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A small house that’s big on space

06 March 2016
As soon as our team pulled up outside Olga and Honza’s self-built countryside house, we knew it was special – the scent of pine and beautiful panoramic views as far as our eyes could see. ‘That’s why I had to have lots of big windows,’ says Olga. ‘So we can really feel the nature around us and create a feeling of space. This isn’t a big house but it feels spacious.’ Because these two really know how to make the most of their space... 
Light and double-height ceilings bring a sense of space to this modest-sized home
‘This house is so flexible. It can be anything we want. A library, a place to relax or a place to get friends round and party!’ 
A portrait of homeowners Olga and Honza, Czech Republic

A home for the future

Olga and Honza built their eco house on a plot of land that has been in Honza’s family for generations. ‘We’d like to carry on the family tradition and stay here forever, so it was important to get the space right. And we have no set rules, so every space is flexible.

A sofa that doubles as a daybed for guests or simply cosying up

Make your space suit the way you live

‘I love to just sit on the sofa and read – underneath my “tree-branch” bookshelf. Honza’s carpenter friend made it for me. The sofa’s great for when we have friends too – we open it up into a daybed and lounge around to watch a film. And then it doubles as a guest bedroom too.’ Olga has also fitted a run of PAX wardrobes along one wall. ‘Because my bedroom ceiling is too low, I keep everything down here instead – from household stuff to clothes. It’s easy.’
  •  Olga has created a reading nook with a floorlamp and homemade bookshelf above the sofa
  • PAX wardrobes don’t just belong in the bedroom
  • Plenty of storage keeps the space clear
‘The way this house works makes it very easy to live in. There’s a place for everything so it has a good flow’ 
Focus on books: a wall of bookcases holds storage as well

Build a bookcase wall

‘I’m obsessed with books,’ says Olga. ‘It all started when I read my first Harry Potter… when I was 13. After that, I would save all my pocket money to buy all the others – and I’ve loved reading ever since. Being surrounded by my books makes me feel happy. We don’t have a TV. I just sit on the sofa and watch my library instead.’ 

Ingredients at hand: bring the garden inside by growing herbs in the kitchen

Create an easy cooking zone

Olga loves to cook and keeps her cookbooks and jars of everyday ingredients on open shelves she can easily get to. ‘I love to grow herbs inside too, so this has become my special little cooking wall.’ 

  • Glass-fronted cupboards show off what’s inside
  • The white colour scheme keeps the space feeling airy
  • The house’s plain and bright colour scheme is seen in the crockery
‘Everything we have here is designed to give a sense of space – the white, the glass that reflects light, and the bare wood floors’ 
The bedroom doubles as a home office, free from distractions

Have a home office in the bedroom

‘We sleep and work in the bedroom. There are no distractions up here. When I try to work downstairs, I stare out of the windows and end up daydreaming instead!’  
Personal touches: photographs attached to a lamp, and a stack of loved books
‘This house was built by us, for us, so I like to add little things to make it even more personal wherever I can’
The floorplan of Olga’s home

Open-plan living

Keeping their house open-plan with a double height ceiling, gives Olga and Honza a mezzanine where they work and sleep, while their L-shaped living area and kitchen is perfect for entertaining friends.