The Small but Sleek Family Home

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What kind of family home can be made in less than 30 metres squared? Mukoyama Architects took on this challenge to make a modern marvel for one lucky Korean family. The resulting house looks like a tiny navy tower. It's fun, contemporary, and makes excellent use of space. In particular, the architects had to keep in mind the owner's privacy, because the neighboring house is essentially on the property line. How did they accomplish all of this? Let's take a tour of this sleek home to find out.  

Navy Tower

This unusual shape is incredible. With the height, and the angled back wall, you almost don't notice how narrow the property is. By shifting the balcony to the left side, the architects have allowed the trunk of the house to move uninterrupted from the ground to the roof. It's the same effect as when you wear vertical stripes, you look taller. By emphasizing vertical movement, the architects have shifted focus away from how narrow the front of the property is. We love the wooden front door too, which also has vertical lines to emphasize height. 

Spacious Interior

This space looks so much larger than we expected! It's clean design relies on only one texture, that same upward grain pattern you can barely make out on the counter's base and the table top. That clever ceiling gap invites you to look up, further emphasizing the vertical elements of the house. The white walls and ceiling help to keep things big and bright, too. 


This staircase is more than just a passageway. The floating steps ensure that light cascades down to each level, keeping the home bright. Plus, when you can see through the steps onto another floor the space feels larger and less restricted. That hardwood railing looks impeccably modern on the white wall, simple but sturdy. We have the feeling a professional carpenter was involved in making these narrow but lovely custom stairs. 

Second Floor

New colours and patterns start to pop up on the second floor. That pink and aqua in the background are fun colours for the two bedrooms.  The big windows on the right, conveniently placed on the side of the house where there aren't neighbours, pours natural light into the stairwell. There is a window on the left too, but its small and high, preventing privacy concerns. Another small detail in this space is the tiny shelf put into the stair railing, with the plant in it. This is a cute way to add character that doesn't take up any of the precious space. 

Reading Nook

We've switched to evening light, when this cozy reading nook looks best. By lifting this room off the ground the architects have avoided making it feel like a closet. Instead, it invites you to sit down on the floor, with those cute navy pillows, and open a book or play the ukulele. The book storage on the sides is partially hidden, tucking away the clutter that often comes with open shelves, and keeping the small space organized. 

Porch and Hammock

Now with daytime lighting, we've turned away from the reading nook and can peer out onto the deck, and two other lounge areas. The white furniture is a great choice for the inside of the house, both blending into the walls and making the space appear larger. In both the inside and the outside appropriately sized plants have been chosen. When decorative elements are kept small in tiny spaces they feel harmonious. Similarly, larger home needs larger decor so that the space doesn't feel empty. We have plenty more clever tips for small home decor for you! 

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