Design

An Adorable Narrow House for Sale

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Browsing real estate listings, even when you’re not moving, is totally addictive, don’t you think? In a recent late-night session, we came across the listing for this very skinny Brooklyn house…

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162 10th Street in Gowanus, Brooklyn, is a two-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,200-square-foot house with apple trees and grape vines in its private backyard. It looks spacious and amazing, but most of the house is only nine feet wide (and, in some spots, 8’6″). It’s like a tiny cabin in the city.

The house’s architect and her husband — who bought it in 2012 and are now planning to move to the west coast — live there with their baby daughter and two dogs. Their home is filled with cool details, including forest-salvaged wood flooring from Vermont and painted kitchen drawer knobs.

When the owners moved from their former studio apartment, they had to part with furniture that wouldn’t fit in their skinny new house. They traded a favorite, huge sofa for more compact pieces like a Schoolhouse Electric loveseat. In general, they say they’ve found that furniture with legs tall enough to lift it visibly off the floor helps create an open sense of space.

Leah Solomon, the listing broker, said she’s developed a good sense of the challenges and pleasures of living in a narrow house: “You can’t leave stuff lying around or the space becomes too messy. You have to get rid of oversized furniture and buy specific pieces that fit the space perfectly, or even do double-duty.” But, she says tidying up is quicker than it would be in a large home and, “You can pare down your stuff and live an edited, uncluttered life. Your environment is filled with things that are essential, beautiful and meaningful.”

What do you think? Would your life fit into a narrow house?

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P.S. A tiny San Francisco apartment, and 15 genius tips for living in a small space.

  1. Amazing design and architect work in this narrow house.

  2. I am used to living in relatively small spaces (I lived in Brooklyn for a decade, now I live in ‘hipsturbia’ lol – moved there just BEFORE that article came out, actually!) but I couldn’t live in a super narrow house. I once went to a party in a really narrow house in Brooklyn (but not this one) and felt super claustrophobic and freaked out the entire time.

  3. That’s a cheap house. Trying buying one in Auckland.

  4. I want it! And apparently am very jaded by high real estate prices, because I thought, “$1.2 for a WHOLE house and a backyard!? Not bad!”

  5. As a Londoner: ‘tiny cabin’? That’s cute :-P

  6. Cool to see the whole house, I have only seen photos of the kitchen, as they have used my wooden knobs to renovate the cabinets. Such a creative space.

  7. Ug, no. I lived in a house that was 10-11′ wide and I constantly felt cramped and tense in the space. I’m in a 14′ wide row house now and do not care to go back to even narrower!

  8. As an architect, a real design challenge! Absolutely wonderful! Another gem to see ( though not for sale) the House in Nada / Fujiwarramuro Architects. ;)

  9. My home is under 11′ wide. Pretty standard Baltimore rowhome life. I enjoy those extra 2′!

  10. Hi, Love your blog so much!

    Thais (from Brazil)

  11. The floor plan indicates the home is up to 11.5-feet wide, no?

  12. I loooove looking at real estate listings. It’s especially fun to come across ones for houses you’ve seen before in real life & you get to see what they’re like inside. I’m eternally curious about interiors. Even in our townhouses, where everyone’s layout is essentially identical, I am just dying to go into the other homes in our neighborhood to see how they’ve used the space.

  13. Oh man, this is totally real estate porn! I actually almost bought a house very similar to this (in a less expensive area) but it fell through on the day of the closing. Ah, NYC real estate, you heartbreaker!

  14. This reminds me of Dutch houses! I live in Amsterdam, where the narrower, the better. And where 2 bed/bath is sheer luxury! Great find, Joanna!

  15. I live in an old apartment with a long and narrow (very narrow) corridor and it’s not really nice. This apartment seems nice anyway. Maybe some more windows?
    xxx

  16. I LOVE browsing Zillow! The BF and I have plans to move to California in the next couple years and even the moderately priced homes in LA seem affordable compared to New York City. I like using the calculator to see how much we could actually afford (seeing as what we can afford here in New York is exactly bupkis).

  17. This home is lovely! Especially the way it is designed and decorated. If it was empty, it would perhaps be harder to imagine living there, but I love the look and feel of the home and the backyard is so cute! I’d totally live there if I could afford it :) My husband and I are actually moving to the Jersey/NYC area in June and we’re on the hunt for a 2 bed, 2 bath rental with a yard, because we have two dogs, too! But man is it hard to find something in a cool neighborhood in budget!

  18. I love it! I looove looking at real estate – ESPECIALLY when I’m not really looking. There’s no pressure! I was surprised at how much I hated house hunting when it was meeeeee doing it – so much…money and commitment and rushing, you know?

