Inside Out: Jack's Really Small Home

Inside Out: A showcase for those who transform their residences into homes via innovative intervention

Name: Jack
Location: Times Square
Size: 160 sqft. rental
Favorite Element: R2D2 jar

Jack is an artist/musician who won the jackpot 5 years ago when he was called off the waitlist for the Times Square Hotel. It is an SRO (single-resident occupancy) run by a great non-profit housing developer called Common Ground.

Common Ground took over this mid-town building to provide low cost housing in Manhattan for the formerly homeless, as well as low-income artists, actors, and dancers. The building has public amenities such as a piano, a dark-room and a huge roof deck, but Jack’s apartment is only 10’x16’!

Do you have an idea for a house tour? Let me know!

When Jack first saw the space, he said “no way, it’s just too small. I can’t even get my bike in here.” Now, 5 years later, he has learned lessons of minimalism, organization, and priority. “I have enjoyed doing without so many of the things we all think we need. I think my apartment's content reflects that,” explains Jack.

Jack acknowledges that to live in such a small space, it’s helpful to “find beauty in one particular thing”. If Jack buys a t-shirt, he has to weed out the old, unwanted ones before the new one will fit into his space.

In the early 90’s, Jack partnered with another artist to form Pruitt-Early. After a number of successes, they had a show at Leo Castelli that failed due to a misunderstanding. “I dropped out of the art and world and joined a rock band. I lost every thing after that show but found I could live without all the clutter that life often brings, and that I could write music." This year, Jack has returned to the visual arts. He is going to use his shower as a studio in which to build paper mache sculptures.

Years lived in: 5
Inspiration: treehouses and houseboats
Favorite Room: there is only one room
Most embarrassing: no bathroom door
Proud DIY: built the shelves
Found Treasure: found my bed on the street
Had Forever: my guitar
Most Talked About Element:that it has a feeling of openness
Just Got: a filing cabinet
Never Live Without: a coffee grinder
I am the most comfortable in: the only room
I change the sheets most frequently.
Right now, I'd most like to update: my laptop
My favorite piece of furniture: my Danish valet
I am the most proud of: the shelves I built based on Donald Judd’s sculpture
My favorite home resource is: LeCorbusier
Best home-related advice I've ever gotten: Rome was not built in a day, better to do without than to store
Best home-related advice I've ever given: less is more
I most enjoy looking at other people's homes because: I like to see how they decorate
Three words to describe my home: come on in

To hear some of Jacks music written with kids in mind visit
Jack Early is represented by E31 Gallery in Athens Greece. For information about his work contact

Originally Posted on July 26th, 2006