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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

15 Genius Tips for Living in Small Spaces

Erin Boyle of Reading My Tea Leaves and Gardenista and her husband live together in seriously small quarters—a 240-square-foot studio, to be exact. She agreed to share her surprising tips about how to make it work (and not drive each other crazy)...
Erin's story: When my then-fiancé-now-husband James and I moved into a 240-square-foot apartment in Brooklyn Heights, we negotiated a six-month lease because we weren’t sure we’d be able to make it in such cramped quarters. (Our apartment is a studio with a ship’s ladder to a sleeping loft, plus one tiny bathroom.) Two and a half years later, we’re still in our very humble abode, and gearing up for a whole new adventure coming in 2014: a very tiny addition to the family headed our way this June.
1. Maximize your windows. Drape your windows in a way that allows for maximum light—I’d go for the bright white curtains—and try hanging a mirror nearby to reflect light into the room. Remembering to clean the windows helps, too!
2. Choose simple furniture. We’ve found that furniture with simple and spare lines makes a tiny apartment feel roomier. (Our couch is the tiny Elton Settee and it fits perfectly in our “living room.”)
3. Remove closet doors. Closet doors that swing into a room take up considerable floor space. Take the doors off and ask your landlord to store them. Then hang a simple curtain from a suspension rod to hide the inside of your closet instead.
4. Keep closets organized. Our old wooden hangers are, admittedly, wide and bulky; these huggable hangers would probably do the trick much better.
5. Play a romantic song. In the heat of an argument, you and your partner may both crave space—but in a small apartment, there’s nowhere to go. Here’s a trick: Play a love song. Emotional distance from the fight is more important than physical distance. It's really hard to keep your blood boiling when you’re listening to a song you love, with the person you love, about love. It's like putting on a lullaby to soothe a crying baby.
6. Give yourself permission to say no to overnight guests. Our apartment has just enough space for one guest to sleep on the floor, head wedged between the ladder to the loft where we sleep and our loveseat, feet reaching nearly into the bathroom. It's okay to explain that you don't have the space to accommodate overnight guests.
7. Streamline your music collection. Tragic though it might be, tiny apartments likely don’t have space for the entire vinyl discography of The Beatles. Swallow your pride and go digital. We’re total radio junkies so we have a Tivoli radio, which also plays the music from our iPhones.
8. Invest in beautiful cleaning supplies. No broom closet to be seen? Swap the plastic broom and dustpan for something pretty and you won’t mind looking at them hanging from a hook or propped in the corner. (Brook Farm General Store is my go-to stop for fancy brushes and dust pan, and we buy Common Good dishwashing liquid and cleaning spray in bulk.)

9. Tiny things matter, too. Move into a tiny apartment and expect an onslaught of tiny gifts. (Look! A mini muffin pan! Tiny spoons!) Try to spread the message to well-meaning friends that tiny things can be as difficult to store as large things. Ask for comestibles instead!
10. Use quick-drying towels. We're linen towel converts. Our tiny bathroom doesn’t get much ventilation, but linen towels dry so quickly that there's no musty smell to contend with. (We recently upgraded to these pretty linen chambray towels from Fog Linen.)

11. Use an absorbent hand towel as a bath mat. There are very few bathmats on the market that fit in a truly tiny bathroom. We use a quick-drying hand towel instead. (These white Hammam Hand Towels are absorbent enough to keep the floor from getting soaked and just the right size for the tiny bit of floor space we have. Bonus: they’re easier to drag to the laundromat!)
12. Keep bedding simple. We used to have a bright floral quilt, but it made our tiny loft feel tinier. We also experimented with darker sheets but returned to crisp whites. Simple bedding is easier on the eye and makes the apartment look bigger. (We love our Brahms Mount Ticking Stripe Blanket.)

13. Unpack suitcases right away. In our tiny apartment, an unpacked bag causes stubbed toes and violent bouts of cursing. Even if we return home from vacation in the wee hours of the morning, the first thing I do is to unpack my bag. There’s nothing more delicious than waking up in my own trusty bed knowing that everything's just where it should be.
14. Embrace under-the-bed storage. My sister manages to live in a 390-square-foot apartment with a baby and a husband and keep nothing under the bed. In case you’re not blessed with similar minimalist super powers, use the space under your bed to keep winter clothes, extra blankets, and that guitar you haul out three times a year. (Muji’s soft storage boxes have been a godsend for us.)

