Faced with an expensive housing market, this Melbourne family decided to think outside the square and build a two-storey home in someone else’s back yard.

The family found an owner of a large property in Northcote in inner north Melbourne, who was keen to subdivide her back garden, allowing them to purchase the sizeable backyard.

Architecture & interiors studio, Architected then set about designing the Northcote Laneway House - an environmentally-friendly, two-story house built around a garden.

The L-shaped plan houses the living spaces, along with a home office and studio, on the ground floor, with large, double glazed windows looking out over the garden.

The house is full of fun, colourful elements, suited to the young family and low or zero VOC paints and finishes were used throughout to keep the interior safe for their second baby that was due around the completion date.

Wooden floors made from recycled 100-year old Tasmanian Oak floorboards and red bricks sourced from demolished houses feature both inside and out.

Cantilevered elements and external sunshading blades were incorporated to allow the winter sun to penetrate the house whilst shading it from the summer sun.

Courtesy Design Milk