A Peek Inside a 350 Square Foot Prague Home

It’s always exciting to tour a new home.  You open every door, eager to peek into each room.

But what happens when there’s only one door to open?  Welcome to a rare Open House in the Hooked on Houses home tour.  I’d like to show you is a 350 square foot condo in Prague.

Prague is the only Central European capital that wasn’t bombed during the last century’s wars.  There’s amazing Art Nouveau, statues, and spires throughout the city, so it’s easy to see why Old Town Prague is fast becoming one of the world’s biggest tourist destinations.  Who could resist these breathtaking images?

Sunsets over the The City of Spires

Most tourists never end up seeing more than these sights, which is understandable.  Should you decide to wander beyond the tourist track, you’re bound to run into some homes like our featured home.  But before we get there, I’m sure you’d catch a glimpse of buildings like the one below.  These apartment complexes were built during the 40+ year reign of communism with a lot of concrete slabs and few (or no) elevators.  The easiest way to spot them?  They’re ugly.  They were built as fast as possible in attempt to resolve a severe housing shortage, and you can find them throughout the country.

Communist era construction – home to thousands today

Let’s keep stepping a little further from the center of the city where we can see beautiful, modern housing developments like this one that we’re about to walk into.

Prague housing built since the fall of communism

Before I take you inside, you have to promise me one thing.  Promise you’ll say Prague, Czech Republic.  Saying Czechoslovakia is SO 90s because you know what?  Czechoslovakia hasn’t even existed since 1993 –  back when things like jelly shoes and saying “rad” where going out of style.  The former communist country dissolved into the Czech Republic and Slovakia on January 1, 1993.

So you promise to say Czech Republic?  And never, ever Czechoslovakia again?  Yeah!  That makes me so happy.

Okay, then here she is:

Like I said:  a one-door house.

Closet for EVERYTHING on the right there.

Tiny bathroom on the left.

If you can squish a washing machine into the house, this is where it would go – somewhere in that bathroom.  You’d have to dry your clothes on a fold up line.  Maybe in the entry?

The multi-purpose, every-purpose room.

I love how efficient this home is.  The couch turns into a bed at night.  The white box under the window is a hot water heater with a small dial control.  Heat comes from a central system for the entire building, as do hot and cold water.  And isn’t that wood floor beautiful?  How about a view of the other side of the room?  It’s taken from in front of the chair above:

I’m so sorry – I should have made you some tasty kolach here in the kitchen

The stove and oven are behind me on your left.  There is no microwave (where would you put it?!).  The fridge is the cabinet next to all the drawers.  Americans might describe it as dorm-size, but a fridge like that is actually pretty common here in Europe.  (In Berlin where I live, we have to go to the grocery store a little more often than in the US, but stores are in walking distance.  Food is packaged in smaller quantities, too.  It’s easier to carry your groceries that way, and you don’t need space to store huge containers of flour and a gallon of milk.)

This last year, we celebrated Christmas in the traditional Czech way… which included carp for dinner!

If you enjoyed this small apartment tour, you might like Joann’s 20 square foot kitchen and chef and author Mark Bittman’s tiny space.  But you’d better get moving.  It’s getting a bit cramped in here with all of us, and I can’t find any more kitchen chairs.

(Photography by Martin Clemons for Making This Home except communist sample by Jackson.)