This skinny flat may not have that much room but that room is in London! There’s just something so adorable about a small home. It may hearken back to our youthful fantasies of living in a doll’s house, but, it seems, especially when the tiny space is in London, it’s particularly irresistible.
This famously narrow building — just six feet across at its skinniest — just so happens to be in a very sought after, lovely, leafy part of the capital, South Kensington SW7. Thurloe Square, its more precise location, is between South Kensington tube station and the Victoria & Albert Museum, which just might be the best museum in the entire world. Listed for $1.07 million via PurpleBricks.co.uk, this flat is unquestionably bijou at just 580 square feet, but manages to squeeze in a combination living and dining room with convenient built-ins, a small up-to-date kitchen, two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Considering the size of the flat, the larger of the two bedrooms is massive at 11 feet wide and includes a stamp-sized en suite.
If you’re feeling a bit cramped or claustrophobic, there is a very cute (also, yes, miniature) private terrace that belongs to this unit. Sure, the space is only five feet wide, but how much room do you really need for a few potted plants, a comfy chair, and a book, while you are outside in London in your own private patio?
So how did this get eccentric flat built in the first place? In the 1840s to 1860s, there were lovely neoclassical houses facing the square. But in the mid-1800s, the “underground railroad” fad took hold of London, and 23 houses in the square were sold to the Metropolitan District Railway, now the Metropolitan Line on the London Underground. Only five houses in total were actually demolished to build the rail line, but some of the others lost parts of their backyard. In 1868, nearby South Kensington Station — still one of the busiest stations on the Underground and built by the Metropolitan Railway — opened.
In the later nineteenth century, these comparatively less expensive districts of London were known as a home for artists (think Edward Burne-Jones, Dante Rossetti, Whistler), so many art studios were built here. When a local builder saw this tiny plot he thought the 19th century version of “Yeeessss!” and between 1885-1887 built seven artist’s studios on the wedge-shaped bit of land. The large north-facing windows are perfect for letting in lots of light for the artists to work in.
Now, of course, the spaces are all residential flats — but special ones. In the heart of South Kensington, they are local to the amazing shops, restaurants and cafes of Chelsea and Knightsbridge. Even if they are a little on the wee side.