How a New York Couple Lives in 242 Square Feet

How a New York Couple Lives in 242 Square Feet

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Nancy Mitchell
Nov 2, 2015
(Image credit: Max Touhey for Curbed)

Think your home is cramped? This New York couple, featured on Curbed, lives together in an apartment that measures a mere 242 square feet. Here's how they make it work.

Tired of renting, Jourdan Lawlor bought a tiny apartment on West 12th street — just the right size for one. Then, three weeks later, she met Tobin Ludwig. The two hit it off, and after a while they started to think about moving in together. But how would they fit two people — and all their stuff — in 242 square feet?

The solution they came up with was a pretty extensive remodel — and some very clever small space solutions. Here are a few to take home.

1. Purge.
Before moving in together, Jourdan and Tobin got rid of a lot of stuff. Says Tobin: "We both culled things we accumulated that we had been hauling from place to place because we could. I don't feel like I lost anything, but I gained a lot."

2. Embrace creative furniture.
The Murphy bed that turns into a couch during the day frees up a lot of floor space — space that can be used for more built-ins and a larger kitchen. And a clever table, with seating for four, folds out of the wall for dinner parties, but takes up hardly any space when not in use.

3. Go vertical.
In this apartment, there is stuff on top of pretty much everything: on top of the cabinets, on top of the Murphy bed, on top of the fireplace. A stepladder, which leans against the wall in the hall to the bathroom, ensures that everything is within easy reach.

4. Use every square inch.
Not a bit of space in the apartment is wasted. Hooks hanging on the cabinet to the left of the door hold everyday needs like tote bags and umbrellas, and a magnetic strip to the right of the door holds keys. It's clever solutions like this that ensure that there's room for everything — and not a bit of space is wasted.

5. Outsource your storage.
One thing I always find myself wondering about tiny spaces I see on blogs is, where is all the stuff? In the case of Jourdan and Tobin, the answer, for a lot of their things, is: not here. They also have a storage space a few blocks away, and swap things out every season. (Jourdan has also been known to stop by the storage unit, throw on a dress, and go straight to an event.)

Says Tobin: "I had not envisioned living here with Jourdan. I thought it would ruin my relationship with her." Far from it — the two are engaged and are getting married on New Year's Eve. Small space, big love.

Read more about Jourdan and Taylor's home, and see more photos, on Curbed NY.

Re-edited from a post originally published 11.18.2014

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