Small apartment living comes to light – Rob Kennon’s Richmond House

What will our small living spaces look like in the future? Melbourne-based architect ROB KENNON believes his recent project, Richmond House, provides a glimpse into what we may expect. Every inch of its modest footprint is designed with a clear purpose and the lighting is carefully chosen to suit a variety of needs.

Recently featured in Belle magazine, Richmond House is spread across three-levels, offering its residents an “apartment footprint with family proportions”, says Rob. The home is a reworking of an existing inner-city townhouse on a small block. The top floor includes a kitchen and living area, the middle level is dedicated to bedrooms and the underground basement level accommodates the master bedroom, walk-in robe and a second living area.

“The small footprint has been carefully utilised,” says Rob. “It’s a design for everyone and everything. Even with the joinery, we thought carefully about how people might use it.”

Lighting has been instrumental in defining the different spaces in the home. “The upper floor was all about the lighting you need in a living space – things like track lighting to light up artwork and direct task lighting rather than illuminating the whole space.”

Lighting is used to create depth and shadow throughout the house, but Rob says function it is also top of mind. “There are LEDs in the handrail of the staircase, for example, which is a functional solution,” he explains. “The stair is used so much and the LED makes it look naturally lit by night.”

The sense of depth and shadow also is enhanced through the choice of a black ceiling. “We painted it black to deal with the western sun,” says Rob.

Natural light is brought into the basement level through a shaft in the ceiling and Rob has added dimmers – “a useful tool” for adjusting the shade of lighting throughout.

The Richmond House is a sign of things to come in domestic spaces. “Having different levels is how we’ll be living tomorrow,” says Rob. “Laying a small footprint gives a sense of separation and creates a sense of larger proportions.”

It was a privilege to work with Rob Kennon Architects for the lighting of the Richmond House. His thoughtful designs offer an inspiring glimpse into the future.

Photography: Brooke Holm with styling by Marsha Golemac.