Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Spite House

The little blue house wedged between the red and white house above is call the Spite House.  Built in 1830, it is 7 feet wide, 25 feet deep and fits 325 square feet of living space into two stories. Just across the Potomac in Washington, it's address is on Queen Street in the Old Town district of Alexandria, Virginia. Two years ago this house was covered by Oprah, The New York Times and also one of my favorite blogs Hooked on Houses.

I thought you all might get a kick out of seeing it.  Especially since the decor is perfect for a small house!  First, a little background.  It’s called the Spite House because the owner of one of the adjacent houses, built it in 1830 to keep horse-drawn wagons and loiterers out of his alley. The brick walls of the living room still have gouges from wagon-wheels hubs.  The current owners of the house, Jack and Collen Sammis shown with his son Jake, use the house as a place to stay while in town.  Their primary residence is a 3,200 square foot townhouse in a suburb of Washington.  But the previous owners used the house as their primary residence for 25 years.

Here is the living room with a view to the kitchen.  Notice the pale yellow brick walls, pale gold velvet sofa, gold patterned rug, red accents and dark wooden floor.  It all works together to create a rich jewel box space.  And I have to point out that my sister and I each have the exact wooden side table holding the black lamp.  My mother had a pair of these antique wash stands and we each took one after she died.

A view of the living room from the front door.

The kitchen has a small counter with a small sink, a small four-burner gas range and an under-counter Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer.

A view of the kitchen top down.  Beneath the stairs is a cupboard with a small microwave oven on top. A built in baquette is across from the wooden kitchen table.

Here are stairs up to the second story.  The yellow walls and white trim are carried throughout the house.

In the bedroom down the hall, a full-size double bed is pushed sideways against a wall; it is made up as if the side against the wall is the head.

Look at this darling garden!  The owners use it as a spill over area for guests when entertaining.  About 24 people can fit comfortably in the house when both floors are used.  In fact, the owners held their wedding reception at this house.

All photos are from The New York Times and Hooked on Houses..



  1. This is truly inspiring. I have been walking around my house, considering where I could seat 24-30 people if all my family came for Thanksgiving dinner. This helps me to determine that, if it can be done in this charming home, I can do it in my 1600 square feet. Thank you! Annie

  2. This is interesting... it felt a little weird to me. I could see living there alone as an "apartment"... but more than person seemed tight! Well, maybe just "cozie"!

  3. I so enjoyed seeing this home! :-) It is cozy but not cramped, bright and warm. :-)

  4. Love the yellow brick...other than that, this place seemed downright claustrophobic to me. I'm guessing they don't try to do yoga at home, do they??? ;-)