8 Reasons Why a 330-Square-Foot London Apartment Feels Spacious

Modern House Tanner's Hill London Apartment

If you’re anything like us, it doesn’t matter if you’ve just moved into a new apartment or have lived happily in the same home for years—you never stop looking at real estate. Our own wandering eye once landed on a fetching listing from one of our favorite real estate websites, The Modern House. It’s a light-flooded apartment, designed by Sacha Barna, on Tanner’s Hill in the Deptford neighborhood of London. The flat has a small footprint (just 330 square feet) yet still feels airy, uncluttered, and, oddly spacious. Having an expansive deck certainly helps, but so do these smart design decisions, which prioritize built-in storage and a minimalist aesthetic. Here are eight ideas to steal for a cohesive and clean design in a small home.

1. Opt for benches instead of chairs.

Modern House Tanner's Hill London Apartment
Above: Long and slim wood benches offer a much more streamlined look than four dining chairs would in this small eat-in kitchen. A large window overlooking the deck provides ample natural light.

2. Choose uniform and attractive storage containers.

Modern House Tanner's Hill London Apartment
Above: Using the same food storage containers telescopes neatness on open shelves. Another tip for space-challenged kitchens—choose a flat electric cooktop; when not in use, it can essentially act as a countertop. The cabinets throughout the home are bespoke, with blackened-steel door pulls by Tom Kundig.

3. Design built-ins that recede into the background.

Modern House Tanner's Hill London Apartment
Above: Large floating hanging cabinets, flanking the fireplace, provide abundant storage without feeling clunky and obtrusive.

4. Look up for more storage and space.

Modern House Tanner's Hill London Apartment
Above: At the floor level, storage pieces often have to compete for space with other furniture, but if you look up, chances are you’ll see untapped opportunity to create more built-in storage. In the case of this apartment, the ceiling was vaulted to reveal its timber joists and to create lofted spaces. The ladder leads to a storage mezzanine, while the steps in the back lead to a sleeping loft.

5. Go for built-ins under the stairs.

Modern House Tanner's Hill London Apartment
Above: It’s always a good idea to devote the space under the stairs for storage. Here, low cabinets topped with Douglas fir mimic the kitchen countertop across from them.

6. Lose the side and coffee tables.

Modern House Tanner's Hill London Apartment
Above: In a casual home, there’s no need for a coffee table and end tables. In fact, the less furniture, the better. Use wall-mounted sconces in lieu of table lamps, and choose a sofa that can be turned into a bed for guests.

7. Keep the walls bare.

Modern House Tanner's Hill London Apartment
Above: It can feel counterintuitive to decorate by putting nothing on the walls, but when the results are this good, you won’t mind the temporary discomfort. White walls plus skylights equal a bright and inviting sleep area—despite the low, sloped ceilings.

8. Stick to one material.

Modern House Tanner's Hill London Apartment
Above: A tiny bath appears larger, thanks to a monotone design. The concrete sink by Kast mimics the look of the Mortex limestone finish over composite concrete floors and walls.

To see the complete listing, go to The Modern House.

For more small-space tours, check out:

N.B.: This post is an update; it was first published May 2020.

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