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New York Revisited

They say that their people in New Yorkfliving live like no one else; this is certainly the case for two residents who have taken up the task of living in apartments the size of a walk in closet.  I had the great fortune to get to sit down with two women, Felice and Genevieve, who live in a 90 square feet and 105 square feet.

When it comes to living in a tiny space Genevieve told me you need “a place for everything and everything in its place” to make it work.  Organization was something that she felt was really important for living in such a confined space.  In the 4 years she has spent living in her 105 square foot apartment she has become quite masterful at maximizing space.  Tiny House folks often talk about the “100 thing challenge” a method where-by we reduce our belongings to just 100 things.

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There are, however, those things we simply can’t part from, for Genevieve it was shoes….62 of them to be exact!  With no closet she uses a bookshelf and baskets to store all her clothes and shoes.  From looking at all the clothes, it’s obvious that everything is kept “in it’s place”.

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Felice put it well when she said “if something doesn’t have a place, do you really need it?”  I couldn’t agree more and from talking to these two it was obvious that they were very conscious about what was in the space.fdesk Every item was intentional, thought out and agonized over out of sheer necessity.   As a professional home organization expert, Felice spends allot of time in other spaces with people who have allot of stuff.   She often starts out with clients by asking not what do you want to keep, but “What are the things you really want?”  To select these items as if your house was burning down, which would you try to save first?  By this method Felice is able to reduce her items to the things she loves most; In the case of her closet, when she opens it, she loves every piece of clothing there, if she doesn’t absolutely love it, it gets donated.

After talking to lots of people about living in their Tiny Houses, I have noticed that people stress the need to go vertical, in the case of Felice and Genevieve, this was the case as well.  Even in apartments with 9 foot ceilings, they stacked to the ceiling, in the case of their beds, they were lofted.

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Sleeping in such a small place seems to be across the board be approached by the use of lofting the sleeping area.  With only 23” of space between mattress and ceiling, Felice felt closed in when she first moved in, leaving her wondering if she had made the right move.  Nowadays, she loves the coziness of the bed.

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That feeling of coziness is something that translates to the whole apartment.  “It feels cozy, I have a friend who lives in a big one bed room 2 blocks away, and we hang out at my place.”  It is similar to living in a dorm room, where you have to fit all your worldly processions in a tiny space, but still make it livable, if not loveable.g kitchen

Many of you know that I love to cook, so I had to ask about cooking in these places.  Both apartments don’t have real kitchens.  They instead have a cooking section where they can throw together food, I was impressed to hear that Genevieve is able to pull of eggplant parmesan in here “kitchen”.  Living in New York does mean that they have access to great restaurants and stores, but when it comes to cooking at home, meal planning ahead of time is key.  Genevieve is really big on meal planning and planning ahead.  She makes meals that serves easily and can be eaten for several meals.  “Planning helps keep costs and makes cooking easier.”

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Doing dishes is an interesting affair, without a sink in the “kitchen” they end up in the bathroom, even having to wash dishes in the bathtub and air drying them on a wire corner rack (check out the photo, you can see dish soap in the tub lol).

In such a small space I have always wondered how much you can really get done, but talking with these two it seems that you can pull quite a bit off.  From making fancy meals, to having 3 guests spend the night, or in the case of Genevieve, running a blog about beer (check it out at thehopshoney.wordpress.com) .  Felice did talk about how sometimes she felt that getting out of the space to do work was necessary to focus, but at the same time she does cherish free time at home.  With being in such a great location, she has her pick of great places to go to.  From parks, restaurants, cafes they are all right outside her door.

To read more about these two check out my two blog posts about Tiny NYC Apartments:

Small Apartments in NYC

Small Apartments in NYC

Cozy Couple in NYC

Cozy Couple in NYC

Many thanks to Felice and Genevieve for such great info

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New York Tiny Apartments

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So on the coat tail of the Cozy couple, lots of folks have lined up to talk about their tiny house extremes.  One such apartment is 12 fee long by 7 feet wide, all for the reasonable price of $800 a month!!!  Granted it is in Hells Kitchen area of NYC and most New Yorkers wouldn’t bat an eye at this, but wow…just wow!

They do their dishes in the shower, sit sideways on the toilet and need to watch their weight just to fit into their bathrooms.

But these cramped New Yorkers wouldn’t have it any other way.

A week after The Post told the story of Zaarath and Christopher Prokop and their 175-square-foot micro-studio on Sunday, other New Yorkers lined up to share their tales of living small, including a 55-square-foot apartment in Hell’s Kitchen and a 90-square-foot home on the Upper West Side.ny2

“To me, it’s all about location,” said Eddie Rabon, 24, who lives in a microscopic Hell’s Kitchen abode. “I’m in an amazing neighborhood, and the money I save on rent alone lets me really enjoy New York for what it is. My apartment is a place to hang my hat and catch a few hours of sleep. That’s it.”

55 sq. ft., Hell’s Kitchen

When freelance event planner Eddie Rabon talks about his itty-bitty pad — just one square foot larger than a Rikers Island jail cell — the excitement is clear in his voice.

“It’s fantastic,” he said. “It’s a great neighborhood in the greatest city. It’s about $800 a month. You won’t find that price anywhere else in this area. I feel like the money I save not having to get on the train to get around because I’m in the center of everything is worth it.”

Rabon said the longest wall in his apartment is 121/2 feet, and that includes the apartment door. At its narrowest spot, he can spread his arms and almost touch both opposing walls. He said he has trouble turning around in his little shower, and said taller friends have been unable to close the bathroom door if they need to sit.

“The bathroom has an airplane sink turned lengthwise,” he said. “So I can’t actually fit in over the sink

90 sq. ft., UWSny3

The first night Felice Cohen, 39, slept in her tiny apartment — with a full-size loft bed only 23 inches from the ceiling — she had a “panic attack.”

“But now I love it. It’s cozy,” she said of the 12-by-7-foot place, which rents for just over $700 a month.

Her tiny bathroom is a challenge, though: “I had to learn to sit sideways on the toilet so I don’t bang my leg on the tub.”

105 sq. ft., Greenwich Village SmallestApts.

Genevieve Shuler, 31, always knew she wanted to live near Washington Square Park, the neighborhood her parents once called home. “When I first walked in, I thought, ‘This is really incredibly tiny,’” she said of the $780-a-month pad. “There were no closets, no real kitchen. But I knew I could do more with it . Once I knew my loft bed could fit, I took it.” When it comes time to do the dishes, because the kitchen sink is so small, “I do them in the shower.”

Source: ANGELA MONTEFINISE 12/2009

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Cozy Couple In A Tiny House

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If they can make it there, they can make it anywhere.

Zaarath and Christopher Prokop — and their two cats — live in the smallest apartment in the city, a 175-square-foot “microstudio” in Morningside Heights the couple bought three months ago for $150,000.

At 14.9 feet long and 10 feet wide, it’s about as narrow as a subway car and as claustrophobic as a jail cell. But to the Prokops, it’s a castle.

“When you first see it, the first thing you say is, ‘Holy crap, this place is small,’ ” said Zaarath, 37, an accountant for liquor company Remy Martin. “But when I saw it, all I could think of is, I can do something with this. This is perfect for us. We love it.”

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