15. Treat the whole dang city like it's your living room. We sit on the church steps across the street for weekend lunches and after-dinner treats. And if there's a public park in this city, chances are that we've picnicked in it or strolled through it. A few numbers to help you understand why: Central Park: 843 acres; Prospect Park: 585 acres; Brooklyn Bridge Park: 85 acres; The High Line: 6.73 acres; Our apartment: 0.005509 acres.
Overall advice: Approach your tiny apartment joyfully. I get more notes than I could ever answer from people who are nervous about an upcoming move to a tinier place. Here's the one bit of advice I can offer universally: See it as an exciting challenge and not as an impending nightmare. It is what it is!

Thank you so much, Erin! (I especially liked the tip about playing a romantic song after an argument.) Any advice you would add? Read more of Erin's many tips on Reading My Tea Leaves. xoxo

P.S. A 500-square-foot apartment in San Francisco, and a great book about small spaces.

(Photos by Erin Boyle; the bedroom plant photo originally appeared on Gardenista)

164 comments:

Kirby Todd said...

I am definitely bookmarking this! Our current one-bedroom is pretty tiny, but if my husband gets into law school and we move to pricey San Francisco we may be downsizing even more!

Happy to have you back Joanna!

Kirby
www.theshortandthesweetofit.com

smalltownamericana said...

Love all these ideas - I have a larger apartment, so space isn't an issue, but I might try to incorporate some of these suggestions. I have to ask about the print shown in the photo with the Tivoli - super cute! Where can I find it?

Sarah said...

Hi,

Can you tell me the source for the Homestead print? Love it!!

xoxo

Joanna Goddard said...

i'll ask erin!

Cath @mybeardedpigeon said...

There is something so appealing to me about this, the lack of clutter but also how thoughtful you would need to be of every purchase. They have done it beautifully.

Sara said...

I love this so much! I'd love to hear what the couple has planned for the space once baby makes his/her debut.

Simple-Savvy said...

wow and I thought we were cramped in 900sq/ft!! very cute place and great tips!

xtina said...

I moved into a tiny studio and it has humbled me (helping me get rid of clutter!) and I absolutely love it. These tips are amazing, as I still struggle to make sure I'm getting the most of every square foot! Thanks for a beautiful and lovely post!

jm said...

This is so fascinating. I love the bit about playing a song after an argument.

facile decor said...

It is very cute and well decorated. I like the sofa so much, and the piece of furniture of the computer.

http://faciledecor.blogspot.com

Ashley and Katie said...

Beautiful! I love the simplicity! All your "tiny space" posts almost make me want to live in a tiny space.... almost :-) -Ashley

dervla kelly said...

this is so cute, and I'm curious to follow their adventure after the baby comes!

Mary Kate said...

Wow I thought my 350 square foot BK Heights place was small, but it is an actual 1 bedroom so we can close the door during arguments :) We did get one of those beds with drawers built into the frame and it's made a huge difference. Love all these tips!

Brittany said...

Love this post! I live with my boyfriend and dog in a less than 500 square foot apartment in DC. Maximizing space is always an adventure for us. Using the whole city as your living room rings especially true. In nice weather we take the dog and picnic all over the city. We rarely eat inside the apartment if the weather is right. We may be moving to a more affordable city soon but I don't think I want a much bigger apartment. I like the coziness of a tiny apartment. A small space is also much easier to clean!

NotesFromAbroad said...

Funny, We moved from large houses to smaller and smaller apartments to a small house .. I found the last apartment ( In Buenos Aires) to be the easiest to deal with as it had ridiculously high ceiilings, french doors and huge french windows.
So with all that light and air, it felt big.
I have a house that is larger than that apt now, but I had a really hard time not having a claustrophobic look to my rooms. which was solved by keeping many things packed away in boxes :(
My next home will be smaller than a big house and larger than a big horse :)

Sarah said...

I found the homestead print here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/27408701/homestead-2nd-edition

Sarah said...

I totally agree about the unpacking of the suitcase! My husband and I live in a teeny tiny house and if the house is a mess and things aren't in the right place, it makes the whole house seem smaller and with bad energy. Keeping things in their place keeps us sane.

Briel said...

I love what they've done with so little space! It looks so clean and comfortable. It would take A LOT of work for me to whittle down what I own to fit somewhere as tiny as that.

joanna goddard said...

sara, they're actually planning to move! they love their place, but she pointed out that the loft sleeping area wouldn't work for a baby—especially once he/she starts rolling and crawling! :)

Becca Gilgan said...

This was just what I needed! I'm going to be moving into my boyfriend's apartment next month and though his space is bigger than this one it's definitely not super spacious and we're trying to maximize what little space we have. Thanks Erin!

April said...

