Australia's Austin Maynard Architects (formerly Andrew Maynard Architects) regularly designs some of the most interesting and quirky homes around. Its latest project, dubbed Mills, the toy management house, is no exception, and involves an extension to a Melbourne terrace that adds storage space, sustainable features, and a strong sense of fun.

The raised floor/toy storage area is the most notable interior feature and serves as a place to store toys and a comfortable area for grownups to sit.

"At Mills we have made gravity the parents' ally rather than the child's by enabling the floor to swallow all the mess," explains Austin Maynard Architects. "Rather than picking toys up to put back in the toy box, we've made the floor one big toy box. Let's get a broom and sweep all the Lego in from the top and sides."

Upstairs, the master bedroom features a sliding wall that opens to the corridor to increase space, while the bathroom (which features a custom fiberglass bath designed by the firm) sports large windows to make it feel more spacious.

Moving downstairs, some areas blur the line between inside and outside – though not to the extent of the Cut Paw Paw House – and the corridor has been removed in favor of a kitchen.

"The kitchen at Mills occupies the original corridor space," explains the firm. "Therefore the substantial space the kitchen would have occupied in a typical location has been used as living space."

The house received a green makeover, too. Austin Maynard Architects sought to maximize available natural light and air, while reducing heat sink and heat transfer internally. The front of the home looks like a typical terraced house, but the rear sports a white perforated metal facade that filters the sun's glare.

A large rainwater collection system feeds irrigation and toilets, and high-performance insulation was also installed. In addition, the roof sports a solar panel array that reduces grid-based electricity requirements.

View gallery - 25 images