February 1, 2016 Comments(0)

    Tiny House Alternatives – Terraced Houses & Studio Flats -May 2016

    With all the buzz surrounding tiny houses in the UK these days, more and more people are looking at the prospect of building their own diminutive dwelling place.  Though the idea of custom designing your space to your own exact specifications is certainly appealing, it can be a daunting task – starting with the challenge of meeting all of the planning commission requirements.

    There are alternatives that are readily available for living large in a small space in the form of terraced houses and studio flats. Many of these gems are diamonds in the rough, which can be renovated to your particular style, providing relatively low-maintenance, living quarters.  It is also generally much easier to meet planning commission standards with an existing structure, though this is dependent upon the exact renovations you have planned.

    Terraced houses and studio flats offer a way for homeowners to downsize without the highly detailed and involved process of construction from the ground up.  And terraced houses built in the Victorian era have been shown in studies by Historic England (formerly English Heritage) to be cheaper to maintain and inhabit than modern homes, which is owed at least in part to the quality of materials used in the original construction.

    According to the English Housing Survey of 2012-2013, the average flat hovers around the 57 square meter mark (approximately 614 square feet) which is quite comparable to the micro houses currently being built in the U.S. that are usually 500 square feet or less. The average size of a terraced house on the market in those years was 82 square meters, providing some middle ground for homeowners needing more space, but still well below the average detached home size of 152 square meters.

    So if you want to downsize, but the idea of undertaking major construction is giving you nightmares – consider a built structure that can be renovated to your own personal lifestyle.

    This charming garden extends the living space outdoors in better weather, providing a private space for dining or entertaining. The owner, a metal fabrication artisan, created the trellis arch for training vines.


    This small but functional kitchen makes use of vertical space by shelving for practical and display items and is a welcoming place when neighbours drop by for a chat.


    In this terraced house, the wall between the living area and bedroom has been partially removed to let in more light and create a more open feel. A partial wall was left on each side to create a division of space without visually separating the areas. The chandelier also draws the eye upward.

    The living area features an original fireplace mantle and warm, hardwood floors. The darker colors of the mantle and floor are offset by white walls and light, airy background colours which make the area feel larger.


    This Covent Garden studio in London is offered by London Escape for a holiday rental. The loft style bed frees up more floor space for the living area below. –Photos courtesy of London Escape


    Large windows help this small space to feel much larger. Stark white walls are softened with pops of bright color in the form of accent pieces and a bright blue table top… Weekend getaways are a great way to experience small space living as a trial run. –Photos courtesy of London Escape