@Sarah

The Homestead print is from Beauchamping on Etsy.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/beauchamping

joanna goddard said...

oh yes, here's what erin said about the prints by Beauchamping:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/27408701/homestead-2nd-edition?ref=shop_home_active_6

http://www.etsy.com/listing/90177163/states-united-smaller?ref=shop_home_active_10

thanks for scouting you guys!

Jen Mclaughlin said...

This is so cute and inspiring! I just moved in with my boyfriend and we are crammed in his room with two desks and A LOT of clothes (we could both use separate walk in closets). I am hopeless at organization and we have no storage so I think the "buying beautiful cleaning supplies" might be the path I take.

Thanks for sharing!
Jen

http://www.comfortably-chic.com

Trina said...

Small-space living tips that I haven't all read before! Cool. Never thought that about the linen towels.

Julia Fain said...

our home is small (well 1300 sq ft small) and we are all about underbed storage. We opted for that in our "master" rather than an extra dresser. beautiful photos!

julia www.tagandtibby.com

Jessica Hart said...

Love how organized and bright her small apartment is. Great space and tips!
Jessica
the way to my Hart

From, Abby said...

Daaaamn. That is one tiny place. Good suggestions though, and what a tight edit they must have on all of their stuff.

Jenny Bakos said...

This post had some really great photography and insights. Loved it!

Quick question. Where is that "Homestead" print from? I would love to purchase it!

All the best,
Jen

jengenuine.blogspot.com

Niken said...

in indonesia, apartment is not a primary choice for a living space. people usually rent a small house. the most common type of living place called 'kost'. it's basically a rented room. the space usally around 3 x 3 m, some are smaller (most students living in that small space). some kost complex have inside bathroom, but there are lots of these kosts that don't have bathroom inside each room, so the tenant should use shared bathroom.

Carrie said...

You New Yorkers are impressive! I'm not sure I could do it!

Michelle Ash Latham said...

What a beautifully decorated apartment! Minimalism at it's finest :)

Michelle
www.ahealthymrs.com

Girliest Nerd said...

I lived with my husband in a 450 sq ft place for several years. It was OK and we made it work, even with both of us largely working from home, but you bet your a$$ we got the hell out of dodge when the first baby arrived. It's not doable. I mean it is, but not without killing your mental health and general well being.

Míriam said...

Hi! This is Miriam, from Spain! I'm amazed at how you manage to live in such tiny place... :) I guess that flats in NY must be that size so that you can pay the rent, but I'm not really used to that, here in Spain.
In some months I'm moving with my partner to a 3bedroom flat where I won't be able to have a wardrobe in the master bedroom because it's quite small, and I'm really worried about where to put all my clothes!
So, for me, Erin is now my hero!! :)

Julie J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julie J. said...

This is inspiring! My husband and I live in a 400 sq/ft apartment in San Francisco. After reading this I want to redecorate! Thanks for sharing!

Blatttattat said...

I love posts like this! I began purging the household over the holidays - really to get rid of the clutter and to have room for a tree and new toys. It's amazing how great it feels to have donated the "never touch anyway" stuff. Now I look at my ~1200 sq ft home and feel freer. If that makes sense...

PS: I too love that Homestead print! Wish I had an extra wall for it!

Amaia said...

I live in a 67 square meter apartment with my partner, 10 month old baby and a dog. These are the best things we've done so far to make space:
1- we bought a platform storage bed, all you do is lift the mattress and you have all this storage space!
2- it is now winter so I keep summer clothes under the bed inside vacuum compression storage bags, they are amazing!
3- I hang coats and jackets on wall hangers and that way I don't use up closet space.
4. I found thid great cheap trick to save space with hangers in the closet! (The video is in Spanish but just watch it) http://www.isasaweis.com/manualidades/hogar/video/una-idea-para-aprovechar-espacio-en-el-armario

sarah e. said...

Yay Erin! So happy to see you collaborating with another of my favorite bloggers. She is my tiny-space guru.

walking dot photography said...

Love this! So many good tips I'll have to apply to my own (teeny tiny!) apartment.
cheers!
giedre
www.walkingdotphotography.com

melbelle said...

I love your bedroom and the color palette you use. I live in a 750 sq.ft. space with a husband and 3 kids and I'm feeling really lucky considering the space issues you might have. Great tips!

abigailphoenix said...

We lived in a loft when we had our baby, and foolishly thought it'd be fine (my justification: don't they all live in one room in other countries?).

It. Was. Not. Fine.

