Small is beautiful – are studios losing their bedsit stigma?
The London-based agency Marsh & Parsons is selling a flat in ultra-desirable Holland Park – where Simon Cowell has a home and where even the average house price is just under £1.5m – for a relatively modest £395,000. The catch is that the property measures just 413 sq ft – or to put it another way: it’s a studio.
Increasingly, Brits are foregoing space for these bonsai-proportioned homes that offer better affordability. Studios with good storage space or mezzanine sleeping areas are particularly popular: the Holland Park property makes the most of its high ceilings, with a sleeping area and a dressing room underneath. Internal folding doors shutting away a kitchen are a good idea – any dirty dishes can be hidden in a heartbeat when friends call; as is a simple, white minimalist colour scheme. (It’s best to save the bold patterned wallpaper for a home where you don’t have to debate whether a colander takes up too much space in the kitchen.)
“Studios are becoming increasingly popular with first-time buyers,” says William Hughes-Ward, sales manager of the South Kensington & Chelsea office of Marsh & Parsons. “Over the past ten years studios have become less like bedsits and more stylish abodes, which, with a bit of creativity, can offer great living space.”
Ballymore’s Pan Peninsula development features a 305 sq ft studio on the 30th floor, currently on the market for £310,000. It comes with a fold-up bed that disappears into the wall (though not when you are asleep). The flat has a masculine monochrome colour scheme and views over Canary Wharf.
And it’s not just Prime Central London – areas such as Holland Park, home to Russian oligarchs and women with improbably small dogs – that is seeing these new breed of studios pop up. In fashionable Dalston, East London, some disused garages on the Lockner Estate are being converted into bijou homes.
When finished, they will be cosy studios for young professionals to rent at a cost of just £11 a week. These homes will measure just 124 sq ft, so warn the cat – it should tuck its head in mid-swing.