Living in DC's Smallest House

  • August 26th 2016

by UrbanTurf Staff

Living in DC's Smallest House: Figure 1
1349 C Street SE

This article was originally published on UrbanTurf in 2013.

1349 C Street NE (map) is a one-room house on Capitol Hill with about as much square footage as a studio apartment. Needless to say, it is not the typical abode that you would find in the city, and it was not the home that Jan Walwyn planned on purchasing when he set out on his search back in 2009.

“I had been renting a two-bedroom apartment, so that’s what I thought I needed,” Walwyn told UrbanTurf. “If I hadn’t seen the house before my search started, I probably wouldn’t have been interested.”

But Walwyn was actually quite taken with the 371-square foot home, so much so that he bought the single-level house not long after seeing it. However, soon after closing, Walwyn realized two things: 1) He owned a lot of stuff that would not fit in his new place and 2) He had a lot of things that he never used.

“I had climbing gear that I hadn’t touched in six years, a tent I hadn’t used in a decade, and clothes that I had owned forever but rarely wore,” he said. “The spare bedroom at my old apartment was essentially a storage unit.”

Living in DC's Smallest House: Figure 2

While the purging of excess belongings proved very therapeutic and liberating, there was no getting around the fact that the very size of the house was restrictive.

Floor space was at a premium, so a futon served as a couch and a Queen-sized bed, and a loft space was constructed in the living room to provide extra storage space. For entertaining guests, there were two chairs, one that also served as a sleeper, and there was an ottoman that could also be used as a coffee table. Walwyn, an avid cyclist, installed ceiling hooks for his bicycle. A small backyard (formerly the home’s parking space) provided a place to entertain.

Most people would grow weary of such small living quarters, but Walwyn never thought he would sell the home.

“I didn’t think it would be my first home. I thought it would be my forever home,” he said.

Walwyn and his girlfriend, Trisha White, are now looking for a larger place with some investment potential in upper NW. But the place might not actually be that much bigger. White is also a fan of efficient living space. We wrote about her 308-square foot home back in 2011.

See other articles related to: dclofts, editors choice, smaller homes, tiny homes

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/living_in_dcs_smallest_house/7028.

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