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Elle Decor Italia

Decorating small and narrow homes: ideas and inspirations

Living in vertical houses is not always easy, especially when it comes to choosing the furniture


Small and narrow houses that develop vertically are increasingly common in modern cities. The lack of available space prompted architects and entrepreneurs to make the most of residual areas and interstices between existing edifices, and design mini residential buildings.

READ ALSO → 10 mini case dove vivere con stile


This trend, which originated in Asia’s overcrowded cities, has spread also to the West – from the United States to Europe – prompting amazing experiments demonstrating that it is definitely possible to live in narrow and small homes without giving up comfort and style.

Here are 5 inspiring examples on how to decorate small and narrow homes.


Let’s start from Japan, the land of micro homes and architectural experimentations, to discover Promenade House, an urban villa in Shiga. Designed by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects, the small house has a long, narrow structure within a 4 x 35 m lot. Designers decided to plan a two-storey building consisting of a long corridor where rooms are organised into micro open spaces and double heights.

To save space, most of the furniture is fixed in place and is an integral component of the architecture.

READ ALSO → Una casa stretta e lunga in Giappone

A second noteworthy example of small home is in the United States, in New York, and more precisely in Brooklyn.

Here, Studio Barker Freeman Design Office (BFDO) was in charge of the restyling of a 3.6-metre-wide mini flat on 4 floors, inspired by typical terraced houses in red bricks. The core of the project is the central wooden staircase that divides and organises every floor in areas with specific functions: lounge and entrance, kitchen and dining area, office and bedroom. Decorating the house with basic furniture pieces chosen to give a sense of comfort, was a winning choice.

READ ALSO → Mini appartamento verticale a Brooklyn


From America we go back to the Old Continent, where we find one of the most famous micro houses in the web.

The country is Spain and the city is Madrid. The owner of the apartment is a single man who decided to live in 21 Sq m. The project is by the Mycc firm and it is a veritable urban shelter – drawn in sections like a boat – where living areas are created thanks to strategically interlaced split-levels. The strong points of the concept are: the staircases that turn into ladders or comfortable mezzanines or intermediate surfaces.

READ ALSO → Mini case: abitare in 21 metri quadri a Madrid


In Rome, instead, is found the small vertical house by architect Massimo Adario. The location is an old building in the Monti neighbourhood. The project is characterised by a smart staircase–bookcase that the turns the inconvenience of the small surface area into an opportunity.

Adario recounts: “I worked on a small size, 70 mq, trying to create a particular circulation around the staircase and the dining area, following a spiral motion leading to the top floor. None of the functional volumes touches the walls, so the passage, including that of light, is unimpeded and opens continuous perspectives among the different spaces creating between them a relationship that avoids the claustrophobic sensation of a small place”

Scopri di più → Il restyling verticale di una casa a Roma


The last project is the most extreme: a 92-cm-wide micro house realised thanks to a metallic structure containing two floors linked by a ladder, a bedroom, and a tiny kitchen. In Warsaw, it is probably the narrowest house in the world, a thin “slice” between two existing buildings designed by architect Jakub Szczęsny. The mini house has basic furniture and it is covered with a semi-transparent material.

READ ALSO → La casa più stretta del mondo

by Alec Cinque / 13 March 2017


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