It's always fascinating to see how designers deal with tiny lots and small spaces. But when a house is also unusually narrow, that brings additional spatial challenges—often provoking out-of-the-box solutions from designers and inhabitants. Check out these five examples of surprisingly small and narrow modern houses, plucked from the pages of Dwell, and proffering unexpected approaches to storage, custom built-ins, and creative ways of cohabitating.
Karen White, David MacNaughtan, and their sons, Griffin and Finlay, hang out on the front deckof their narrow home in Toronto’s leafy Roncesvalles neighborhood. A narrow modernist composition of glass panes and purple brick, the house slips like a bookmark between two older buildings, a bright three-story abode on a lot narrower than most suburban driveways. Photo by Dean Kaufman. Read more about the small house here.
Because this house, in a converted 19th-century Singapore shophouse, is narrow and long (16 by 68 feet), the design team decided to create a huge open-air space to light the interior naturally. Two retractable motor-driven canvas canopies shelter the space during Singapore’s frequent rains. Photo by Richard Powers. Learn more about the challenges of the renovation.
Yvette Leeper-Bueno and Adrian Bueno’s home, on West 112th Street in New York City, is recognizable by its two-story bay window angled to bring light and views into the dark, narrow structure. "There’s a threshold of planting between the outside and inside,” says architect Laura Briggs, citing the blooming boxes on the sidewalk, the rear deck, and the master-suite terrace (above the bay window). Photo by Adam Friedberg. See how the rooms stack up inside the narrow shell.
Living small is par for the course in New York City, but accommodating a family of four in under 700 square feet rarely looks as effortless as in this storage-smart renovation. Scott Oliver and Margarita McGrath of noroof architects created many clever built-ins and transformable furniture in this apartment. Photo by Raimund Koch. See how the rooms transform in this extended slideshow.
Toronto designer Julia Knezic built this house for her own family in a narrow lot next to her mom's house. Photo by Sean Galbraith. Check out the interiors here.