Natasha & Rob's Super Smart Small Space

Natasha & Rob's Super Smart Small Space

Nancy Mitchell
Mar 19, 2016
(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Name: Natasha and Rob Habermann
Location: East Village, New York, New York
Size: 350 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years; Owned

You may recognize Natasha and Rob's brilliant little apartment from Small Cool 2014. When I first saw it, I thought: now this is how to live in a small space. Their home is chock full of built ins and clever solutions, and just might be the most efficient apartment I've ever seen.

And it needs to be, because two people (one of whom is 6'5!) and a cat in 350 square feet is, by anybody's standards, a tight fit. And into this little space they have managed to squeeze, somehow, a bedroom, a bathroom, two closets (one of which is dedicated entirely to shoes), a washer/dryer, a gourmet kitchen (with a dishwasher!), and a surprisingly spacious living room. How do they make it work? Well, there is absolutely no wasted space. Looking at the floor plan Natasha created, it's oddly fascinating to see how everything fits in — and to see how many different storage spots there are in this very small apartment.

The first thing you'll probably notice about the apartment, as you walk in, is how big the kitchen is. When Natasha and Rob bought the place, some of the built ins, like the bed nook, were already in place, but they made the decision, when remodeling, to put a priority on the kitchen, something they knew was important to their lifestyle. The kitchen's long row of gleaming cupboards is open to the living room, which houses the only three floating pieces of furniture in the whole apartment: the sofa, armchair, and coffee table. And the coffee table has a secret: it's a vintage design that expands to create a dining table for four (a truly magical transformation that we were sure to capture on video).

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

The dark colors of the built-in bookcase in the living room, Natasha says, make it appear to recede, visually enlarging the space. On the other side of the bookcase, the bed is tucked into a little nook, with storage underneath. On the other side of the bedroom are the two closets, and through the hallway between the closets is the bathroom, which includes a genius kitty loo built into one of the cabinets. Every single square inch has a purpose.

(Image credit: Natasha)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Vintage modern.

Inspiration: The many amazing small cool spaces online.

Favorite Element: The bookcase.

Biggest Challenge: Making every inch of our apartment count.

What Friends Say: Your place is soooooo cool!!... How do you two live together in such a small space!?! Don't you get sick of each other?!

Biggest Embarrassment: Our window screens!

Proudest DIY: The kitty litter box.

Biggest Indulgence: The kitchen remodel.

Best Advice: Buy vintage. That is what will separate your space from everyone else's. And, surround yourself with things you LOVE, especially in a small space!

Dream Sources: eBay, Carol Master Antiques (Tarrytown, NY), Brimfield Antique Show, 1stdibs, ABC Carpet & Home



• Bookcase: Gentleman's Grey/Benjamin Moore
• Entry/Hallway = Blackened/Farrow & Ball (but we just had the color matched)


• Vintage Poster: Battle Lexington Concord 1776 Parker American
• Sliding Doors/The Sliding Door Company

• Fox Painting in Oil/Grace Bueti Keogh

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)


• Couch: Cobble Hill Prescott Apartment Sofa/ABC Carpet & Home
• Bookcase: Custom/Gothic Cabinet Craft
• Brass handles on bookcase/eBay
• Coffee Table: Vintage Castro Convertible Coffee Table/eBay
• Rug: Vintage/eBay
• Fireplace: Vintage/Craigslist
• Clock on Mantle/vintage
• Distressed Mirror: Found glass at tag sale. My Mom & Dad made the
• Arm Chair: Vintage/Tag Sale
• Footstool: Vintage/Thrift Shop
• Stand Up Brass Reading Lamp/Vintage
• Blue Reading Lamp/Anthropologie
• Lucite Folding Chairs/Vintage/Flea Market
• Brass Candle Sticks/Vintage/Etsy
• Blue & White Vase: Bjorn Wiinblad/Etsy
• Ice Bucket: Vintage/Etsy
• Tumblers: Vintage Imperial Shoji Gold Glasses/Etsy
• Decanter/Vintage/Antique Store
• "Mail Holder" Vinage Record Holder/eBay
• Curtains: Emery Linen/Cotton Grommet Drape (Oatmeal)/Pottery Barn
• Curtain Rods: Mid-Century Wooden Rod/West Elm
• Throw Pillows/West Elm
• Tray/West Elm
• Table Runner/West Elm
(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)


• Oven: Bertazzoni 24"
• Refrigerator: Summit 24"
• Countertops: Frosty Carina/Caesarstone
• Cabinets: Custom/MyHome NYC

• Plates: Vintage Sunflower Plates by Arabia Finland/eBay

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)


• Posters: Plate 27 & Plate 24 Harmonia Macrocosmica by Andreas Cellarius/
• Scissor Lamp: Vintage/eBay
• Bedding/Hotel Collection Woven Pleats Full/Queen Duvet Cove/Macys
• Cat bed/Love Cat Caves/Etsy
• Barometer/Vintage/Thrift Shop

• Sailing Prints/Vintage

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)


• Poster: Manhattan: Neighborhood Culture Map
• Soap Plate/Bjorn Wiinblad/Etsy
• Blue Mason Jars/Etsy
• Blue Vase/Iittala
• Small Red Vase/Kate Spade

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Thanks, Natasha and Rob!

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