As much as New Yorkers love cramming into tiny apartments stacked on top of each other, our cozy closet-sized living spaces get a bad rap. People think we live like sardines, use our stoves for storage, and sleep on our sofas in the kitchen. But they would be wrong. What people don't realize is that we don't live in small spaces because we have to, but because we want to. We know that with a little ingenuity and a lot of creativity, it's easy to make a 500 square foot studio feel like a 1,000 square foot two-bedroom apartment. Here, we've rounded up five of our favorite tiny New York apartments that epitomize the idea of doing less with more. From lofted beds to an unfolding apartment, these abodes show the best of small space living.
One of our favorite small apartments is this tiny East Village studio apartment that Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture transformed into a one bedroom loft. Near the front half of the space, JPDA built an amazing wood paneled central station that supports a lofted bedroom area and contains the kitchen, bathroom and lots of storage space. The wooden hub immediately separate the studio into three different zones. Fixtures are built directly into the walls, and storage space is tucked in underused spaces, like in each stair leading up to the lofted bed.
For a more flexible small design, Normal Projects created an oversized wall unit for a 450-square-foot studio on the Upper West Side. Despite its small size, the apartment boasts ample counter space, a Viking range, a set of half-height refrigerators, plus space for a full size bed, home office, library, and closet, all of which are contained in the moveable unit. The electric blue wall amplifies the space, and every element can be folded into to it to leave the apartment open and spacious, but even when the bed is out, the owner still has plenty of space to move around.
Treehugger’s Graham Hill is building an apartment similar to what Normal Projects created. Earlier this year, Hill hosted a contest through LifeEdited that tasked designers to create a 420-square foot apartment that could accomodate a 12-person dinner party, two weekend guests, and have a home office, hideable kitchen, and all your regular necessities. Hill is currently turning the winning design, One Size Fits All, into his new apartment. The design uses a moveable wall to created new spaces, and each element can be folded into the wall when not needed.
photo © Robert Wright
But even for some, 400 square feet is a luxury. Take Zach Motl‘s 178 square foot Clinton Hill studio. The interior designer, a collector since he was a child, fit all of his knick knacks, books, and magazines into his one room apartment by artfully arranging the objects. By using different colors, materials, and grouping his furniture together, he managed to created a bedroom, an office, and a living room — all in less than 200 square feet. The apartment has a very DIY-feel, as Motl did everything himself, from building the counter/front-end table to covering the kitchen walls with planking.
image via Apartment Therapy
If an apartment has high ceilings, like many old buildings do, lofted beds are a fabulous way to save space and open up the floor. For a couple living in a 460 square foot apartment in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, lofting their bed created three distinct rooms in their studio. The high ceilings let the bedroom area still have space to move around and contain shelving, likewise with the space under the bed, which they made into a home office. The shelving around the base of the loft acts as the entertainment unit for the living room. Curtains wrap around the bed, allowing for privacy.