Is this London's smallest freehold house?Former Islington cab office bought for £270k at auction has been turned into a 140sq ft 'micro-living space'

Every design trick in the book was used to maximise the tight space inside this tiny north London house, including a standing desk that pulls out of shelves and a bed that reveals a hidden bookcase when folded down.

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A former cab office has been transformed into what could be London’s smallest freehold house.

Designers Nina Tolstrup and Jack Mama, co-founders of Studiomama, bought the 140sq ft (about 13sq m) single-storey Islington property at auction for £270,000 in March and spent nine months renovating it into a light and airy “micro-living space”.

Ms Tolstrup said they wanted to show “you can live comfortably” in even the tiniest urban spaces.

Some of the functionality was inspired by boat cabins and caravans, while the designers considered “What could you live without?”


The trick was a “seamless” design in plywood with all the furniture built in to maximise space, including a standing desk that pulls out of shelves, a sofa, wardrobe and a double bed that reveals a bookcase and bedside table when folded down.

A “discreet use of mirrors” and two large windows create the feeling of space. Soft pastel pinks, yellows and blues were used to complement the light wood.

The kitchenette includes a seating and window table that can be extended to seat four people, plus an electric two-ring hob, oven and fridge. The only separate room is the bathroom, which has a shower. To maximise space, the toilet paper dispenser is partially hidden under the sink.

The house used to be a cramped bedsit rented by an elderly woman, and is thought to be a former cab control office. Because the property, now rented out, was so small they could make the whole house as a life-sized model at their studio before starting.

Ms Tolstrup said: “I was looking for a small space somewhere in London and this is a little freehold house, so that’s kind of special. We wanted to feel you could breathe in there and have all the functions. We made a whole list of what could you live without and what you need, and how many clothes?

“The challenge was to get enough storage. It’s so tiny so you can’t buy a sofa or a table because you can’t move around. You don’t feel claustrophobic because there’s two quite generous big windows, so there’s very good daylight with a tree outside.”


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