Our place was much bigger than this, but it had no interior walls, except to separate out the bathroom, and not until you get the baby to sleep FINALLY and then accidentally step on something downstairs that wakes her up again do you know what homicidal tendencies really are. We moved out into a temporary two-bedroom (with DOORS!) apartment situation when the baby was four months. Best decision we ever made!

Gabriella said...

Yes, and thank you for #6! Everyone wants to treat our tiny NYC apartment like a hotel room...

Rachael King said...

I live in Italy in a 45sq m apartment having just moved here from new zealand. What erin said about music also applies to books, get an ereader and a tablet, they take up so much less space and are way more portable (for when you find yourself moving across the world again). Skis are stored under the bed also and we no longer have loads of spare towels or bedding, just two sets of each. To be honest I totally love the small space living, my only problem is my tiny (16l!) Oven as I love to cook.

Art Farm said...

I love the suggestion of investing in beautiful cleaning supplies. Smart because you are going to have to look at them most likely!

Elizabeth said...

The art is from http://www.etsy.com/shop/beauchamping and Schoolhouse Electric.

The Bebebirds said...

I could not agree more with EVERY part of this post! Erin Boyle is just lovely and these tips are great. We don't live in NY but we are definite apartment dwellers and always looking for ways to minimize stuff and maximize space. Brilliant!

Brooke @ thebebebirds.blogspot.com

Lauren Knight said...

They have done such a beautiful job on this space! I think they nailed it. And kudos for featuring a "less is more" mentality in a blogosphere that is kind of obsessed with stuff. Thank you!

E. Hartman said...

Cool post. Just be aware of the health risks of living in tiny spaces.

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/12/the-health-risks-of-small-apartments/282150/

Dorothy Lin said...

I love this post! Erin’s tips are incredibly useful for an apartment of any size — and their home looks great. My husband and I are living a nomadic minimalist lifestyle (we’ve managed to pare down our belongings to fit into a car), so this article resonated with me. In addition to going digital with all of our music, we did the same for books and photos (scanned everything!). I’m looking forward to seeing how things go with the new baby. Wishing Erin and her husband all the best!

Stefanie Grant-Cassel said...

Excellent advice! I love their apartment! I've lived in a studio for 3 years now, and I love it, even with a 14 month old! Most people don't get it, but I'd rather live in an awesome city and get to pursue my dreams than live in a large apartment in a city that doesn't meet my needs. That being said, I do look forward to the day when I can comfortably upgrade!

Bri Towne said...

such great tips! we recently moved in to a 700sq ft place (hubs and myself, two babies and two dogs). it gets really cramped with all of us in there but we use some of these tips: mirrors everywhere! simple furniture and bedding! and little baskets and buckets everywhere to keep clutter in check. periodically we empty each basket and put it all away. definitely helpful with all the toddler's toys :)

Erin W. said...

Number 5 is such a wonderful tip! I love it!

Fiyel Levent said...

Oh this is nice! I love Reading My Tea Leaves; somehow it always leaves me feeling a bit more relaxed. Also, I'm really glad you're back - I always look forward to reading some happy post I can relate to with my morning coffee. F xx

simone antoniazzi said...

They sound like a great couple, I really enjoyed reading this!

Julie Blake said...

Those are some great tips! I've recently moved to the city and am having such a hard time on organizing in such a small space.

Eliza Jane said...

This was SO helpful - thank you!! My boyfriend and I have moved into an apartment so small that our dresser is in the living room because our bedroom couldn't fit more than our queen sized bed. These are some really great tips!

Jane's Jumbles said...

Such a wonderful, helpful and simple post - gorgeous photos too. It's my dream to live in NYC so I see this as research for when I have my own tiny apartment ;) x

janesjumbles.blogspot.co.uk

Anthea said...

I loved reading this! So inspiring - it made me want to re-organize my entire apartment (which is also small)! Thanks for sharing!

Andrea Enright said...

Loved this! We're lucky our NYC apartment has lots of space but I still get frustrated with all the clutter. LOVE the idea of having pretty brooms and cleaning supplies!

Mary said...

I LOVE Erin's blog, but love that her advice is all condensed here. Listening to their story reminds me to be grateful for our 600 square feet!

Ellie C. said...

Genius! I love these tips. Gives incentive to downsize even while living in a bigger place. I especially love the shelves above the bathroom door. Excellent use of space!

Sarah said...

I so loved reading Erin's ideas and am continually inspired by people who are living in small, creative spaces. Less is more! I need to be reminded of this often. Thanks, Joanna, for posting. xo

Sarah Emmert said...

I loved this post! I've been moving more towards minimalism and smaller space living over the past year and this post had some good tips. Thanks!

Aubrey Burke said...