  19. I would definitely live there. It looks much bigger and the set up totally makes sense.

  20. That’s a beautiful little house! I would totally live there (if I could afford it ;-), if just to enjoy that patio-like garden. Awesome.

  21. I love it! I am a first year interior design student and our final is to design a train car, which also has a width of 9 feet! Crazy to think of a home with similar dimensions.

  22. I’m so happy to know I’m not the only one who browses real estate listings just for fun! My fiancé always makes fun of me haha.

    This reminds me of my first apartment, minus the gorgeous decorating and lovely backyard. :) It’s funny how quickly you can get used to living in a small place, and how quickly it seems SO small once you get used to living someplace bigger.

    What I love about small places, besides the fact that they force you to declutter, is that you get used to spending most of your time out of the house, whether it’s exploring a new part of the city or going for a run, etc.

  23. I’d be a claustrophobic mess.

    Cute, fun, interesting to read/see – but in real life it would never work for me.

  24. $1.2 million dollars and you have to shove your baby cot at the top of the stairs in an open area? Oh my. The world is crazy. Lucky for the chosen few who obviously have more money (and tendencies to bow in to peer pressure) than sense.

  25. Yes! A house is much more freedom than an apt and no issue with upstairs or downstairs neighbors though common walls can be annoying too.and the yard is a nice bonus!

  26. LOVE! (Duh.)

  27. We are about to close on our first house, but I still look on Redfin everyday! It’s so much fun! When I was still in college, one of my favorite chill-out things to do was to look at real estate in France and daydream :)

  28. I’m all about small spaces and living an “edited” life, but this space has almost no windows! That’s a deal breaker for me.

  29. It shows I’ve been living in San Francisco too long when my first thought was “That’s CHEAP for what it is!”

  30. @ICantPayMyFines, that’s hilarious. our current building has a really narrow common stairway (so that the apartments can be a wider) and when we moved in, we couldn’t fit our sofa upstairs. we had to get a “sofa doctor” to come, physically cut it in half and put it back together once it was in the apt!

  31. @A, that’s so cool! i’d love to see photos!

  32. I browse Zillow for relaxation, but it always stresses my husband when he sees me looking at real estate.

  33. I’m always browsing the real estate listings lol even though buying a house is a little out of reach at the moment. This is a gorgeous place, I love the narrowness of it.

  34. A says...

    We live in a house with rooms that are 8×8. It works for us (two adults with no plans for kids) but I can imagine it would be very claustrophobic for more than 2 full-time residents. But then again, New York is its own microcosm that is completely befuddling to those of us who don’t live in that city.

  35. Have you seen that show, Tiny House Nation?! Kind of reminds of this house, but people move into homes that are like, 250 square feet! I’m totally addicted!

  36. I love the backyard. I can see myself sitting out there reading a book and enjoying a glass of wine.

  37. Our townhouse in Greenpoint is only 12 feet wide! When our daughter’s crib was delivered, it came in a box that was wider than the house!

  38. @brooklynash – totally. I moved out of the city with my husband about 5 years ago and we just can’t believe the cost of housing there now. We live in upstate NY and we can’t even tell our NYC-dwelling friends what we pay for our mortgage every month (with 4 bedrooms, a back yard, a garage, the works!) because they get so sad hearing it! I know I don’t live in the coolest city in the world anymore (which I definitely think NYC is, still) but we visit a lot and enjoy our personal space upstate ;)

  39. itty bitty house … that will go for above asking price in an all-cash bidding war! ah, brooklyn!

  40. I would totally live there! Especially with that back yard. I’m always looking at real estate sites too–it’s addicting!

    I recently read an article about off-beat date ideas and it suggested going to an open house as a fun way to explore your neighborhood (and get decor inspiration) before heading out to dinner. I thought that was such a cool idea!

  41. There are only narrow houses in my neighbourhood.

  42. Joanna, this is TOTALLY unrelated but I just had a random thought. You’ve done a few posts about underwear but never one about bras, as far as I can tell. As a smaller-boobed lady who likes it that way I am always on the lookout for unpadded bras that don’t make me look smooshed. And I’m sure other people have other concerns. Anyways just a random idea! xx

  43. to-o-ta-ly addicting, yes! i could ‘window shop’ real estate listings endlessly. doesn’t matter the city either. don’t totally understand this – but heck is it fun! this brooklyn 2 bed is a beauty dollhouse!
    thanks for the read.

  44. @bausman, me too. and the interior looks so big from the photos, i was surprised!

  45. I would live there!

  46. sigh. brooklyn. where even a 9′ wide house is over a million dollars. (insert crying emoji).