Photos: Max Touhey for Curbed Just how small is too small when it comes to tiny apartments in NYC? According to Mary Helen Rowell, who recently invited Curbed into her tiny home for a tour, 90 square feet is just right. By customizing her furniture for her pad's exact dimensions, Rowell has managed to maximize each inch of the shoe-box like space. The South Carolina native has lived in the tiny apartment in the West Village for two years now and has fully embraced the minimalist lifestyle with a few smart tips and tricks.
Once Rowell signed her lease, she realized that every bit of furniture would have to be custom-made. With the help of a friend, she built her bed frame and shelving units. As for her closet, she uses the services of Make Space to store and rotate her clothes seasonally.
According to Rowell, who pays $775 a month for the self-styled apartment, the lack of space allows her to bring out her inner minimalist. Although it might seem like a huge challenge, she enjoys living in the limited square footage and follows the strict “one in, one out” policy as outlined in Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”.
“Living small is not about finding storage solutions,” Rowell told Curbed. “It’s about eliminating clutter and using your space wisely. It’s about identifying the possessions that make you the happiest and saying goodbye to things that don’t inspire you. After you’ve decided what to keep you have to make sure it has a place and you have to put it back in that place each time you use it. It’s about creating better habits!”