Designing a Small House

22 August 2019

Britain Has Smallest Houses in Europe 

A study by the University of Cambridge has found that Britain’s homes are the smallest in Europe. With a rising population, in an already building congested city with a housing shortage, it is conceivable that house sizes will continue to shrink as architects and designers look to get the most out of small spaces.

Satish Jassal Architects completed a small brick home in Haringey that measures only 51m2. The two-storey home was built on the site of a derelict garage at 3.6m x 11m in size. The architect’s vision was to create a useable, bright modern home on this difficult plot and the result seems to meet its requirements.
With clever design and detailing, even houses on narrow, small plots can be bright, modern homes. At the Haringey home, the oak windows and panels become bespoke fixed furniture pieces whilst the front garden has a double use as a bicycle store.


Windows and transparent surfaces are important to bring light into small houses as lots of natural light will make an area appear larger. If there are restrictions on the window placements or sizes perhaps consider roof lights and glass floors internally to allow light to travel through the space.
A well thought out lighting design will have a great impact on the overall house as it is easy to overwhelm a restricted space with bright, artificial lights.  If you want to mimic the look of natural light, use full-spectrum bulbs that simulate daylight to keep the light soft and warm. The right artificial lights can create a positive, brightening glow to a home, especially in areas that may not receive a lot of natural light. The use of reflective surfaces also work well with mirrors being an obvious option, when placed strategically it allows light from windows or light fixtures to bounce off the surface.  

Tricky design areas for small houses are rooms where certain installations cannot be removed or ignored. Areas such as the kitchen and bathroom that require space for an oven, storage, showers, toilets, all of which a home cannot do without.


A specialist kitchen designer, like Watermark Kitchens, will be a necessity to ensure that all aspects of your kitchen design utilise the space wisely.  Whilst storage and predicted movement throughout the space should be thoroughly thought over to ensure the layout is functional for day to day living.


Make the most of your outdoor areas by making any garden or courtyard space available and as accessible as possible to effectively extend your home outside. Bi-folding doors or French doors work best on small openings and an external fireplace and seating area will create a summer living room outside of your small internal areas.


Take a look at our Pinterest Board for more small house design inspiration.  

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