Inside West Brisbane’s Small But Beautiful Homes

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Who needs a lot of square footage if you can have a small lot to build a house that’s just as functional as a huge one? Here are three of the smallest houses, yet among the most beautiful homes in Petrie Terrace and Red Hill, and their story. 

Read: New Owner Has Big Plans for Normanby Hotel in Red Hill

Red Hill Tiny House

Photo credit: The University of Queensland

Couple Lara Noble and Andrew Carter, founders of the Tiny House Company, have been living in their tiny home since 2015 with their son Charlie. 

It helped that the couple were both graduates of architecture from the University of Queensland.

In fact, Ms Noble’s philanthropic scholarship opportunities whilst studying at UQ allowed her to expand her interest in micro–housing in Japan and Europe.

With the help of Greg Thornton, their co-founder at the Tiny House Company, the couple built and designed the house themselves.

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This beauty, which has been featured in the media several times, is only 18 sqm with a 10 sqm deck. Measuring only 7.5m long and 2.5m wide, this house easily fitted in a friend’s backyard in Red Hill. 

It features a laundry space and a bathroom with a full-size shower. Plus, it has the rooms of a typical home, including a lounge and spaces for dining and entertaining friends.

The best part is it’s built with sustainability in mind. They used a lot of recycled Australian hardwood throughout. They also have a composting toilet, a grey water filtration system and a grease trap. 

23 Belgrave St 

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In Brisbane, a lot with an area less than 450 sqm is considered a small lot. This one, located at 23 Belgrave St Petrie Tce, has a floor size of only 145 sqm and is sitting on a 182 sqm lot. 

But did you know that despite its size, it was on the market  in 2017 for $1.05 million and was listed for rent from 2018 for $820 per week? 

As the listing described it, “good things come in small packages.” It was fully restored and featured vintage oak stairs, high ceilings, French doors, verandas, and deck.

A classic home built in circa 1890, this two-level house features four bedrooms and three bathrooms. There’s enough parking for three cars, with two street access.


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Perched on a 162 sqm block at 36 Sexton St in Petrie Terrace, the house is owned by Alan Newitt who as a master builder himself, constructed the house and carried out all the carpentry work with the help of a close friend.

Its name Karinya, is synonymous to “peaceful home” in Aboriginal terms.

The whole build only took more than a year, but the planning was very careful and precise that there had been around 13 revisions from the original plans.

Designed by Focus Architecture and Mullins Designs, the house appears traditional on the outside but very modern on the inside.

The owners can turn on and off the lighting and open the blinds through the Apple Nero voice control system. They can also monitor the CCTV from their mobiles. The fireplace can be flicked on with a remote control.

Read: Ad Astra Theatre Company Acquires Brisbane Arts Theatre, Plans to Refurbish the Iconic Building

There’s no doubt that Karinya is one of the most beautiful homes ever built in Petrie Terrace. It earned a building industry award in 2019 following a renovation in the same year. It was awarded the Queensland Master Builders award for ‘Best use of small sites.’

Published 19-March-2023