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Building & Renovating

Architect Shares a Design for a 78sqm Cozy and Flood-Proof Home

Just because you have a compact space doesn't mean it can't look and feel spacious

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Photography: Screenshot from Youtube/Oliver Austria

After sharing a design for a 30sqm house, architect Oliver Austria recently uploaded a new video showcasing a 78sqm home which is modern and inviting. His designs and insights prove that when it comes to building a home, you don’t really need a big space to be able to live comfortably. Choosing quality materials, having a well-thought-out layout, and prioritizing areas you really need can help you make the most of a compact space.

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“We wanted to achieve understated elegance even if the materials used aren’t high-end,” he shares in the video. The design features a minimalist Zen aesthetic, highlighting the use of complementary materials like wood, concrete, and white paint, to name a few. The architect also took inspiration from contemporary Japanese design.

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Aside from incorporating built-in furniture, a skylight, and huge windows into the design, the architect also made sure it’s flood-proof. The house is raised on stilts, taking into consideration the heavy rains and flooding our country experiences regularly.

READ: Are You Living in a Flood-Prone Area?

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Building a home? Take note of architect Oliver’s inputs below:

Achieve a striking façade by using the 60-30-10 rule when choosing materials for a home’s exterior.


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According to the architect, this is a cinema color technique he adapted into design. To avoid a cluttered look for this home’s façade, he worked with 60 percent of the main color, in this case he showcased white, then 30 percent was allocated for the secondary color or material which is wood. The remaining ten percent was allotted for the accent wall.

Think about your main door.

Aside from adding to the overall look of your façade, the main door must also be finalized with security in mind. In this house, architect Oliver chose to have a door that swings inward so that the hinges are located indoors. This way, unwanted visitors won’t be able to remove the pin that can make it easier for them to get inside the house.


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READ: How to Choose a Ceiling Design for a Small House

Take inspiration from the Japanese genkan.

The genkan is a traditional Japanese entryway that welcomes guests into the home and where shoes can be kept. You can use this as your peg when sprucing up the entryway – you can add storage for shoes, bags, and umbrellas. If the space allows, you can add a couple of stools as well. In his design, architect Oliver also incorporated a skylight above the entryway to add to the maaliwalas feel of the space.

Plan your furniture and layout.


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Given the size of the home, the architect chose an open layout, with the common areas easily accessible. Completing the living area is a coffee table and a built-in seating piece that doubles as storage. The architect chose to pair the birchwood walls and ceiling with polished concrete flooring.

Maximize the available kitchen space.

Despite the compact space, architect Oliver was able to create a semi-single wall, L-kitchen layout which he says is “perfect for small dwellings.” Once again following the 60-30-10 rule, the cooking area features a quartz countertop, birchwood cupboards, and a white backsplash. Above the overhead cabinets are clerestory windows which let in natural light.

READ: Architect Shares Tips on Home Ventilation


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Bring the outdoors in.


Beside the dining area is a pocket sliding door that opens up to the backyard patio. When the doors are open, the patio becomes part of the indoors, adding to the airy and spacious feel of the house. The architect chose to elevate the patio and the entire house using stilts to make it flood-proof.

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READ: This Tiny Home in the Mountains Remained Standing After Typhoon Odette

Make the most of every corner.


The bedroom on the first floor is completed with a built-in bed and desk combo. To make sure there’s enough storage, the architect installed shelves to make use of the available vertical space. Instead of adding a bulky cabinet, he also added an open closet in space under the stairs.

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Adapt your home to the new normal.


With remote home becoming the norm, it’s best to have a space dedicated for working. The second floor of the house has hangout nook/workspace where the owners can work peacefully. One of the desks faces a big window so that the user can admire the view while working.

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READ: How to Create a Home Office in a Small Space

Don’t forget to add nifty storage solutions.


The second bedroom has a built-in double-deck bed which fits perfectly in the allotted space. Since the room is quite compact, the stairs going to the top bunk also moonlights as storage/closet.

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Want to know more about this design? Watch architect Oliver’s video below:

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