Casa Familia is architect Kevin deFreitas’ take on the traditional Southern-California courtyard house design, with a modern twist. Although moderate in size, this contemporary, compact two-storey home lives much larger than what’s simply set out in square footage. The architect designed this house to artfully open to the outdoors through great views, large windows and of course, a courtyard at the heart of the home; blurring the boundary between indoors and out to expand the home’s sense of space. But the home’s connection to nature runs deeper than the views. Casa Familia is also doing its part for the environment, employing energy-efficient, low-consumption technologies. According to Kevin deFreitas Architects, “the house proved a success, consuming 65 per cent less electricity than state-mandated standards and 55 per cent less water than homes of comparable size without sacrificing comfort or aesthetics.” Kevin deFreitas Architects.