This week, New York City’s Mayer Bloomberg announced the winning design of the adAPT NYC project, a competition that was created in response to the city’s need for affordable studios for one to two people. While NYC apartments have to be no less than 400 square feet according to current zoning laws, Bloomberg says exceptions will be made for the “micro units.” The micro apartments will cost as low as $940 for a studio to $1700 for a two-person unit.
New Yorkers are hardly the first to try out micro-living – San Francisco and Vancouver are just two of many major cities to unveil similar projects in recent years.
Pssst – peek inside New York’s micro-apartments and more crazy homes.
The buck doesn’t stop with cities, either. Chris and Malissa Tack of Snohomish, Washington are giving it a shot as well. The couple decided to give up their much-larger home in exchange for a 140-square foot home of their own design. Chris (a photographer) and Malissa (a freelance 3D artist) say that living in such close quarters has actually had the opposite effect of what one might think – it’s made them more courteous to one another.
The pros and cons of micro-living
Micro living isn’t for everyone. In fact, I’d argue that most people just couldn’t or wouldn’t be able to downsize to that degree. I know I couldn’t. Where on earth would I put my hockey equipment? But for some people, micro living is living the dream. How do they do it?
It takes a certain amount of creativity, organization and thriftiness to make micro living work. First of all, you have to be good with small spaces. Not only that, but you also have to be organized and clean. A small space just wouldn’t work for a disorganized individual.
The New York micro units utilize flip-out couches, Murphy beds and stowaway furniture. There’s storage from floor to ceiling, making maximum use of every corner. But there’s no room for hockey equipment…
As a lover of sports and someone who has a large personal library, I couldn’t imagine cramming my belongings into a tiny space. Worse, even, I couldn’t imagine giving up the things I love altogether. And that’s just it. You’d have to make a lot of sacrifices in order to make your tiny home livable. You wouldn’t be able to have company over and you’d have to get rid of most of your possessions, including that queen-sized bed you’re so fond of.
On the plus side, though, you’d have fewer bills, next to no mortgage, and therefore more money to spend on the things you love. That, and you wouldn’t be strapped to your stuff. Still, I think the sacrifices outweigh the benefits.
Could you live with less than 400 square feet?