An Auckland couple join the small-home movement with this clever renovation
David and Rebecca Lee set about transforming this basement apartment when a change in circumstances meant they had to rent out their home and downsize.
They set about converting a 33-square-metre storage-come-garage space into a self-contained apartment.
With David’s practical skills and background as an IT engineer, and Rebecca currently studying interior design, this project was something they were both equally excited to tackle.
Innovative, space-saving homes are definitely the way of the future
The basement was a blank canvas, with raw concrete floors, structural beams and posts and exposed plasterboard walls. David and Rebecca drew up a floor plan that included their own access, a rear courtyard, bathroom, an open-plan living area with contemporary kitchen, and plenty of clever storage.
They researched endlessly for storage solutions and small-space living ideas to ensure they got their layout perfect. “We are inspired by the small-house movement and the simplicity it can add to your life,” says Rebecca. “Innovative space-saving homes are definitely the way of the future.”
We are inspired by the small-house movement and the simplicity it can add
The project took around three months to complete, with David and Nigel, Rebecca’s father, doing most of the manual labour. Rebecca took care of the sanding, painting and interior design. David spent hours at the end of a grinder, removing decades of peeling paint to restore the structural timber posts to their former glory.
There are plenty of savvy space-saving ideas in this small but perfectly formed apartment, but our favourite has to be the hideaway bed, which Nigel built single-handedly. “From the outset we knew a traditional bed would be impractical as it would take up too much of our valuable floor space,” explains Rebecca.
“We looked into a few options including the Murphy Bed which pulls down from the wall, transforming into a bed from a desk – but with only one function being able to be used at any one time, that option was parked.”
Words by: Annick Larkin. Photos by: Emma MacDonald.