Small Cool 2009: Alex & Corey's Pre-War Tenement

Tiny Division #07

Who Lives Here: Alex & Corey
Location: Lower East Side, New York City
Size: 350 square feet

What is your one favorite element in your small, cool home? I live in a pre-war tenement building in the lower east side of NYC. I love the elements of history in the apartment. There are original stripped wood moldings around the windows and door frames, cabinets in the kitchen and antique door to the water closet. Also, the claw foot tub in the kitchen makes me feel like I'm living in another time period.

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What was one of the biggest challenges you faced in furnishing your small home? When you live in a small apartment, you can't fight your space — you have to accept it, love it and play with it. We played with the sense of history in the apartment and installed black and white ceramic tiles in the kitchen and carbonized bamboo floors to match the old existing wood trims. My cousin painted a faux-wallpaper mural on the wall so when we sell, it can be painted over (currently on the market.) Because we have high ceilings, we created a lot of overhead storage space. The captain's bed in the bedroom allows for under bed storage and is definitely the most peaceful nook in the apartment. We used color to add humor to the space and to make each room its own. When my husband moved in with me, combining our furniture and belongings was a real challenge. We settled on hanging all his music/movie paraphernalia in the water closet which luckily won't get water damaged since the shower is in the kitchen!

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