540 sq. ft.
Architect: John Hopkins
As if designing a 540 sq. ft. house wasn't enough of a challenge, architect John Hopkins had a 12-ft. height limit and a protected California live oak on site to preserve. Hopkins integrated the live oak into the deck design which ultimately served to make this little house feel big. The deck extends the outdoor space while creating a welcoming entrance into the house. All the doors in the house are 8 ft in height and you'll also notice his generous use of glass which also helps to maximize the light and create a sense of open space.
Hopkins consistently used elements and details that gave this small home a feeling of largeness from every perspective. Starting with the front door which is 8ft in height w/ single glass pane — the over proportioned door helps to open up the space while letting natural light in. Hopkins also incorporated ceiling height windows — again, to allow maximum light in while opening up the space visually.
In the kitchen, Hopkins utilizes a combination of visual tricks which visually expands the space; the cabinets have space between it and the ceiling, while the counter cabinets are on legs so the floor is disappears beyond and not defined by the cabinets. Additionally, he incorporates smaller appliances that take up a smaller footprint. All of the home's hot water needs are met with a tankless water heater which is located on an exterior wall to save space on the inside. Hokins was also able to create a built-in office/work desk!
The living room has a floor to ceiling built in unit that serves as a display case, storage, and entertainment unit. It also frames a small but powerful gas fireplace which has a furnace rating — it's the only heat source in the house. Throughout the house there are beamed ceilings which adds to the openness.
Onto the bedroom — there's a walk-in closet with a single unit washer/dryer. Again, you'll see a repetition of ceiling height windows, as well as a single glass paned door that open up onto the deck.
Hopkins integrated a wall of glass blocks for create privacy while again, maximizing the natural light into the space.