America's First 3D Printed Home Is Small Space Goals
High tech and high design.
While 3D printing is beginning to make waves in the decor space, the new technology is now here to shake up home construction as well. Houses normally take months to build with lots of manpower, time, and resources used. Well this year for SXSW, ICON built the first ever 3D-printed home in America — in under 24 hours. Constructed out of concrete, the 650-square-foot single story abode is actually a collaboration with New Story, a non-profit that hopes to use this model to create housing in underdeveloped communities internationally! BANDD DESIGN was called in to perfect the small space with furniture and decor fitting for its Austin locale.
"There were two goals behind the design direction," shares Sara Malek Barney, owner & principal designer of BANDD DESIGN. "First was the fact that the setting of the first 3D printed home was in East Austin, so I wanted to bring the bohemian, charming, southwest flavor of this neighborhood in to the design."
"Second, ICON's goal in collaborating with New Story is to take the 3D printer to build homes, and eventually a village, for the developing world, starting in El Salvador," she says. "Bringing the outside in and keeping the furniture minimalistic was important to reflect how these homes will be used as part of this project in the developing world."
While the home construction is truly innovative, the small dimensions made it a design challenge. "The biggest catch with the 3D house was the size — it is only about 350 square feet inside," shares Barney. "I had to find furniture to make it feel like a home, but also didn't make the home feel cramped. I believe it all came together perfectly in the end with the help of added accessories, wall hangings, and minimal, rustic lighting."
Since small space design is so relevant to many people living in apartments or modest homes, we asked Barney to shares some of her tips. First? Bring the outside in. "Since small spaces tend to lack robust outdoor space, adding plants around a small home can make the space feel fresh, vibrant, and brighter," she explains. "We used select indoor plants in the 3D home."
Another piece of advice is to lighten up the home as much as possible. "Small spaces can easily feel dark and stuffy, so make sure you bring in many options for lighting around the house," she shares. "In a small bedroom specifically, mounting plug-in wall sconces on either side of a bed actually makes it easy to bring light while taking up no valuable table space. We hung lighting from above in the 3D home and utilized lamps to make it appear larger."
One last tip is to not be afraid of lively colors. "Since the walls were white and the outside of the home was very neutral, we took the opportunity to make the space brighter and more cozy with bold colors through the textiles, bedding, rugs," says Barney. "New Story images we framed as well as an added pop of color with the bistro chairs!"