Part modern, part rustic, this colorful home in Melbourne, Australia is our dose of inspiration for the day. Envisioned by Austin Maynard Architects, Alfred House is an addition and reconfiguration of an existing two-story building, with two bedrooms and a lean-to that had little relationship with the exterior space.

The aim of the project was to expand outdoor areas by embracing the laneway in an unconventional and playful manner. “By building on the boundary and internalizing the back garden, the clients now have this open space which nobody uses,” the architects explained. “By opening the doors to the back, it extends their property and allows light and air to pour in.”

The entire space was reorganized and now includes an open plan kitchen and dining room on the main level. The second floor of the addition accommodates the bathroom, office are and storage room.

“Rather than placing the addition directly on the rear of the house, we moved it back to the boundary laneway. In doing so we essentially turned the dodgy little lightwell that you find in most terrace houses, into an entire garden,” the architects added.

Sustainable features of the project include white roofs that drastically reduce urban heat sink, high performance insulation, passive ventilation and a large water tank that captures and reuses roof water. [Photos by Tess Kelly]