Samantha Mink’s Culver City Home Strives for Simplicity on a Small Scale

Designed by Samantha Mink, this small home from Culver City in the United States has been renovated on a budget. Completed back in 2016, the project aimed to showcase how a simple, small structure can meet the demands of modern life.


Titled Sparrow House, the property takes on a boxy shape, with sections of the facade giving way to a mesh that partially reveals the home’s innards.



The site measures 850-square-feet (78.97-square-meters), with Sparrow House taking up the bulk of that space, spare for a small outdoor garden. The house contains two floors: a largely open plan living area on the ground floor, and a sleeping area on the upper level.



From the architect: “The modest lot size and unusual configuration, along with financial budgets, set the constraints for the scope of the project. Located on a unique street, the house came with all the great potential of “a box”, mundane and ready for transformation into a home for me and my dog, Winston.”


The physical footprint of the building had to stay the same due to planning restrictions. However, the interior was free to be modified. Mink reconfigured all the doors – including the entrance door – to introduce a new flow throughout the property. Entry is now gained through the garden (as opposed to directly off the street).


Internal partitions were removed to create an open plan and introduce more light and air. Skylights were also installed to maximize light intake, without having to compromise on the occupants privacy. Partitions were replaced with cabinets, allowing Mink to introduce extra storage at little cost to the floor plan.


From Mink: “The exterior lattice, with newly planted bougainvillea, recaptures some of the initial spirit of the house, which was completely covered in vines upon purchase. The result is a sometimes stern, but nuanced exterior… The house is small and simple, without room for stylistic or haughty gestures, but with just enough room for living.”


For more small houses check out Old Stone House, a renovation project from the Hudson Valley. Or, Vault House, a small home that takes inspiration from the curves of agricultural buildings. See all small houses.

Photos © Chad Slattery, Samantha Mink

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.

1 Comment
  1. 2 out of 3 aint bad ;)

    and these are just personal opinions: the Russian place is a neat concept but I don’t care for the execution.

    it would be helpful to know the costs for the old stone house (some stone inside would please me) and Culver city (what was it before, a bungalow?) Tx