Townhouses have become quite common in many German cities. Tearing down an old house in cities means building at least six new ones on the same ground. They need little building area compared to detached housing, they offer enough space and rooms for families and there is a small garden as well. Furthermore they are more affordable for families than many other places to live in in cities. The single building’s floor area is functionally divided, that means you will usually find a narrow floor, a quite small kitchen and a big living-room depending on the width of the building. Some offer a basement, some don’t, it’s all a matter of costs. A big design challenge after all is the narrow hall.
We were lucky when we bought our house almost 10 years ago. At that time we lived in a three-room apartment with a garden of 1000 square meters, ideal for kids. But when I realized that I was pregnant with twins, we decided that 3 rooms was no option in the long run. The house hunt was difficult in a city like Düsseldorf, you have to compromise, there are no New England-style houses around here and if they were, they would be unaffordable. Anyway, we were successful after all.
Here are a couple of pictures of how I managed to solve some of the disadvantages that a townhouse displays, i.e. providing storage in a narrow hall. I chose white Ikea Billy cabinets with doors of half hight to store all the stuff that is not decorative behind them and to display some of our books in the open shelves above.
This is the view from the entrance. I try to keep it clutter free, there is only an old school chair for the twins to take off their shoes when they come in and by the way I love old school chairs and find them very decorative. Nevertheless we need space to store all the shoes of our four family members. I built my own shoe storage shelf after the Ikea shoe shelf had broken down from the weight. This shelf is supposed to be an interim solution but I like it. The plan is to use the stones for our front yard next spring. The white shelves in between are from the DIY store and this was an easy but practical solution.
The freshly painted white walls add to a quite bright hall. Since there are only windows to the back and front of the house the hall is usually quite dark. Especially in winter I like bright white around me, there is so much dark anyway.
I hope you liked my post of how to overcome interior design challenges. I’m happy with the way I can store much stuff in my narrow hall.