It has been widely documented that I live in a small apartment. Very small. When the Coveteur team asked to shoot me and my stuff in my apartment, I hesitated, assuring them my truly Lilliputian lair wasn't your typical Coveteur kind of place. But, I did it anyway, and the beautiful results reminded me why I love tiny living so much — and, consequently, still get a lot of grief about it.
A grown woman shouldn't be chided for living where she likes. My place is small, but it's by no means a dump. In fact, I find it pretty charming. Still, various friends and family can't help mentioning from time to time how "utterly insane" it is that my husband and I are "still there." As if living in a tree house or a commune would somehow be more acceptable.
The smallness definitely isn’t for everyone. In fact, when one of our fashion editors (Annie Georgia Greenberg) came over recently to help clean out my finely jam-packed closet, she marveled at my apartment's slim dimensions. "Wow, how do you live without a door?" I shrugged.
I'm not sure what psychology (or psychosis?) is behind my undeniable love of small spaces. As a kid, I used to camp out in my closet or read books wedged beneath the bed. The sight of pocket-size boat cabins would thrill me, as would any kind of miniature dollhouse or backyard fort. Maybe small just felt economical, refined, and safe. Sometimes it still does. And, after years spent getting two businesses off the ground, my husband and I were wary to make the leap, even if we probably could now afford more space. But, the jump to newer, bigger, digs has been a slow one. Did we plan on being a married couple in 300 square feet for six years? Hell, no. But, we love our neighborhood — and each other — and I was willing to be picky until we found the right, quirky new spot to lay claim to.
For me, small (and simple) is kind of sacred — especially if you're able to happily share that doorless existence with a good mate. And, besides proving my marriage is in decent shape, here are a few other reasons why I worship at the altar of tiny:
1. Your space is almost always in view, so every inch needs to be considered. Leave any corner to chance in a small space, and you're asking for trouble (or, simply, an ugly shit-pile).
2. The small movement isn't just economical and less complicated. It's environmentally sound. Consider how little space you actually occupy daily. Kind of a waste, right?
3. Small makes me feel safe. It's cozy, it's comforting, and with the added benefit of a giant working fireplace in our living room, our smallish space can be gloriously transformed.
4. Small means choosing wisely...and letting go. When you have a big house, or extra closets and rooms, you're much more likely to squander cash on impulse buys you don't really need or use. When you have limited space, every inch counts, and so you consciously choose what you surround yourself with. That means constantly editing what's in your possession. Do I use it? Do I need it? Do I love it? This is the holy trinity for living in tight quarters. Because, if you answer no to any of those questions, you've gotta let it go.
Perhaps the best part about small living? You can refresh your space in an instant: New linens, relocated artwork, and switched-out seating can make a huge difference in a tiny apartment. And, surprise, having just put a deposit down on a new home (but with five months of construction yet to get through), we were still eager to press the reset button — affordably, of course. We can thank interior designer Gunnar Larson for some indispensable tips, not just for small spaces but all spaces that could use an quickie upgrade. No extra footage necessary.
Photographed by Gunnar Larson