How Do You Live Small? Ask A New Yorker
When it comes to New York City real estate, space is not cheap, so many New Yorkers find that studio apartments are their only option.
How can you maximize space in the urban equivalent of a tiny house? We asked real estate agents, who know what sells, for advice how to get the most out of a studio.
Open vs. sectioned
If you entertain a lot, keep the space open, says Tahlie Gordon, a broker with REAL New York.
“The open layout option creates a room where it is open, airy and organized,” Gordon says. “A few ways to get this open flow in a studio apartment is to purchase furniture that can be placed against a wall and doesn’t allow unnecessary items to be stashed. You can even get more ambitious and purchase a foldout couch or wall bed to create space.”
If you like a more sectioned-off space, look for an alcove studio.
“I prefer an alcove because you can create a sleeping area and yet create public friend space,” says Annie Cion Gruenberger, a broker with Warburg Realty.
If you can’t find an alcove studio, divide the room into sections with easily movable furniture, floor-length curtains, sliding doors or temporary half walls.
“I find that bookshelves are most useful because they provide storage space for not only books but many other small items,” Gordon says.
You can also push your couch against the foot of your bed to create the look of a living room separate from the bedroom, Gordon says.
Think hard about how you’ll actually use your apartment.
“Sure, perhaps a dining set would be ideal, but could you also use a coffee table as a place to eat?” asks Victor Furtick, an agent with REAL New York. “Perhaps having space for a couch or loveseat is more important than having a dining set, so choose your furniture wisely and plan out your layout according to how you will live in your space on a da-to-day basis.”
A common tip is to get multipurpose furniture, and furniture that doubles as storage.
“Use a trunk for a coffee table that can be opened to store valuable items,” Gordon says. “Other cool hacks to make storage abundant are using a sliding pantry, putting shelving above your door, and looking up dual-purpose furniture such as sofas that can transform into a dining room table and chairs.”
And if you see a studio with decent closet space, pounce.
“Studios don’t have the luxury of being very spacious, so when one starts to bulk the studio up with extra storage closets it can make the studio feel even smaller,” says Mia Baranovsky, a broker with REAL New York. “What I recommend is, when apartment hunting, look at the studios that have lots of closets available rather than just the size of the studio itself.”