The romantic song idea is a great tip for anyone - big or small home :)

Thelma Higgs said...

Nice

Thelma Higgs said...

Nice

Positively Bri said...

I needed this! My boyfriend and I are about to move in together this summer and I anticipate that we'll end up in a smaller apartment than we'd like. This post was perfect!

Melody Snook said...

My husband and I live in a small rental and every piece of furniture we've bought / made has storage: Beer crate coffee table for storing books, TV cabinet stores DVD's / gaming consoles, bookshelves and storage cubes display collections and ornaments, bed has storage draws etc. Luckily we have a shed for hiding some items and the property backs on to a school so we can have lots of friends over for sports on the school field and picnic style dinners. Counter space is lacking though!

Stella Dobry said...

Wow. This is simply amazing! The older I get the more I am attracted to simplicity. I can't imagine bringing home a new baby to such a tiny space. I would love to hear an update from her after they've had the baby for a few months!

asri a said...

I'm gonna move in to new home with a lot of small spaces, this tips are really inspired me, thank you for sharing...,

http://twinq.blogspot.com

Catherine Jolivet said...

The flat is really beautiful!!!
But really, 240 sq feet isn't a small space! Different cities, different standards I guess! I live in Paris and I just moved in a 240 sq feet flat with my husband and 3 years old daughter and all our friends think our place is so big!!! When there was just the two of us we lived for 6 years in a 105 sq feet flat ... that was tiny!!

Katie said...

Truly a fantastic post!

Heidi said...

The Homestead print is so so lovely! I also love the suggestion of treating the city as your living room. When I have lived in small places I could be found all about town, knitting in coffee shops, reading in parks. While I now have more room, I still love being out and about. It makes it so much nicer to come home! xx

Fräulein Katie said...

I love this post. Especially the tip about attractive cleaning supplies!

We live in Germany, where most things are smaller and I am still trying to embrace my inner minimalist.

Thanks for the tips!

xx

Fräulein Katie said...

I love this post. Especially the tip about attractive cleaning supplies!

We live in Germany, where most things are smaller and I am still trying to embrace my inner minimalist.

Thanks for the tips!

xx

Michelle Panting said...

I totally fell in love with this place when it showed up on Apartment Therapy for their small spaces challenge. It's good to know they stuck with the small space! It makes our 488 square feet seem a whole lot bigger.

http://www.fullbellywornsoles.com

Chloe Moon said...

I have been reading her blog forever and as someone who lives in a tiny studio too with my boyfriend and two furry (shedding) kitties her blog has been such a real honest insight and I appreciate all her guidance and wisdom!! =)

Ergo-Blog

heykay said...

What a beautiful post, Jo! Love these ideas!

Nhan said...

Seriously great article! When I first moved to Paris, I shared a place about the same size (270 sq feet but unfortunately no loft!). I know people who live in 6sqm (64 sq feet), 9sqm (96 sq feet) etc that would really benefit from these tips.
If only I had your post back then?!
Nhan
www.myloveforparis.blogspot.com

www.mysoulfulhome.com said...

Erin I read you all the time in Gardenista! Now I have visited your home - we r officially friends I think. At least in blogland. Come snoop over at my place whenever you want. I have book marked the post so I can visit all the wonderful links later. As a former NYC dweller I know about small spaces. I live in LA now & by west coast standards I am on the small side too. Great tips & happy to "know" you better. Thanks to Erin & Jo!

Allie & Chris said...

I'm obsessed with this apartment! I've never wanted to live in such close quarters til i saw this! So glad to have you back and so glad you could recommend another great blogger with stunning taste like yourself! Take care :)

allie

http://www.piperandscoot.com/

Mo Stych said...

This is a great article...thanks so much for sharing!

We recently moved into a house, and I'm practically overwhelmed by the size and space we have after living in smaller quarters for the past two years (or six years if you count college dorm rooms). It's always refreshing to see people do SO MUCH with so little (space). Very inspiring!

erin said...

Hi there!

Thanks so much to everyone for the kind comments about our wee space! Especially glad to see so many other small apartment dwellers out there!

Looks like you guys have sleuthed the Beauchamping Homestead and States United prints; lots more in their Etsy shop if you're interested. To answer a few inquiries about the map: it's of CT, MA, and RI and made by the Raven Maps; lots more there, too!

Thanks again to Joanna for sharing these tips! xo.
xo!

Meadow said...

And I thought our 700 sq. ft. one bedroom was tiny. I don't think I could handle something that small... wow.

Diane Cayton-Hakey said...

