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Seattle pie-shaped home feels surprisingly big inside: see why

About 100 years ago, the story goes, back when women couldn’t get their own loans in the US, a divorcée in Seattle decided to build on land that she had inherited: her ex-husband’s front yard.

Montlake Spite House (context on “spite houses,” designed to overcome obstacles with neighbors) is a classic ultra-thin home built to fit a piece of property. The pie-shaped home is just 55 inches at its narrowest, just enough to fit a queen bed. Owner Emily Cangie calls it “her little wedge of cheese.”

She lived here for 2 and a half years, even working out of the space and filming conference calls from the pie-shaped kitchen. She feared life in the long and narrow home on a corner lot might feel like living in a fishbowl, but instead, she found it cozy.

The bottom floor was the former garage or carriage house, and because of the bed wedged at one end, Cangie calls it the captain’s quarters and likens life here to living on a boat. She has great respect for the home’s builder who, if the legend is true, had to be highly creative at a time when women needed men to cosign on loans in the US (this ended with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974).