Like it or not, visionaries are cashing-in on the housing shortfall by utilising gaps in the property market to bring us small, narrow and unsatisfactory homes.
As the trend for converting non-conventional spaces into homes continues, are we really equipped to live in these confined spaces? Or has modern-day living given us a taste for space that we’re unwilling to compromise on when looking for a new home?
Who can forget the ultra-slim house featured on Channel 4’s The British Property Boom last year? Measuring just 6ft 11 inches (2.1m) wide, the very narrow house in the London borough of Haringey somehow squeezes in two bedrooms, a bathroom, reception room, kitchen and wait for it…a roof terrace. Well, a small balcony really.
Seeing is believing
Unsurprisingly it garnered lots of media attention and interest from the disbelieving public, but funnily enough potential buyers were not eager to get a foot in the front door. Probably because this house is nothing more than an elongated corridor that just about manages to pack in the essentials required for modern-day living.
As far as we know the house is still on the market, but any interested purchasers will have to be creative with interior design and not partial to swinging cats in order to live in such a unique space.
Take a look at the BBC’s video for a guided tour of this, um, scary example of the extreme housing available in today’s property market.
Nothing to see here
Unlike the Haringey property, a 301sqft flat in Mayfair was snapped up in just 40 minutes without even being viewed. Offering a similar petite layout to the narrow house, the flat’s letting agent received over 200 email and telephone enquiries within the first 15 minutes of the property being available for rent.
Featuring only one bedroom, a kitchen-cum-dining-cum-lounge and no roof terrace, the Mayfair flat on Pollen Street was secured with a £10,000 deposit by the manager of a nearby five star hotel.
There’s downsizing and there’s downsizing
Clearly there is a shortage of housing in the UK and some would argue that a roof over your head is better than no roof at all. But regardless of whether living in such confined spaces is good for the soul, what about the practicalities?
Last September we featured a tiny one bedroom home in Barnsbury on our blog that took living in a small space to a whole new level. With just 188sqft to play with, it also managed to fit in a lounge, dining room and kitchen of sorts. But one thing that was, and is, seriously lacking in all of these cute homes is adequate storage.
So, what do we do with our excess baggage that has been free to monopolise cupboards, spare rooms, lofts and garages in the past? Do we offload it to charity shops, recycle or dispose of it at the local dump, or do we hope that modern streamlined storage solutions will actually fit into these bolt-holes?
And do we really have to say goodbye to bathing because our cupboard-sized bathroom isn’t big enough to house a bath, just a shower? We hope not.