We live in a very large house in the Virginia countryside, but I found this post about living in a small space to be wonderful! Good advice for you city dwellers. xox

Tawny said...

I just moved into the sweetest little 451 sq feet apt and this is just what I needed! Also, I have the Elton Settee from West Elm in moss green and it's the perfect small apt piece so I loved seeing it in their apt.

Maywyn Studio said...

Fantastic tips!
Ditto on fast drying...Since I began using fast drying bath towels, mildew has decreased significantly.

Candace said...

I love the linen towel idea. One of our biggest grumblings each week is dealing with a dryer that never fully dries our towels. Joanna - often when you feature items on your website you'll get a cupofjo promotion code, and I was wondering if you think you might get that for Fog Linen. Thank you always for these great posts and ideas!

News Update said...

This post thrills me - I read it first thing this morning and again this evening. Such a happy place. But - where is the door? I just cannot see it on the plan..
And, baby: perhaps in a hammock?

Kate said...

I'm suddenly feeling very inspired to clean out my house this weekend! Glad you are back, Joanna.

irenevilanova said...

Joanna, what a nice post!!! Thank you for sharing with us. I know what is living in a tinny flat and I know that all it´s about organization....

Stasha said...

I really enjoyed this article! My husband and I live in a 160-square-foot space. The last piece of advice you gave resounded thoroughly: approach your space joyfully. When I get in woe-is-me mode it makes my space feel intolerable. When I'm thankful for simplicity, I feel like a lucky woman!

On a side note, I welcome suggestions from fellow small-dwellers. How do you handle book collections and craft supplies?

Sincerely, Skittles said...

Such a great post! Thanks so much for sharing. I still live at home so it feels like my room is my only sacred space. I feel like so many of those tips can help me make my teeny room feel bigger and more organized!

Sincerely, Skittles said...

p.s.

so glad you are back joanna! you were missed!!!

-sam

elle waite said...

so excited and inspired by this post, as I live in a very tiny apartment. One of my goals for the year is organization and making my apartment feel more home-like than just an apartment I'm passing through during a phase in my life. thanks so much!

Karen Goetsch said...

My husband and two cats and I live in about 400 sq feet. I think we do pretty well in a small space. But two things that have helped us pretty well:
Everything needs to be useful for more than one thing.
Getting rid of our couch (not that it was large, but it opened up so much more space)

I love the Love Song technique for dealing with fights.

N.C. said...

Really great ideas! Your apt. Is beautiful! !

Nicole
Rhinebeck, NY

N.C. said...

Really great ideas! Your apt. Is beautiful! !

Nicole
Rhinebeck, NY

onechicklette.com said...

I'm so curious to know if they'll stay put once the baby is mobile.

Elizabeth Braun said...

OK, that's the last time I say our home is small!!=)

kc said...

pretty & clean, love the open & fresh feel all the crisp whites provide. hubs & i lived in our 5th wheel, full-time, for 5 years, so we were concerned with space AND weight. our biggest rule was, something in, something out. our next important rule was dual-purpose.

Suzanne said...

Thank you for posting this. It was such a fun, inspiring read. My husband and I incorporate some of these tips in our small SF studio and are excited to get even more creative when our new baby comes in a couple of months. While we don't have a loft, we do have a super large closet which fits our bed that my husband built (and possibly the baby bassinet soon). We thoroughly utilize under-the-bed storage!

Em Phoenix said...

Lovely apartment and really good tips :) I love the question of bearing each other in such small area. Lots of people these days live in tiny flats, caravans and tiny little houses but they are mostly singles so they don't have to deal with this. I've lived in a littly apartment with my bf for six months and sometimes it was rough. People do need their space and it's really important to be able to find it even in the tiniest of all the flats.

Jenn said...

These are some great suggestions. I live in a tiny place, an RV to be excact, with my two boys, two days, cat, turtle, and a baby on the way. Talk about tight!

Sara said...

Are they planning to stay there after the baby is born? My husband and I live in a 300 sq ft cabin in Stinson Beach. We couldn't afford anything in San Francisco, and ended up finding our place with pure luck (and good energy, my landlord says). I never want to leave it, but we are considering starting a family soon and not sure how it would work!

Herdiana Surachman said...

tiny places is always warm and comfy

DELUXSHONIST

Emma Marston said...

What an absolutely beautiful flat! I'm just under 5'2 so I'm a great believer in wonderful things coming in little packages!!!
Truly though, I love it xx

Kristen Hale said...

Living on the Upper West Side in Manhattan, I am ALWAYS challenged by how to store things and decorate without the apartment looking to junky/cluttered. These are EXCELLENT tips, I will keep coming back to explore!

