Life Lessons from 8 Homes 400 Square Feet & Under

published Apr 12, 2018
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Jeff Jones)

The incredible thing about super small homes is their genius isn’t limited to their square feet. A space might be tiny, but it can teach you a lot. Constraint sparks creativity, after all. All of these homes are 400 square feet and under…and the folks who live in them have advice to share.

Find a style that feels good

Sarah described the biggest challenge in her 350-square-foot Fort Greene studio apartment as this: “I think the obvious is how small the space is, but after a while it forced me to figure out my own personal style. I tend to like anything that is pretty but if I’m not thoughtful, things will feel cluttered since we live in one big room. Finding a style that feels good to not just one person— but to two people—has been a fun challenge!”

(Image credit: Chinasa Cooper)

Work with what you’ve got

“My best advice is to work with what you’ve got. You may never find an apartment or a home that suits every need, or is completely perfect. And if you’re living in a city like New York, you’ll be lucky to find a decently priced apartment that’s not infested with rats. So if you do get lucky to find a place with minimal flaws, try to accept and work with those flaws to help your home become the best possible version of itself. This requires being resourceful and creative to find solutions for covering up or distracting from imperfections. A wise man once said that a successful person turns every negative situation into an opportunity. Keep that in mind. Some of my favorite elements in my home resulted from trying to cover up huge eyesores or solve practical storage issues,” wrote Lauren about her 325-square-foot studio.

Do this to your bed

“Make your bed every day if you live in a small space — it helps it feel more together,” wrote Emily in her studio apartment’s tour.

(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

Marie was on to something

“Only keep the things that give you joy. I got this from Marie Kondo’s famous book on tidying, but man did it help me downsize when I moved here from Chicago. I followed this advice and because of it, I come home every day to a place that calms me, inspires me and makes me happy – my own personal sanctuary,” wrote Adrianne about her San Francisco apartment.

(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

Don’t rush the decor process

“Take your time when decorating your space. Avoid buying everything from one place and try to source as many second-hand and vintage items as possible. Not only is it often cheaper, it’s better for the environment and helps you create and curate a personal home. Also, I’m Swedish, it’s dark eight months of the year here, so I’m all about cosy layering, greenery and lots and lots of candles,” wrote Christina in her house tour.

Let. It. Go.

“Don’t be afraid to purge when something is no longer serving you. A lot of curation in a small space comes from getting rid of old things and not having too much clutter,” wrote Molly in the tour of her 400-square-foot studio.

In his 400-square-foot home tour, Jeff wrote: “If you are considering downsizing, go for it! It helps one to become a mindful consumer and an active de-clutterer.”

Ask yourself this question

“My biggest challenge (still is) is making sure I only have what I need in my space, especially being so small in size. I just have to ask myself, do you honestly need this in your life?” advised Francis in his Miami studio tour.

See all of these small spaces: