THE cappello LED LAMP BY molo

cappello LED lamp: Image courtesy of molo

The cappello LED lamp is one of the most unique energy-saving light fixtures that we’ve seen lately and exemplifies many of the qualities that we pursue in building laneway houses – small, beautiful, efficiently designed, aenvironment-friendly.

Created by local Vancouver design studio, molo, the cappello lamp comes with a slightly unusual story.  If you look closely at each lamp, the Carrara marble base comes scored with scratches which have been intentionally left intact.  The marble is a direct extraction from the iconic Arco floor lamp designed by Castiglioni – each Arco lamp has a hole drilled into the side of its base so a broomstick handle can skewer it and two people holding the broom can move the heavy block around the home.

Arco floor lamp: image courtesy of

The small marble cylinder created as a by-product of the process is then tranformed into the base for molo’s capello lamp. Note the hole in the marble […]


We at Smallworks like to think small (in a big kind of way!) and now that the new year has rolled around, we’ve decided on some personal resolutions that reflect our goal of downsizing.  Here are some thoughts from two Smallworks staffers:


From Kate Allen, Design Coordinator:

“Planning a wedding in 2012, I’m finding ways to cut out the extravagance of weddings without sacrificing the special feeling of the gathering. Naturally, the wedding is evolving to have a very ‘nature’ inspired focus!

I’ve recently downsized from 600 square feet to about 250 square feet, too, so it’s been a great exercise to really test what it is that one needs over the course of a year. Having given away or sold about 25% of my stuff, and boxed an additional 30%, I’ll be checking midway through 2012 to see if I can give away any more items that haven’t been disturbed in their boxes.

One of my biggest items I tend to aggregate are books – any kind of books! I’m trying to make the switch to e-books for popular fiction and non-fiction this year and use the library more. “


If Santa is leaving a huge ecological footprint along with the toys each year, it might be time to look at some eco-friendly options for the laneway house or any other small home.  Here are our best tips for greening your Christmas this season:

Christmas tree

Rent an Evergrow Christmas Tree from $135. Image from

1) Rent a tree. You usually have several options for your Christmas tree choices – the live cut tree which gets recycled, the fake tree which is used over and over again, and the potted tree which is planted outside after the season’s over.  Now, a fourth possibility is renting a small tree from a place like Evergrow Christmas Trees.  Order the tree online, they deliver, then pick it up and take care of it until next year.

Red tinsel LED Christmas lights

$9.99 Indoor LED Globe Red Tinsel Lights. Image from

2) Hang up LED lights. Energy efficient LED lights are 90% more efficient that incandescent bulbs.  We especially like […]


When we founded our company, our goal was to build small, beautiful homes.  And at Smallworks, small and beautiful doesn’t mean cramped and beautiful.  Building small gives us the opportunity to design smart solutions and create comfortable, practical spaces in a laneway house.
If you want to get some ideas spinning in your head, read our top design tricks for maximizing space:
Built-in entertainment unit under stairs

Built-in entertainment unit under stairs

1) Utilizing “dead” space
One of the most difficult parts to utilize in a laneway house is the oddly-shaped dead space under the stairs.  Some of the solutions that we’ve hit upon is to build pull-out storage which is easily accessible, or to create a display and storage unit to organize the occupants’ entertainment needs.

Built-in desk also used as loft partition, and cabinet storage for hidden TV screen

Built-in desk also used as loft partition, and cabinet storage for hidden TV screen

2) Multifunctional and flexible pieces
If you want to maximize space, you want units in a laneway house that do more than one […]


gingerbread laneway house

Building materials are environmentally responsible, and delicious.

Smallworks is launching a Yuletide eco-density initiative with the Gingerbread Laneway House Contest on Facebook.  Just visit our Facebook page between now and December 15 and enter to win our sustainable, tasty dwelling – designed by Smallworks and constructed by fine dessert-makers, Kreation Artisan Cakes.  If you’re one of our existing fans, click on “Gingerbread Laneway House” on the left-hand menu to enter.

So what is Yuletide eco-density?  Who hasn’t decked out their dining table or sideboard during this season and wanted to fit in another miniature Christmas tree, shiny bauble, or even one more entire gingerbread house?  Smallworks has announced this increased density action for more efficient space use for your holiday table. Constructed to fit on a standard-size holiday decorating space zoned for single-family use, the Gingerbread Laneway House works as a stand-alone dwelling or an additional structure to the rear of your traditional Gingerbread House.  The gingerbread dwelling is also fully sustainable and eco-friendly, with net zero impact on anything aside from […]