Wellington's Melling Morse Architects do an accomplished line in compact, relatively cheap, incredibly charming dwellings, and the Garden Shed, a finalist in our 2011 Home of the Year award, is no exception. It was given its name because its site is a garden sub-divided from a larger property, and because the home's owner wanted to feel as if she lived in the garden (rather than in a house that had monstered it).

This desire to keep as much of the property for gardening as possible partly explains the decision to position the house right up against the footpath of its street. (These photographs are by Paul McCredie).

While it presents a relatively closed face to the street, the 65-square-metre home's northerly elevation opens to the garden, with tall windows drawing sunlight into the double-height kitchen, dining and living space. The generous scale of the home's terrace adds an interesting note of grandeur to an otherwise highly efficient composition.

The home's main bedroom is downstairs and opens onto the terrace that overlooks the garden. Upstairs (shown in the image below) is a space containing a mezzanine study area and room for a spare bed if needed (the owner currently uses this area for doing yoga).