International Inspiration in Small Spaces

Think small can't be spectacular? Homeowners incorporate a world of influences to create an international level of elegance in their modestly sized spaces.

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Architect Carib Daniel Martin has always been interested in designing extremely small homes. When hurricane Katrina left thousands homeless, Martin paired with builder Rob Bragan to design an inexpensively produced and quickly assembled portable structure to provide temporary housing for those in need. Martin drew on several years' worth of small home construction ideas to create an 8- by 12-foot structure with 96 square feet.

So much fits into this little space: a working kitchen, bathroom, living room/bedroom and storage. It's hard to imagine there could be much floor space, but the HELP house is a smart design that accommodates people living in the space. Martin recognizes that every square inch counts, even beyond the floor plan. While the design is primarily about function, it's also about beauty. When it comes to disaster relief, Martin wants to give people more than a roof over their heads: he wants to give them a sense of home when they've lost that.

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