What you would you do with an extra couple of hundred dollars in your pocket every month? What would you invest in? Moving to a smaller place is a great way to save, but many believe it canʼt be done without sacrificing positive lifestyle characteristics.
Several beliefs about what it means to live in a small space may be standing in the way:
Myth 1: Smaller apartments are lower status
Consider that status is not measured in size, but rather creativity, thoughtfulness, and beauty. True, having a large apartment is impressive, especially to prospective clients who will see it as a sign of success. Yet imagine the impact of walking into a small apartment intentionally chosen and thoughtfully constructed. To experience this, take a virtual tour of Graham Hillʼs NYC micro apartment. Notice your reaction. Are you turned off by its smallness, or impressed by the ingenuity of the space?
Myth 2: Small apartments feel cramped
Often small apartments make up for their small footprint with higher ceilings. If you have enough floor space to roll out a yoga mat, and a high enough ceiling to the Plyometrics DVD of P90X, what more do you need? With a folding table (no, not grandmaʼs card table- more like high quality wood and metal, like this table from Ozzio and stacking or foldable chairs, you can still have plenty of room for dinner parties. Add a blanket and extra throw pillows to the bed to make it a cabana lounge.
Myth 3: Theyʼre too small
If you live in a city, especially San Francisco, Washington DC, or New York, you likely feel cramped already. Stuck in traffic on the way to work, or else dodging it on a bike, or jamming into BART or Muni like a dill pickle. All you want when you get home is to be able to spread out. This is understandable. The relaxation youʼre
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after can be yours with some strategic fixes,
none of which require more space. First, use floor to ceiling curtains, which create the appearance of more space. Add the elements of nature.
Hanging wall planters, natural textures like wood, and photographs will give the apartment the feeling and expansiveness of nature. Using mirrors will add to the perceived space. Use a storage service (CityStash anyone?) to clear out some more space (though make sure to keep disaster preparedness supplies on hand). Most importantly, design the space with its use in mind, having furniture with multiple functions whenever possible. As chefʼs like to say: misse en passe, or “everything in its place.” A clean space yields a clear mind.
Any other myths or benefits about living in a small apartment? Let us know in the comments.