My love of small spaces started with a one-bedroom cottage my grandfather built behind their house, in the 1950’s. It was a miniature house—living room, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. It also had a small yard and a tiny front porch. A series of tenants lived there, adding a flower garden, colorful curtains and decorative baskets by the door. At six years old, I wanted to live in a small house where everything was my size, and never quite outgrew that dream. When most of my peers were fantasizing about a mansion with servants, I wanted a cottage.
Years later, I had already lived in many different types of small spaces: garage apartments, studio apartments, two small houses. They still hold a spell over me, but not because they fit my size. I have found that, economically, a studio apartment is as affordable as it gets, in city life. Yes, you could share one room with two other people, but I am not exploring that. That is a temporary situation—not living well.
Since I have lived in this big city (one of four big cities so far), my focus has been living well, not living on the edge. A studio apartment is affordable here in New York City, but a one-bedroom—not so much. Therefore, my challenge has been to find ways to make a studio apartment everything I want in a home, and innovation has been my path.
I wrote my SMALL SPACE LIFE series of e-books [launching in March 2021 on Amazon Kindle], to contain all the accumulated knowledge from my experiences during a lifetime of small space living. Since my husband and I have been living in our Manhattan studio apartment, I have encountered more challenges, requiring more innovation. It only made sense to me to start this Blog, to keep up with new issues and new triumphs. I also want to reach out to renters and homebuyers that are looking at small spaces, weighing affordability and lifestyle. You can do it!
The goal of small space living is to live well. If having two extra rooms is a financial drain, it does not let you live well. If there is a way to fit your stuff into one large room with rent that is comfortable to pay, that way is your path to a more enjoyable life. In the process of finding, furnishing and loving your small space, you may find you love, even more, your life.
C. Ruth McBeath-Urrutia