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Tiny NYC Apartments: Two of the Tiniest Houses

Two Tiny NYC Apartments by Laura LaVoie

As someone who lives in a tiny house, I am very familiar with that look of horror and the question of  “how can you live in a space so small?”

Sometimes it isn’t worth answering but it depends on who’s asking. I think from now on I’m going to answer by reminding them that people have been living in tiny spaces for a long time and many even smaller than our 120 square foot home. When they continue to be incredulous I will point them to the mythical land known as New York City.

I am sure there are plenty renters in tiny NYC apartments who would look at my tiny house in the mountains as a luxurious estate. Back in 2010 Fair Companies produced a video about Felice Cohen who showcased her 90 square foot apartment in the city. When I saw this video it was early in our own building project and I was inspired by her tiny apartment. In fact, we took the idea of curtains for closet doors and applied it to our home.

Tiny NYC Apartments

Photo Credit Faircompanies/YouTube

Watch the video tour below along with an even tinier New York City apartment:

Tiny NYC Apartments: Video Tour #1

Last week, my cousin sent me this video of a young architect named Luke Clark Tyler. The video was uploaded back in 2011 but this was the first time anyone had shared it with me. Tyler’s tiny studio makes Cohen’s space seem substantial. His little house is only 78 square feet.

Tiny NYC Apartments: Video Tour #2

While Cohen used vertical space by building her sleeping loft, Tyler used convertible furniture instead. I think these two tiny space styles reflect some of the minor differences among many tiny house people – do you build a loft or do you have first floor sleeping? Tyler’s idea can be implemented easily for tiny houses.

Tyler talks about living in Kenya where he saw homes for families that were incredibly small. He expresses that this kind of living is all relative. This is an experience I can relate to. When we went to South Africa and visited a woman who took orphans in to her home she lived in what might be considered a very small two bedroom house, though “house” is a strong word, with 27 orphaned children. The most impressive thing to me about that situation is how happy and caring everyone was.

They both don’t have traditional kitchens but both express that this is common in New York City. Tyler even shares a bathroom with neighbors.

Tiny living has been around for as long as humans have been building houses and New York City has a wealth of tiny apartments that can help the tiny house community understand space relations and organizational tricks.

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Laura LaVoie

Contributor and Tiny House Owner at 120SquareFeet.com
Laura M. LaVoie is a professional writer living in the mountains of North Carolina in a 120 Square Foot house with her partner and their hairless cat, Piglet. Laura graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in Anthropology. She has been published in magazines and anthologies on the subjects of mythology and culture. She spent nearly 15 years in the temporary staffing industry before deciding to become a full time writer. Laura works closely with the Zulu Orphan Alliance volunteering her time and the skills she's learned building her own small house to build a shelter for orphans and other vulnerable children living near Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Laura also enjoys simple living, brewing and drinking craft beer, and popular culture.
{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Carolyn B December 19, 2012, 11:58 pm

    I loved seeing these 2 videos again. I forgot much of what I liked the first time I saw these months ago. I follow Kirsten Dirksen on Youtube faithfully–love all of her house videos.

  • Anthony McCarthy December 23, 2012, 12:25 pm

    I watched those two videos quite a while ago, one thing that was clear, they were both very happy with their tiny apartments.

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