In Discussions, Lifestyle, Minimalism, Nomadism

8 Rooms in 420 Square Feet: New York City’s Tiny But Multi-Functional Apartment

It really is no joke when you go to NYC and realize that a shoebox is considered an apartment.

Although everyone likes to moan about the lack of space in NYC, they aren’t the only ones who have a monopoly on bitching about space because Japan as a country has been living like that for years.

They have completely empty bedrooms (after rolling up the futons) that they transform into other rooms during the day, so that the space is always used and not wasted.

Anyway, came across this awesome video from Gizmodo, of Graham Hill’s apartment which he named Life Edited. I am continually on the lookout (and fascinated) by small living spaces. It’s incredible how efficient you can be if you put your mind to it:

Note: All the following images were borrowed from Life Edited to illustrate my points below and linked to the site as well.

Even though I am enamoured with his apartment and find it VERY cool because I am thinking of all the neat things that are in there such as:

LOVE THE PROJECTION SCREEN — IT’S SOMETHING WE ALREADY HAVE

LifeEdited-Projection-Screen-Shades

STORAGE IS FANTASTIC, ALBEIT A BIT SMALL BECAUSE OF THE REQUIRED BED

LifeEdited-South-Wall-Storage

I’d get rid of the couch/bed situation to have more storage across the whole back wall.


That said, there are a few things I know won’t work for me and I’d absolutely have to change:

THE EXISTING KITCHEN IS TOO SMALL TO REALLY COOK IN

LifeEdited-Kitchen-Detail

Yes, 3 induction burners that you plug in, and a toaster oven/microwave oven dual-purpose gadget is cool, but it is too tiny for real, all-out, no holds barred cooking.

I’m talking Le Creuset pots going while things are in the oven, and someone is making a sauce on the side.

Also, induction burners don’t give you the heat required to cook certain foods that require major high heat properly. I prefer gas, but I’ll take regular coil burners over induction any day.

This is great for NYC cooking, that is to say, people who generally go out to eat or pick up prepared foods at Whole Foods.

ELIMINATE THEΒ  GUEST BEDROOM AND MAKE THAT A SLIDING KITCHEN

Yes, in NYC you’d get a lot of guests, but having 100% of that space set up just for guests that come to visit less than 10% of the year (that’s in my case), is impractical for my lifestyle.

I’d turn that guest bedroom area into a kitchen instead, and the existing kitchen area would become the office.

That sliding wall thing is great, because you could just open it when you want to use the kitchen, and close it when you don’t.

THE BATHROOM IS JUST A TINY BIT TOO SMALL

LifeEdited-Toilet

I can survive in a bathroom like that for a year or so, but it is just too tiny. I’m imagining that 6″, rather hefty guys who have to squeeze their bodies into such a small space and not get stuck!?

No thanks.

I know we don’t spend 24 hours in a bathroom, but it just needs to be about a foot wider or so.

FOR ME, I WOULD COMPLETELY ELIMINATE THE BED AND USE THAT SPACE AS STORAGE

LifeEdited-Living-Room-Murphy-Bed

Go Japanese!

Eliminate that fold-down bed and use that space as more storage. You could just unroll a futon when you want to sleep, or roll it up when you’re done with it.

Yes it sounds like a lot more work than just flipping down a bed when you want to sleep, but it’d be more efficient to sleep on the floor for us.

SPEAKING OF WHICH, THAT COUCH COULD ALSO BE ELIMINATED

My ideal situation would be to have the futon bed on the floor, act as a couch as well. I mean, it’s mostly just me and BF all the time, and we don’t really use a couch.

Otherwise, the whole apartment is great.

I love the sliding walls that turn the space into different kinds of spaces, and I think the whole concept is very cool.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have paid my $600K home in cash (my half was $300K), my $180K casr in cash, worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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14 Comments

  1. Arletta

    I really like some of the ideas, but, it’s a bit too minimalist for me, in one way, and, too high tech/spacy in another. It doesn’t look comfortable and there is noting that makes it look like a home.

    If it had some ceramic tile or bamboo in place of some of that horrible white shiny stuff all over, I’d like it much better.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I’m inclined to agree with you. Looks aside which can be changed, I like the functionality.

      Reply
  2. Leslie Beslie

    I love that an oven is not required in nyc kitchens. There only needs to be a sink, burner, and refrigerator (a mini-refrigerator fulfills this requirement). Hilarious.

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      Could always have a toaster oven. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  3. MelD

    πŸ˜‰ This has been around for a while, now – I think it’s more of an example, and it certainly does showcase Resource Furniture’s products. Not sure if they sponsored.

    The kitchen is fine, I don’t need a lot of stuff. I have a 4-ring ceramic hob and never use more than 2 rings, no matter what I’m cooking (and I do cook properly daily). If I ever get to remodel my kitchen, I would prefer a narrower 3-in-a-row hob so I wouldn’t have to reach over pots (I’m short). And as I wouldn’t want any top cuboards (for that same reason of being short), it would mean even less storage in my small kitchen; actually that is fine – my cupboards are getting emptier with every declutter!! Check out the NYC kitchen that Erin at Reading My Tea Leaves has – and she cooks, too… If you use lots of fresh produce, you don’t need a huge fridge or loads of storage.

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      I never use more than 2 rings either but sometimes I need 2 small rings not the 2 big ones.

      Reply
  4. cj

    Great point about having guests. What’s the point of a permanent guest room for someone who comes for 1 week a year or less? What is the rent on that place anyhow?

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      Tell me about it. I paid $5000 a month for a 1 bedroom a block away from Central Park.

      Depends on location, but that’s like paying $2500 just for the extra 1 bedroom for guests.

      Reply
  5. Pauline

    this place is awesome, although like you I’d love a little bit more space in the kitchen and bath. I have seen tiny houses with 4 gas hobs and neat kitchens, the bathroom always seems to be really small though. He could have a sofa bed leaving more space above for storage or shelves, and a couple of foam seats to double as beds if guests sleep over. Unless you want to rent the place for up to 4 people there isn’t really a case for having a guestroom in such a small space.

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      I’d rather have a whole apartment as the kitchen and just a spot to sleep.

      Reply
  6. matthewchat

    Omg! Want! πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      The sliding kitchen is cool, eh?

      Reply
  7. Sarah Li Cain

    I love small spaces too. In Asia, you kind of have to adapt to that sort of thing. I’m too cheap to pay $2500 USD for a ‘normal’ sized apartment when my husband and I are happily living where we are (about 150 sq. ft.) for about $500 USD.

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      I think 500 is perfect. I found it had JUST enough space without being too cramped for 2 people if you didn’t put in a HUGE sofa and table and if the layout was good.

      Reply

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