An Old House for Tall People 7

My girlfriend and I bought a house and I’m going to be taking you all on a tour of it in an upcoming post. But first, I’d like to show you the old apartment while pointing out some useful and not so useful features for tall people.

The apartment is the ground floor of an updated old house (1906 if I recall correctly). As was fairly common back then, the house has 9′ ceilings throughout. Just about anyone can appreciate open spaces, but for tall people in particular it feels less cramped. Contrarily though, old houses tend to have low basement ceilings and this house is no exception, making the basement off limits for me. So my girlfriend got to use the finished portion of the basement essentially as an extra large walk in closet.

Tall kitchen in an old house

An extension was added on the back of the house, enlarging the kitchen, which is clearly the highlight of the house. Custom cherry cabinets were installed that go right up to the ceiling. This is a brilliant use of space, and though tall people will like it most, not so tall people can still get at it with a stool. I don’t understand why cupboards so often end a foot short of the ceiling…

High kitchen cupboards for tall people

The main counter tops are at an unfortunate 36 inches. However, the island has been raised up to 39 inches. Given the variation in the nature of kitchen tasks, plus the variety of heights of people that use a given kitchen, it only makes sense to have multiple counter top heights. Though 39 inches is far better for me than 36, it was still really short, hence my use of a kneeling chair or a raised cutting board.

Using a kneeling chair to work at low kitchen counters

Tall people can use a raised cutting board to work at low kitchen counters

The sink is one of those deep ones, which is a major pain in the tall back. Luckily the faucet is fairly high and close to the front edge of the sink, so at least you can get a glass of water without hunching. The fridge is the freezer on bottom french door style, so the most frequently used items are at a higher height and thus reasonably accessible for tall people.

Deep sinks are hard on tall people's backs

Though the french doors on the back of the house let in a lot of light, my vision line is at the top of the door where there is no window. The crescent window above the door is a great addition for tall people as it allows us to see the sky.

Crescent Windows are Helpful for Tall People to See the Sky

The doorway leading to the kitchen has a brick archway that seems like it was built to fit me. Not once did I ever hit my head.

An archway to make space for tall people's heads

That’s it for the kitchen. Other than that, the only other tall specific aspects of the house that warrant mention are the shelving and windows throughout that make fine use of the 9′ ceilings.

The apartment was truly a score. Rent was reasonable, it was central, and all the tall friendly features made it comfortable. Though it was a bit sad leaving for the last time, our new old house has its perks too. Best of all, we own it, so we are free to modify it as we see fit. Subscribe or check back soon for a tour of the new place and some hints on the modifications come!

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7 thoughts on “An Old House for Tall People

  • Bonnie Harmsen

    Visiting my parents recently… The house has been built over the years (around 100 yrs) by our family… All tall… So lovely! 🙂 short people can barely see themselves in the r.r. mirror. Love it! LOL (they can use the child’s step stool nearby… 😉

  • Anonymous

    July 2019. We custom designed and built our beautiful home for our tall family. My mom was 5’10”, my husband and I are both over 6’ and our son is 6’11”! Our kitchen counters are 39”, the island is 42” and the bathroom vanities (and there are five) are all 39”.
    We are trying to sell our home and need a tall buyer. If you cook and are looking for a home in the best spot in Niagara, Ontario give me a call or email.