CNN Small Space Questionnaire

Small spaces have hit mainstream news with San Francisco’s legal push for smaller living units, and NYC mayor Bloomberg’s call for micro-unit apartment designs. Although the hype is focusing on the “excessively small” (as I consider it), the conversation has introduced many to a new perspective of living.

After CNN’s recent coverage on the subject, they had an open call for small space dwellers to submit pictures and share their experiences. If you are interested, you can still submit by the end of the week. As a follow-up to my submission, they sent a list of questions. So I thought I’d share my responses here. Enjoy!

CNN Small Space Questionnaire:

1. Why did you decide to live in a small space? How long have you been there, and were you living in a small space prior to moving here?

I came to this apartment already passionate about small spaces. In architecture school, I designed a small backyard apartment. That project really invigorated my interest in small, intentional, well-proportioned, and efficient spaces. My studio apartment epitomizes these characteristics. It has huge, operable windows that bathe the space with light all day long, making the space feel bigger. And it’s located in one of downtown Raleigh’s most walkable neighborhoods with everything from grocery stores to yoga studios to my office less than a mile away. I’ve lived here for a little over a year, and I can’t help but tell everyone about my lovely studio apartment. It’s amazing how much of a positive impact it has had on my life.

2. What was your initial reaction to moving into such a small space? Are you able to entertain– If so, how do your guests react?

Although my 300-sqft studio is small, it was the first place I lived on my own, without a roommate, after graduating college. I was thrilled to move in, and really make it my own. I kept some old furniture, and acquired new pieces to fit the space perfectly.

One of the wonderful things about living in a small space, is it encourages you to get out and meet people in public spaces. And with tons of restaurants and bars within walking distance, I do just that! But I do occasionally have people over for a drink to start the night. People are really excited to see my apartment. It’s rather unique and urban for Raleigh. Since I love it so much, I constantly post pictures on social media outlets and have a website, so people love to hear about my studio. Now if they see an article about a small space, I’m the first person that comes to mind. It’s great!

3. What about living in small space do you appreciate the most?

Everything is intentional, and everything has its place. The built-in at the entry has hooks for coats and bags, a double-sided bookshelf, and an integrated pantry. Just outside the bathroom is a collection of shelves and cabinets and a closet, perfect to store shoes, clothes, accessories, and linens.

Living in a small space has really influenced my lifestyle. I am more selective when purchasing anything for my apartment, because it can easily become over cluttered. I am more conscious about my waste, recycling as much as possible, and I even started vermicomposting my food waste. And I walk more often! My small studio influences me daily.

4. Do you ever find yourself frustrated with living in small space? If so, provide some examples.

The only amenity that would improve my apartment would be a dedicated outside space like a balcony or roof terrace, to be able to relax outside or grow more of a variety of plants. But fortunately, I can walk 5 minutes to my favorite park in Raleigh, and commonly picnic there. So that park has become my backyard. And my window sill has become home to a collection of potted plants helping liven up my space.

5. How do you make the most of your small space? Any tips/tricks for fellow iReporters who either live in or want to live in a small space?

Living comfortably in a small space is all about editing out what you don’t need. I have minimal pieces of furniture, and bountiful built-ins for storage. Keeping a small space open and clutter-free really helps expand the space.

6. Anything else you’d like to add?

I have never been so excited about a place where I’ve lived. Living in this studio apartment has truly had a profound impact on my way of living and interest in space. As an architect, this studio has also influenced how I design for others. I can’t wait to design my own small space!

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