Wait, are we really going to get all this stuff, in here?
When we were looking for apartments, we looked at walk ups and buildings with elevators? We didn’t care as long as the apartment was a decent one. But when you are new in town and you must do all the moving by yourself? It was a good decision to move in to a building with elevators!!!
In New York you can double park to unload as long as someone is there with the truck. At a first glance, it’s kind of scary to see the room filled with everything-everywhere. It’s hard to picture how things would fit in to this small space, I heard myself grumbling, “why did I bring all those giant packs of paper towels and toilet paper from Costco?”
As small a space as it is this apartment has three good sized closets and overhead kitchen cabinets extending all the way to ceiling. Some apartments we saw might have one good size closet or no closet at all. I thought we might have to get one or two wardrobe cabinets, but in the end, there was no need to do that.
To unpack and organize is rather difficult when you have the space full of your stuff. We employed the “one item at a time” strategy, pushing everything aside just to have space to assemble a bed frame then a sleeper sofa (which of course came in two boxes). With those two big pieces in place, I breathed a bit easier and saw that everything else would follow.
We paused to toast our first evening in our new apartment on the floor with food and wine placed nicely on one of the extension leaves from our, yet to be assembled, round dining table.
It took us three days to unpack, organize and finish the apartment, amazingly everything fit. On a personal note, I discovered I like plastic bins for moving vs boxes, they are easier to pack (no packing tape necessary) easier to carry/ move, stackable after unpacking to put away, and to store the out of season items. In the end, all 30 rolls of toilet papers and 12 rolls of paper towels fit nicely into an overhead cabinet. And, we still had room to spare!
We successfully created two separate areas, sleeping and living. By placing bookshelves against a wall and the pull away sofa two feet away from the wall to give an illusion of a larger space. When the sleeper is in use, there’s no need to move much of anything, just roll a coffee table aside. Also, there’s enough room to walk around the bed; this is an important point in small spaces, you’d never realize until you see apartments with very small bedrooms that you have to visualize “how do I make the bed”. Circulation is a main concern in a small space, I wanted to make sure we had a good path from one area to the other, so we didn’t feel blocked, or that we would have to step over or walk around any furniture. A 6’x9’ rug in living area and a 4’x6’ under the keyboard (the musical instrument) worked very well to distinguish each area.
To have the gallery space in between the entry door and the kitchen made a space planner like me very happy. The gallery is a small space, but naturally a perfect place for a dining area, instinctively one might want to put a small
dining room set against a wall to create a path, a hallway, to get to the kitchen. I decided to maximize it instead, putting a 45” round table (with leave extensions to accommodate 6-8 people) right in the middle, a 6’x9’ rug to
create a dining area not just a hallway. A chandelier made from Capiz Shells added to feel inviting and playful.
To see this apartment transformed from just photos on a real estate website to a real living space is amazing. It was a good start, I believe the first order of business is; get a simple set up and as we start living get used to our routines in the space. Then when we’d really know what we want and can adjust accordingly. Our layout allowed things to be easily moved around or adjusted with plenty of room for improvements and wall space to fill with artwork and images from our lives that we’ll accumulate going forward. We received the apartment in good condition, the seller did a few cosmetic improvements, new tiles in a bathroom, and kitchen, new paint on the walls, shelves and cabinets. I hope to someday, redo a few things. A better organizing system for all three closets, and adjustable shelves for kitchen cabinets would be nice.