‘Bigger’ is not always ‘better’. This is an adage that has served as a neat little caveat to a thousand conversations over the years but it couldn’t be more true. As our phones, computers and cars have got smaller though, so have the spaces in which we choose to occupy our time, but that doesn’t have to mean we’re compromising or ‘downsizing’. Indeed, there is surely something to be said for the ‘cozy’ space. In this article we’ll be taking 3 examples in which the most has been made of a remarkable small space.
Quay House (Wales)
This ‘smallest house in Britain‘ measures just 1.8 metres wide and has been an ironically huge tourist attraction in the Welsh village of Conwy.
Image by Brianac37 via Flickr
Built in the 16th century, the house contains a front room and an upstairs bedroom (which measure just six by eight foot) and was last used as an actual home in the early 20th century when it was owned by the fisherman Robert Jones. Jones was a stately 6ft 3 inches tall, so living in Quay House must have given him a lifetime of back problems, but a glance inside and it’s easy to see why he fell in love with the place.
The old fashioned tiling, cast iron stove and the sheer unique beauty of the house have made it a consistently popular stop for tourists from across the world who really want to experience ‘what Britain used to be like’. The use of the space inside is actually rather remarkable, the way the seating area is built at a right angle gives the room a sense of surprising space that you wouldn’t expect from the outside and the bedroom is accessible by a set of stairs, which are tucked into the corner or the cottage so as not to take up any more room than is absolutely necessary.
The Pod Caravan
Image source: www.podcaravans.co.uk
Inspired by the teardrop designs of the 40’s and 50’s, the ‘Pod’ caravan marks the point where retro quirk and modern convenience overlap gracefully. The design itself was in production for more than a decade and just a cursory glance either inside or outside the Pod will allow to to see why.
The subtle, curvy caravan is built from high quality, lightweight fibreglass on top of a rigorously tested galvanised steel chassis. The ‘porthole’ style windows are made from immensely durable laminated glass and the interiors have been given a delicate wooden rim to accentuate the craftsmanship behind the space. Inside the Pod is a sleeping area just about large enough to fit two people that can be converted into a dining room large enough for 4 that folds away with little effort. There is also a built in 12 volt battery and a hand-built kitchen with a gas burner. The Pod is just about THE perfect example of form and function coming together in an organic, workable way inside a compact space.
It’s comfortable, cozy, easy to transport and looks (lets not beat around the bush here) absolutely adorable. Camping might never be ‘sexy’, but with the Pod is certainly can be ‘cute’.
The Nutshell pub (England)
The Nutshell is renowned across the country as ‘Britain’s smallest pub’ and has been serving fine ales and wines to the people of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk (England) for almost 150 years now.
The bar measures 15ft by 7ft (4.57m by 2.13m) and is full of nick knacks and accruements (historical photographs, an aeroplane propeller and a mummified cat amongst them!) that lend it the air of a classic, quirky british pub. The Nutshell is an example of a space where its small stature is exactly what makes it so special. That such a tiny bar has managed to thrive throughout two centuries is a near marvel, especially when you factor in the amount of pubs being shut on a weekly basis across the country.
Image source: www.thenutshellpub.co.uk
To maximise space all of the seating (save for a solitary bench) is kept outside and all of the decorations are kept to the walls and the ceilings. The pub has become not only a favoured local haunt but a tourist attraction in recent years (they even have their own t-shirts) so it just goes to show that size doesn’t always matter!
This article was written by Lauren. Lauren works for Ryedale Leisure and is currently taking on her own ‘small spaces’ project as she attempts to transform an old ambulance into a motorhome!
Featured image by Deathwaves via Flickr