glass doors opening to courtyard

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Designing a house that is both upside down and back-to-front is quite the engineering feat, but Carter Williamson Architects did just that, and quite admirably. The original structure was an 1880s workers’ terrace that begins at one street and then falls two stories to a different street at the rear. For this redesign, the architects decided to flip the home’s entry to what was formerly the back of the house on the lower street.

exterior courtyard and steps

upside down back to front house

The stairs at the front door lead up to a courtyard set between the house and the studio. With clever arrangement of the living spaces, the architects were able to make good use of every square inch of space. The living areas stretch luxuriously along the entire considerable length of the lot.

outer door floating staircase


The light, bright, luxurious living spaces are offset by lovely details like a delicately floating staircase. The floating stairs are in a double-height volume that is bathed in light. The exceptional staircase leads up to the sleeping rooms which are minimalist and full of light thanks to skylights and large windows.

floating staircase

master bedroom ensuite

In the master bedroom, a large, swooping wooden loft dips into the main volume of the room and houses the master restroom. It is a detail unlike any other.

large white room

pops of color

Although the home’s interior is mostly white to maximize the sense of space, there are a few pops of vivid color here and there. They draw the eye and add another playful element to what is, essentially, quite a playful home already.