Gallery: 5 Super-Efficient Tiny New York Apartments

Built-in shelving around the living gives the couple plenty of storage. They moved into the smaller space from an 800 square foot apartment, and the downsizing has made them think very carefully about what the can and can't live without. (See more at Apartment Therapy)

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.

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.

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.

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8 Comments

  1. jillian claire June 23, 2014 at 11:39 am

    I wrote to you on July 12, 2012 wanting information on these micro apts. I want one and know the one I want. Are these already built or do I have to buy property? Not being so NYC saved, I have no idea where to start. Please respond.
    Jillian Claire

  2. Taylor Alexander June 20, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    These were great. GE + FirstBuild are actually seeking great ideas for Micro-Kitchens. If you know how you’d create a functional kitchen small enough for our big city apartments you should check it out.. http://bit.ly/microkitchen

    I think there is a cash prize too!

  3. Alex Whitcroft October 29, 2013 at 5:41 am

    If you like the loft concept, have you seen this one… http://alexwhitcroft.co.uk/architecture/apartment-cube/

  4. Phinansi Mthiyane September 4, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    This is best on how to utilize,minimal s

  5. Le Thanh December 9, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    I want to redesign my apartment.
    but this is the article I really expected

  6. gene burkard August 7, 2012 at 1:56 am

    These are great.

  7. Jillian Claire July 10, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    I WANT ONE! I have been trying to move to NYC for almost 18 years. I just could never afford the rent and certainly could not afford to buy. I was LOOKING for a small space. These are perfect! I am disabled and I don’t need a large place to keep up with. How do I get on a list? I am serious.

  8. myfamilyrealtor February 28, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    What cute space! I want one for my daughter, who is so tiredof roommates!