, this and anything under that footprint is considered "small."

Hard to believe that place is slightly less than 1000 square feet. It is certainly nicely laid out and spacious. I'd love to own one.

As a kid who grew up in the 60s and 70s, it was nothing (acutally) quite average for a family to live in a house under 1000 sqr feet.

Please let me know if you ever put this house on sale. I would love to live there. It's beautiful, and functional. Amazing.

Love this!!!! You guys are great with design! I don't really care for the industrial look, but the way you have juxtaposed the wood with other textures is awesome. Amazing home!!!

980 square feet is the first pod? I don't understand. I own a mid century modern ranch that's a 1028sf. It seems smaller than what was shown.

If I was watching this & didn't know the sq ft, I would have no idea it was that size, but no one could have done that but talented professionals. Texas is mentioned – I just wondered where this might be because of weather considerations.

I like the design, not crazy about 'modern' so much – I prefer Arts and Crafts style but I do love the way they found a place for their books as I am an avid reader and have a lot of books and ran out of bookshelves so are now storing in boxes by author LOL

Wowza…hope you add to the add…wonderful property..love the addition of trees into the mix…not fond of trees being removed for construction…yep super nice!

You can always add on when the girls get older. I would love a home under 1000 sf. Actually, I am thinking of having one built. Great design.

Will you guys build em one?!?! So beautiful!! Love your eye!! My husband loves modern and I love rustic, character and nature… this is a beautiful combination!!

Best small scale home I've seen so far. Window cleaning might be a hell of a chore; but the glass house concept adds to the beauty. (I want a home that can fit me + 3) wishful thinking I guess

Fantastic home! As someone that has since seen the light since purchasing a home several years ago, I really appreciate smaller homes and how they improve mental well being and balancing life (especially with children). Well done!

Is only consider small for the people who grew up with a lot and a big house before. This is just a nice house i wish i could afford

LOVE โค๏ธ LOVE โค๏ธ LOVE โค๏ธ this home! Iโ€™d love โค๏ธ to live in a house like this one! Awesome ๐Ÿ‘ design!

Your small house ๐Ÿก is impressive and I love everything youโ€™ve done . Good life Good luck ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ

I live in Toronto where all the newer 2 bedroom condos are averaging around 750sqft. A space as big as 950sqft is made into three bedrooms. This is not small by any stretch of the imagination.

I'm usually not a fan of tiny houses because of the long term function but I love yours and would love to do the same as I grow older and living more of a simpler lifestyle!!! Great job and thanks for sharing!!

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