One of the main things in life that drives my wife absolutely crazy is a cluttered house. In the scheme of things, I feel we are pretty tidy and our home is generally clean. However, with a boisterous and experimental seven-year old roaming around sometimes all our efforts go out of the window. Even though we have several storage zones that simply isn’t enough especially (as we are) into minimalism. That is why I was really intrigued by Melbourne based company Austin Maynard Architects residential project called Mills – ‘The Toy Management House’.

Effectively Mills is a large extension to a single story weatherboard terrace in Melbourne, Australia. The original brief was to design a large usable space for a senior executive who had just entered motherhood. Therefore, Austin Maynard Architects created a huge toy box with an enormous amount of storage space. However, the integrity of the design wasn’t compromised at all by the process and interior is beautifully presented.

What makes Mills – ‘The Toy Management House’ so amazing is the raised timber floor that is essentially storage. Ingeniously this feature also acts as a comfortable seating area for adults as well. Other modifications include a new bathroom, two bedrooms, study, open plan kitchen, living and dining areas. Even though the internal footprint is only 154 square metres (which is small by modern Australian standards) it has been used to the maximum effect. The dwelling has an abundance of glass, which floods the house with natural light. That is why it is no surprise that this contemporary conversion won the coveted AIA (Australian Institute of Architects) National Architecture Award 2016.

It would be easy to wax lyrical about the meticulous level of detail and many striking architectural features (for which there are many). However, at the end of the day this renovation is a fun design solution, which offers a modern family a much better standard of living.

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