ME said...

Due to sudden illness I am a not- too-senior living in one bedroom in my twin sister's home. Thank you for presenting your viable, cheerful suggestions in such a pleasant way. They help me feel better about my living situation and make me anxious to incorporate them into my living quarters.

Aimee P said...

Such a cute space! I shared this in my Link Love post this week. :)
xoxo Aimee
Bows&Beau-ties

t said...

Great post! Nice tips!

http://initialed.blogspot.com

Rin@SewinLove said...

This clean and simple space is very inspiring!

I live in an even teenier studio apartment in San Francisco. We have a traditional Japanese futon we fold away into the closet every night.

I also made a "noren", a Japanese room divider curtain to separate the dining nook from our living/bedroom: http://www.sewinlove.com.au/2013/02/22/noren-japanese-room-divider-partition-curtains/

Terhi Helena said...

I found the thinnest hangers in the world and they are stylish and cool too. I think they come in few colours and they are Danish design. I wrote about the hangers in my blog (in Finnish but) you can see the pictures and see how little space they take compared to a normal size hanger.

The post here:

http://thinknstyle.blogspot.fi/2013/12/hay.html

Colleen said...

Love this! I lived in a tiny (<400 SF) studio in DC and learned two tricks: 1. use 'S' hooks for pots/pans storage under your kitchen table/island and 2. follow feng shui rules for arranging the space (it works!) I wrote a post about how to do it here: http://thestyleheist.blogspot.com/2013/03/solutions-for-small-kitchen.html

M said...

This is SO refreshing! We by no means live in a tiny space - but we are often told it is small for our family of 3...I on the other hand think it is perfect. Thanks for the reassurance that nearly any size space is workable and most importantly, can be comfortable and home!

Susan Paxton said...

I just downsized from a large apartment to my motor home...I love your hints for living in a small space. Thanks for a great blog!

a i n a said...

Hahaha!
I love No.5 about putting on a romantic music for when you fight with your significant other. That's definitely a must-try!

Keep up the great work!
Come visit me here: A I N A K W M T

Hollienoel said...

I think my favorite pictures of the gorgeous, light flooded, thoughtfully furnished apartment is the the last, with the happy family and nursing baby. I'd almost like to print it for my living room. Lovely and FRESH post :)

Sophie said...

This is absolutely brilliant and much appreciated. Thank you!

sophie x

http://your-girl-is-lovely.blogspot.co.uk

Kristin Waldman said...

I also live in a small apt in NYC and I loved reading your tips, especially the one about treating the city like your living room!
www.chicthyme.con

Andrea Barajas said...

I have seen this article multiple times and I always felt like the writers never really understood what it means to live in a small space. Their tips seemed to create more clutter than before. You give some brilliant tips on here! I am so glad I found this! Especially the romantic song... I can't exactly ask my husband to leave our tiny apartment for some space so this is brilliant! You just gained a new follower! Also, visual merchandising they teach us that the use of mirrors creates the illusion of more space.
v-is-for-violet.blogspot.com

Unknown said...

Nice job!

My first apartment in Southern California was 17' by about 6.5' - so under 115 square feet. I had one burner to cook on, a bar refrigerator and the only sink was in the bathroom. There was a built in twin bed. I had a desk and two chairs. Curtains on the closet and pocket doors as the entry (!) and the bathroom. People used to come over, stand, stunned, and say, "You LIVE here?" And I would say that I went to school, worked and dated, so I wasn't there much and really, did I need more? It was in a safe area and near my family, so that was great. I have great memories of living there, and did so for almost five years!

J. "Suiz" Uzcategui said...

This is great! The wife and I are moving to Paris next month and we're moving from a 700sq foot apartment in Quito, Ecuador (housing's rather cheap down here, what can I say?) to a 320sq foot apartment in the 16th arrondisment.

I mean, sure, we're not taking the cello but still.

chichifurniturestore said...

A lovely post. Very important to make the most of the space you have and make it special. Mirrors are always a perfect way to add light, its also a great way of adding a feature that won't feel over imposing. Being clever with furniture is vital. Rather than ordinary chairs, why not use an ottoman as a seat as it doubles up as fab storage too :O)

Luke Jackson said...

I was browsing some of the homes for sale in McKinney and I saw this apartment that's a bit small but I really want its design. Your blog post has really help me and made me realize that size do not matter. It is how we arrange our homes and make it spacious. Thanks for sharing!

Ashley Ako said...

