Oh, by the way, my cousin from Long Island, who was mentioned in the last blog, read the last blog and sent me his comment through personal communication: “I also like small places to live. But not in NYC. No coffins. But I will happily live in a small tent in the middle of a wilderness”. It seems my third sequel of “how much space” would be on airstreams and tack houses!
Last time I wrote on “how much space one needs to live a city life”, I didn’t know that I would be back with the part II so soon. I think it has something to do with my interest in always exploring what is out there.
As I started flipping through various articles on NYC, I noticed some very eccentric apartment floor plans. At the same time it occurred to me that a square shaped floor plan, however small it is (175 square feet), may be a lot easier to plan. But, how about an oddly shaped apartment with a full sized kitchenette and yet an oddly shaped bed nook which can hardly fit a queen size bed? Or, even a smaller apartment – about 136 square feet?
Yes, they really exist. The first one is apparently an apartment in Upper East Side. The main entry faces a kitchenette with a full sized refrigerator, oven and microwave. Immediately, to the left is the bathroom and to the right is a built-in closet. A small wall hardly separates the kitchenette from the only other area (leaving or sleeping) of the apartment. The moment I saw this floor plan I felt a challenge to work on this one. I asked the same question again – what are my bare necessities and collectibles I must live with? A queen bed is the first one to make the list. I would never settle for a futon/day bed as they don’t match my comfort level while sleeping.
The best place to put the bed is obviously beside the separating wall so that it decreases the feeling of “sleeping in the kitchen”. Then the problem was where to make a leaving area? As I don’t like a sitting arrangement facing the bed, I used the opposite side of the sleeping area to fit the dresser. That leaves the only area opposite to the kitchenette to be the living area. The good is that when anyone enters through the main door it will lead to a sitting area and if decorated with proper color, light and furniture it would not make you look at the kitchen immediately. The bad is that the living area is not big enough to fit a couch/loveseat.
I could fit two single sitters in that area facing each other and that leaves an urge to have a coffee/center table. But given how small that area is for being right in front of the main entry, I could only use an ottoman. It would store stuffs inside, could be used for extra sitting and with a wood/glass board on top would serve as a tiny center table. Another plus is that the single sitter continuing the boundary of the sleeping area decreases the wish for guests to go around and sit on the bed.
The second apartment, not sure located in which neighborhood, has 2 big and 1 small windows and yet another challenge. It happens to be the smallest apartment I have read on. It has an interesting 2 feet wide hallway entry. The left side of the hallway is the bathroom while the right side is an 8 feet long but very skinny closet. That makes the 40 square feet. The hallway leads to the rectangular 12×8 square feet area. To the left is the minimal kitchenette. It has a skinny sink, small refrigerator under the wooden rack, but no oven. This could, however, be solved by using a small sized electric oven. In addition a high CB2 table can serve as an island/dining/office table. Now what to do with rest of the 96 square feet?
The first priority is, as usual, to fit a queen bed. As the bed goes to the farthest wall, by the window, it keeps minimal space for a lean bench which can be used to hold the bedside lamps and books with possible storage underneath. This leaves the space opposite to the kitchenette for living area. It serves perfectly well with one of the big windows. A loveseat fits well, but it faces the bed and in this situation it can not be resolved. A mesh curtain can however separate the sleeping area. Like the previous entry an ottoman can serve multiple purposes and still not take much space in front of the loveseat. Alternatively, a Lucite table will utilize the natural light and give an illusion of larger space.