Living Small


After a decade of McMansions and endless suburban sprawl there seems to be a movement toward a more resourceful use of space, a recognition that with population counts soaring, it’s increasingly important to consider how we can tread a bit more lightly. In the past seven years I’ve lived in seven different apartments – (what? that number surprised me!) – and they were all very different. There were a couple that were quite spacious, having rooms neither Scotty nor I ever used. And there were poorly designed small spaces that created frustration and a continual feeling of chaos. And then there were the apartments that were small, even tiny, but logical and comfortable. Our current apartment is one of the latter. I will admit there are frustrations to living here. The first frustration is that when I misplace something it’s doubly annoying. A little voice in my head keeps harping “You really should not even be able to misplace something in a space this small. Seriously, Rebecca, how many places could it be?” The second frustration is linked to the first in that while everything has a certain place that it ought to be, you usually have to move something else in order to get to it. This means that things are continually being moved and not always put back. And, of course, I would love to have a bit more space in the kitchen and another couple of gas burners. But, it all works. I can basically cook anything I want to with my two burners. I have to grocery shop more often because the fridge is tiny, but that is an easy adaptation because I don’t really want to haul a week or twos worth of groceries several blocks home and then up six flights of stairs. Plus everything I cook ends up being nice and fresh.

Anyway, here’s a tour of our little apartment.

IKEA has gotten on board with the small living space theme. Nicole over at Little Brown Pen alerted me to the fact that IKEA was building an entire apartment inside a Paris metro station. Five people lived there for 6 days in a space of 54 square meters. All I have to say is that they had an entire meter more per person. Anyway, here’s a video about the project:

Scotty and I decided to check it since we’re all into this small spaces thing. The goal is obviously to show that if used logically, it’s entirely possible for people to live fully in small spaces. I don’t know how the people who actually spent the six days living here did it. I could not deal with being constantly on display. We visited on the fifth day and you could tell they were getting a bit weary of all the attention. Plus, they were trying to put together a party – which I’m sure was to celebrate their release the next day.

Shower and washing machine!

The apartment had everything – laundry, shower, lots of storage, entertainment center, etc. It even had a dishwasher. After not having one since I lived with my parents, that caused a bit of covetousness on my part. There was one thing missing though. One thing that I would think of as pretty essential. There was no toilet.

About Rebecca

Hi! After five years in Europe, I'm adjusting to life back in the US. I use this blog to record my adventures, post photos, organize recipes, and post about things that interest me.
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18 Responses to Living Small

  1. xandreverkes says:

    Whoa…. You live in a super small apartment…. I don’t know if I can ever do that?? In South Africa we are fortunate to have bigger apartments & most houses have quite big gardens!!! With two dogs…. I think all spaces are to small!!! 😉 I fell in love with IKEA on my visit to Europe!!! It is super practical & definitely caters for a wide market!!! Wish we had one in South Africa!!! 😦 Great post Becca!!! 🙂 **

    • Rebecca says:

      Thank you! It is tiny but we love it. I will say that it would be a completely different story with two dogs. Not only the space but I would imagine the dog hair would be impossible to get control of in a space this small. Glad your dogs have lots of room!

  2. jcrkelly says:

    I saw that video a week ago… it’s crazy to be on display like that. And they don’t have a toilet?! What?! Also, your place is larger than my brother’s and we stayed with him for two weeks. I WISH we were all crammed in your place. But, that’s why we love IKEA!
    Your place is precious and efficient and I envy your storage… envy it.

    • Rebecca says:

      Oh my! I would love to know the square meterage of your brother’s apartment. I’m fascinating with small spaces and making them work in ways that large spaces simply cannot.

  3. Karin says:

    Love the water heater!!!!!

  4. Marty says:

    i watched this in the library with the sound off but the view at the end makes the small-ness worth it!

  5. POP says:

    Your apartment is like an Airstream “Bambi” except it is stuck on the 6th floor with a view, but nowhere to go. The kitchen is so small that you junked the “micro” to gain space. That is small

  6. Bethy Manor says:

    Your flat is very nice and cozy, but I can see where having to shop for groceries has its pluses and minuses! Love your view and I remember the hospital. I’m glad you have good storage space. Thanks so much for the tour!

  7. Cindy says:

    Cute apartment, thanks for the friendly tour! I loved hearing your voice since you’ve grown up!

  8. Mother of Pearl says:

    Have you ever checked out the blog Making This home? She talks a lot about living in small spaces and living with less.You’d fit right in with her tiny house tour.

  9. Thanks for sharing your living experience. I hope it makes some people think about all the space they’re wasting. I come from a family who wastes a lot of livable space because they don’t throw out junk or give away items they’re not using.

    Jimmy

    http://www.slightlyreworded.wordpress.com

    • Rebecca says:

      It is amazing how little space we really need when we’re willing to let go of things! It’s been a great experience. I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

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