There’s small and then there’s just tiny.
New York City in particular is renowned for its 8 million-plus population who reside in super, super small spaces (and many are proud of it!). Other large cities, such as San Francisco, Tokyo and Hong Kong have already offered micro units (Mid-size cities and towns may soon follow).
But just how much smaller are New Yorkers willing to go, in the face of an anticipated population rise and increasing rent costs? It turns out quite a bit; a pilot program is already underway to develop not only tolerable, but comfortable dwellings (from 370 square feet to 250 square feet!-This would overturn a previous building requirement of at least 400 square feet for all new apartments).
The teeny-tiny places are geared toward young singles, cash-poor and empty nesters who just can’t afford the highest rents in the country.
A fully furnished 325-square-foot studio apartment is currently on display at the Museum of the City of New York; it features many space-saving designs: A bed that folds out over a couch, a fold-out dinette table tucked under the kitchen counter, and a mini-refrigerator/freezer, among other cool, state-of-the-art things.
The average rental price isn’t tiny, however; a micro unit is expected to go for $2,000 (!) a month (the average market-value monthly rent for a studio apartment).
Source: “ Micro Units”-Associated Press-Jan. 27, 2013
Adding Space to Your Place (No Matter Where You Live)
Here’s a paint tip from design expert Courtney Price: “When rooms open to one another, avoid choosing radically different colors, or the space will look choppy and small.” And if it’s small already, who needs that, right?
Source: “23 expert tips for choosing and using livable colors”-Home/advice section, Better Homes and Gardens, Feb. 2013
Consider using a round table instead of the usual square one; not only do they give extra space, they also allow better room flow and more people can be seated around them, according to designer and photo stylist Rachel Cleaveland Riedy.
Additional Tips-”Pieces with clean lines, tailored upholstery and exposed legs have less visual heft than chunky, fluffy or skirted ones. Keep in mind that a sofa or chair will seem bigger in a room than it does in a massive store.”
Source: “Perfect Paring” by Jody Garlock-Better Homes and Gardens, Jan. 2011
Did You Know That.....
Dual-purpose furniture has actually been made for centuries? Even by the 1700s, there were chairs with large, round backs that could flip down on the tops of the arms to "create" a table. Other chairs could be flipped over to create library "steps." By the 1800s, there were new kinds of springs and hinges that made it possible to produce flip-down beds that could be stored in closets and card tables with hidden pull-out leaves that could convert into a dining table.
Source: "Collectors seek dual-purpose furniture" by Terry Kovel, Antiques & Collecting-Cowles Syndicate Inc.-April 15, 2012