The Little Big House in Ohio

Exciting and intriguing, this house stands slightly apart from its neighbors on the sidewalk. It nestles among a condominium, a former warehouse and in between a cluster of shotgun houses typical in style to this area of Cleveland, Ohio. What makes this house different is its incredibly fascinating wall system at the back with undulating shapes and patterns, and the inter-connectivity between the front and back parts of the property. Sharing a central courtyard, it’s both a big house with all the space and requirements for a growing family, but also allowing for the flexibility of splitting the structure in the future to also have a little house.

The Little BIG house extension by Robert Maschke architects inc

From the front street view you can see the smaller portion of the house, with its black stucco concrete exterior expressing an urban presence. There is a front entrance which leads to a parlor area, and living room. To the right you can also see a gate and enough space for cars to enter the parking garage within the private courtyard.

Parlor room at front of the house

This parlor is giving off a mid century modern vibe, with the furniture selection and color scheme. The window frames are big and wide to let in plenty of light. Upstairs is a kitchen and lounge area, as well as a handful of bedroom spaces that can also be used as home offices or studio spaces.

Bedrooms in the home renovation

Extension with courtyard in the middle

You can see from this side into the central courtyard, where a sheltered balcony corridor connects this part of the house with the other bit. Underneath you can see custom corten panels that make up a fence area along the one side of the home.

Great style and fascinating design, the back part of the house has walls that undulate and fold from parts into a whole, much like the house.

Outside wall of home extension Little Big House, Ohio

Inside this larger part of the house you can see this long staircase that reaches up three floors! The panels are similar to the corten rust design used outside for fencing.

Staircase home extension area

To create the design for these panels, an image of bamboo was taken and the photo manipulated to give the essence of light dappling through the branches. This is the pattern that has been used for the rail guards in this stairway, parts of the balcony, and even some of the wood cabinetry found in the home.

Extension living room area with views to the courtyard

Where the house meets in the middle there is a terrace area for hanging out. Big sliding doors make it easy to see out and pass through.

Living room and open plan kitchen area

The decor is simple but striking, with all the things you might need. The open plan kitchen works well for a busy family, and don’t forget there are other areas of the house to disappear to if they need peace and quiet.

Staircase in open plan living room

Staircase upwards features wooden stairs and patterned railings

This is a great shot to show off the dappled sunlight look that the designers were going for with the bamboo panels!

Master suite in home extension

Upstairs the master suite uses clear lines and shapes. The home owners were both industrial designers, who were pleased to have a space for their studio and work life as well as a space for their growing family.

Master suite bathroom in gray marble

The bathroom feels light and open with its gray marble finish and the many spaces where light comes through. Not only from under the cabinet, but through ceiling lights too.

Corridor and landing area in home extension

Staircase section (Little BIG House home tour on

Stairway to the rooftop! (Little BIG House home tour on

Staircase in home extension renovation

Top floor detailing (Little BIG House home tour on

Home Tour of this Little Big House extension - two buildings on one property that work together or separately

The Little BIG House is an intriguing project, with its repeating shapes and patterns that bring the two sections of the home together. It’s fascinating to see this vertical tower with the staircase that bends and folds just like the geometric wrapper on the outside. From whatever angle, inside and out, it can provide plenty of inspiration for your next project.


Project: Little BIG House

Design: Robert Maschke ARCHITECTS inc.

Photos: Brad Feinknopf