Three designers jump-start their practice with an affordably built abode in New Zealand. They fabricated everything in the house, down to the quarter-sawn pine and macrocarpa-wood kitchen cabinetry and concrete floor. “Physically the most challenging part of the build was wrestling an incredibly slippery concrete pump up the muddy driveway in the rain!” says designer Ben Mitchell-Anyon. The enamel pendant light is vintage. Photo by Paul McCredie.
Mathias Klotz’s first project, a deceptively simple bayfront house in Chile, was commissioned by his mom on a shoestring budget. Situated between a bay and a coastal mountain range, Casa Klotz makes a powerful geometric contrast to its isolated natural surroundings. Photo by Roland Halbe.
Custom woodwork and an open interior define a 520-square-foot backyard retreat for a busy Portland family. A couch—upholstered by local firm Revive Upholstery & Design—slides out on hidden casters and transforms into a full-size bed (with the headboard doubling as a linen cupboard) where guests can sleep. Photo by Lincoln Barbour.
In Tokyo, Japan, where the houses are crammed cheek by jowl, two old friends from architecture school have created a 793-square-foot home out of canted concrete boxes. Tamotsu Nakada works from an Alvar Aalto table in the living and dining area, adjacent to the kitchen. He saved on some elements, such as the plywood cabinetry, and splurged on others, such as the Finn Juhl chairs and Vilhelm Lauritzen lamp. A skylight beneath the angled roof allows in a sliver of constantly changing light. Photo by Iwan Baan.
A family matriarch enlisted an architect, an interior designer, a builder, and a landscape architect to help realize her vision for a diminutive, low-key lakeside getaway in Texas. Landscape architect Tait Moring installed pavers around the structure’s perimeter and kept the tree cover intact. Photo by Kimberly Davis.
An architect recasts a 1960s artist’s retreat in southeastern Norway. The house is divided into three sections connected by a series of outdoor galleries. “When I walk from one room to another, I have to go outdoors and feel the weather and nature—rain, cold, and sun,” says Sævik.
Instead of emphasizing the expansive panorama of oak, pine, and aspen trees, the house frames select views—a move inspired by Japanese design. Photo by Ivan Brodey.
Mad Men’s Vincent Kartheiser has all he needs in his compact, 580-square-foot Hollywood abode. To save valuable floor space, the actor simply pulls his bed down from the ceiling. When not in use as the headboard, the large redwood slab folds down to become a desk. Photo by Joe Pugliese.
Tasked with transforming a 93-square-foot brick San Francisco boiler room, built in 1916, into a guesthouse, architect and metalworker Christi Azevedo flexed her creative muscle. The three levels of the house transition from public to private: The ground floor is composed of the kitchen and living-dining area; the bathroom and closet occupy the mezzanine, accessed by a ship’s ladder; and the sleeping loft hovers a couple steps above. The seminal 1970s tome A Pattern Language, written by Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, and Murray Silverstein, inspired the layout. Photo by Cesar Rubio.
From crowded cities to a trailer park of tiny houses planned for Sonoma County, California, multiunit micro-housing complexes are popping up all across America. Jay Austin’s Matchbox house is only eight feet wide but feels bigger thanks to a well-organized interior. Photo by Eli Meir Kaplan.
With the help of builder Peter Watts, a couple returned their Deckhouse in Hampshire, England, to its original early-1970s glory, utilizing the space beneath for both boat and car. Photo by Ben Anders.