This Newly Renovated House is Only Eleven Feet Wide

The owners of this home, an architect and an interior designer, were faced with the dilemma that eventually confronts most parents in New York: whether to leave the city for a home with more space somewhere else. With two growing children, their two-bedroom, 1,000 square foot rowhouse was starting to feel a little cramped. But they loved their Brooklyn neighborhood and hated the idea of leaving, so they decided to remodel instead of looking for a home elsewhere. The one difficulty with this plan? Their existing house was just 11 feet wide.

How do you add more space to your home when said home is only 11 feet wide, bounded by other homes on either side? When you can’t expand out, you can still go up or down. These homeowners did both, adding an extra floor up top and also additional living space down below.

The home’s floor plan before, with two stories and an unfinished basement.

(Image credit: Office of Architecture)

The home after, with the living space expanded to the basement and roof levels.

(Image credit: Office of Architecture)

The house was gutted and the bottom level, formerly the basement, now contains a mudroom, utility room, and game room. On the home’s first floor are the dining room, living room, and kitchen, in much the same configuration that they were before. The kitchen opens up to the backyard, and careful placement of windows allows light to penetrate deep into the house.

The basement entrance to the home is brightened by a large window.

(Image credit: Matthew Williams)

A backsplash window brings light into the first-floor kitchen.

(Image credit: Matthew Williams)

Balconies flank the newly added top floor.

(Image credit: Rafael Gamo)

On the second floor are a spacious bathroom and two new bedrooms for the couple’s son and daughter, who finally have their own private spaces. The third floor is new, and is devoted to the master bedroom and bathroom, as well as two new balconies. A stair connects the home’s four floors, with a skylight up top, filling the inside of the house with light. The design is fairly simple, but it’s an elegant way of making the most of a very tight lot — proof that with the right design, good things can come in very small packages.

To see more photos of the home, check out the full tour at Archinet.


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