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Before & After: From Public Restroom to Home Sweet Home

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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

I’ve long admired the ingenuity of Londoners when it comes to small spaces. Their storied city of eight million has housing prices even higher than New York’s, which means crafty Londoners often have to squeeze in wherever they can. (Case in point: this 77 square foot apartment on the market a few years ago for $335K.) But young architect Laura Clark really takes the cake. She’s managed to create a beautiful home — out of a public restroom.

It took Laura 6 years to persuade the relevant authorities to let her purchase this abandoned restroom at Crystal Palace Parade and turn it into an apartment. Even when she had secured the proper permissions, friends questioned her sanity for undertaking the project — and she wound up doing a lot of the work herself, since hiring people willing to labor in a stinky restroom was tough.

But persistence has paid off. Laura’s new apartment is cozy and beautiful and, even though it’s underground, surprisingly full of natural light, thanks to the skylights in the ceiling, and a tiny light well/outdoor space adjacent to the bedroom.

The apartment measures a little more than 600 square feet, comprising what was once the ladies’ and gentlemen’s restrooms and the accompanying attendants’ offices. This small but lovely outdoor space is tucked into what was once the stairway to the ladies’ room.

To read more about the restroom conversion, check out the full article on The Telegraph. There’s a slideshow of photos of the home here. I first spotted this project on photographer James Balston‘s site, so hat tip to him. (He’s also posted a few extra photos that don’t appear on the Telegraph site.) Here is the website for Lamp Architects, Laura’s practice. You can find a ton of photos of the project in progress on her blog.

Nancy Mitchell


As a Senior Writer at Apartment Therapy, Nancy splits her time among looking at beautiful pictures, writing about design, and photographing stylish apartments in and around NYC. It’s not a bad gig.