My husband, our dog, and I live in a 200 sq foot (barely!) studio on the UWS and it is amazing how you learn to adjust to making it work. I think a lot of it is finding the right flow of things by trial and error. I love the idea of using linen towels - we have the same problem with our bathroom. Thanks for sharing with us your tips, it was wonderful.

malta notebook said...

What a clever couple. I love these types of stories as they encourage us ALL to downsize and remind us of what we need and what we really don't. Well done, Jo. On point, as always. Oh, and this — your post made the cut for the January Review at http://www.Malta-Notebook.com/pages/january-review. Xo

celine sanderson said...

This was such a helpful and clever post! There's so many ideas here that would be really nice to know, especially when you have guests over. Thanks for sharing!
Celine | http://www.ndev.ca/ApartmentLiving.aspx

Terri Pontzious said...

Really clever ideas and your home is beautiful!

timing said...

I love this post Joanna! So many good tips, I've already used some (fabric under the bed bags - genius!!). I keep referring back. Thanks!!!

Stefano Roma said...

Love how organized and bright is the apartment.
Just great.

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Sanna Millitz said...

beautiful post with lovely inspiration for tiny appartments

Chelsea @ Lost in Travels said...

I am SO glad that I found this! My husband and I are getting ready to renovate and move into a 30 ft RV and travel the country. We need all the space saving tips we can get!

Teagan Kahla said...

Thankyou for sharing this! I've been living in a small unit for six months and I'm finding the more tips the better. What an inspiration!

Teagan Kahla
http://teaganadventure.blogspot.com.au

Teagan Kahla said...

Thankyou for sharing this! I've been living in a small unit for six months and I'm finding the more tips the better. What an inspiration!

Teagan Kahla
http://teaganadventure.blogspot.com.au

ChelseaMather67 said...

These are some great ideas. I just bought a postal sorter like the one below for my small flat - makes finding a home for things much easier!

http://us.pamono.com/postal-sorting-desk-25-compartments

It's a little thing called life said...

This is a brilliant post!

Patrick Tan said...

Thank you so much for these great tips! Just what i needed. :) Thank you!

Patrick Tan

Good said...

We used to live in a pretty shed, 216 sqft, the two of us and the cat, and we had a giant garden. Now we are in a 600 sqft apartment, that never felt much like home, and it looks like now we are moving again, to a 430sqft place! it's an incredibly beautiful area, and again a beautiful garden with cherry and aple trees, but the layout is crap and the rooms are small and I'm getting a little anxious. Reading this made me optimistic again!

Ashoka Packer said...

A perfect way of writing the post, very clear and informative, thanks for sharing...packers and movers hyderabad

Rachel Powell said...

Great article! My husband and I just moved into a small apartment, and although it can be challenging, it's a lot of fun, too. I wrote about our experience here: http://www.ordinaryhomemaker.com/life-in-a-small-apartment/

Rachel Powell said...

Great article! My husband and I just moved into a small apartment, and although it can be challenging, it's a lot of fun, too. I wrote about our experience here: http://www.ordinaryhomemaker.com/life-in-a-small-apartment/

bharat u said...

nice tips.Packers And Movers Hyderabad

Pooja said...

I cannot get over that cute little lamp by the bed, with the fronds! I've been trawling the Internet for it - can you please, please, please let me know where it's from???

Patrick Tan said...

The place looks really nice and welcoming despite its size. I gotta hand it to both of them for making it work! -Patrick Tan

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ugur said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Danee Sarman said...

These are great tips- especially the quick drying towels.

Although my 1 bedroom is not as small, I love living in small NYC apartments. Being minimal and the lack of clutter really keeps my mind open to more important things in my life.

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Francesco Masiello said...

Very interesting ! Thank you, Joanna.

Cooking with Joe said...

I thought my 52sqmeter apartment was small. You guys have done an amazing job in such a small space. I love that there is so much light.

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Amber Content said...

Thank you for this! We are moving from a larger 2 bedroom apartment to a smaller 1 bedroom. I am nervous because we lose a substantial amount of storage, but I think I'm going to look at it as my way to start downsizing and start that minimalist lifestyle we've been trying to accomplish!

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Gisela Hertz said...

It's really awesome. Amazing and mesmerizing content with eye catching pics. I am really impressed and want this type of house for my family. This is really like my dream house. Well now before some days I moved to Germany with my family and I got a beautiful house in Berlin with all settings at a reasonable price with the help of real estate agent. Now I want to decorate my home like this. So thank you so much for sharing this and I ll definitely share this with my friends.

Michael said...

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Enno said...

(Our couch is the tiny Elton Settee and it fits perfectly in our “living room. ... couchbedqueensize.blogspot.com

Justus said...

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