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Luke's Barely Habitable




New York, New York



Square Feet:


What I Love About My Home

its simple, efficient, convertible, and zen enough to be comfortably habitable.

Biggest Challenge in Furnishing My Home

well i think such small spaces really need custom responses so i put together my own furnishing. but the most challenging part was trying to build the bed/couch inside the space...rotating full 4x8 sheets of ply and playing the sliding square game but with furniture and building materials.

Favoriting and voting have ended.

Comments (219)

Very stylish, but holy crap I feel anxious with claustrophobia just looking at that.

posted by michpc on April 25, 2011 at 12:39pm
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OMG! no bathroom?

posted by OjitosLindos on April 25, 2011 at 8:47am
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AT, please change the adverb in the header from "Barely" to "Comfortably." Not only is it fair to Luke (all your other headers use words from the contestants' own descriptions), but also "barely" especially in this usage has a negative connotation.

posted by edmarch on April 25, 2011 at 8:52am
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Luke, I have to say this is an amazing space - unlike a certain other very tiny space dweller featured on Apartment Therapy recently you've completely embraced living small - not just squashing everything you own into what space you have.

This space is clean and simple with enough personality to make it more than a mere dorm/hotel room.

I love love your bed/couch - a great design for this small space :) as well as the hanging items in the corner - just a touch of quirky for what is otherwise a minimalist space.

posted by Bianca-Jade on April 25, 2011 at 8:56am
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Agree with @edmarch, "Barely Habitable" are the concrete McMansions in my hometown, not this sweet little space.

But Luke, we need to know more... The bathroom?

posted by cvgmiami on April 25, 2011 at 9:08am
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I think he's done fabulous things with the space he has, but I would not consider this an apartment without a bathroom and kitchen facilities.

posted by abaxSC on April 25, 2011 at 9:15am
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i love you're sofa bed. do you have building plans/instructions for it that you could share?

posted by dc.d on April 25, 2011 at 9:27am
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Only in New York....

posted by Juliet___ on April 25, 2011 at 10:15am
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Absolutely fabulous. But this is not an apartment. Its a room. No bath, no kitchen.

posted by msmezzo on April 25, 2011 at 10:16am
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yeah im really wondering about the bathroom and kitchen here. smaller than my first dormroom. looks great though!

posted by lorrinm on April 25, 2011 at 10:34am
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Jeez 78 sq.ft and no bathroom/kitchen. I'm confused, is this a full apartment or just a room in an apartment?

posted by mg0224 on April 25, 2011 at 10:53am
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Love what Luke has done, but without a bathroom I don't consider this an "apartment". In NY it is possible to have an apartment with no real kitchen, but no bathroom means you are renting a room in someone elses apartment.

Luke? Clarification?

posted by kinyama on April 25, 2011 at 11:16am
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I like your sofa/bed solution, I think it'd look even better if the mattress was surrounded by a plank of wood on all sides, so that when folded up it (the mattress) wouldn't be visible.

posted by pz on April 25, 2011 at 11:37am
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There is another door visible beside the couch/bed, I assumed that was the door to a washroom.

posted by velex on April 25, 2011 at 11:42am
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"There is another door visible beside the couch/bed, I assumed that was the door to a washroom."

On the plans, that appears to be a small closet.

Is this a room in an old house? It looks like it used to be a pantry or storage area.

posted by Terry in Silver Spring on April 25, 2011 at 11:47am
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This space is more situated like a dorm room with shared kitchen and bath. To make this gem really work, you probably have to be situated in a very prime location (close to park, shops, restaurants). In manhattan, the city really becomes your living room and play/dining space.

Nonetheless, it is fantastic that Luke has embraced the space and made it a calm place to relax and enjoy. The monochromatic scheme and big window really enhances its openness. Very nice job Luke.

posted by arnold on April 25, 2011 at 11:50am
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This is not an apartment. At best, it's equivalent to a dorm room. Although that sofa/bed combo may make it more analagous to a sleep compartment on a train.

I almost suspect that this entry is poking fun at the ridiculous pride that this contest puts on living in as small a space as possible. If someone really does live here (and perhaps uses a shared bathroom), then i commend them on avoiding living in a box (the only way this could get smaller) with so much style and panache.

posted by Deeliscious on April 25, 2011 at 11:51am
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I think how Luke built the bed is also very clever. Luke, did you ever consider just making a pull-out day bed? That way, you can save an extra 8" of mattress that is taking up floor space.

posted by arnold on April 25, 2011 at 11:54am
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This is amazing.

posted by good time teeth on April 25, 2011 at 11:54am
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I would not call this an apartment.

posted by Tyson Williams on April 25, 2011 at 12:01pm
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If that other door is the bathroom I hope the door opens in - otherwise once you pull out the bed you can't get to the bathroom.

posted by nycesq on April 25, 2011 at 12:03pm
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I like that the small amount of furniture still confers a sense of style on the room. Minimal, but complete. I'd like to know more about the mobile.

As for the efficiency aspect, there are all too many "apartments" like this in San Francisco. In this economy, even regular apt complexes seem to be converting all manner of closets, garages, and other spaces into ground floor apts with ads that scream "NOT an INLAW" despite having no bath, kitchen, heater, etc. My favorite was a building renting two separate microsized rooms as a single apt. They bookended the huge, noisey wood staircase and one side had a toilet and mini sink while the other had the shower & microwave & hotplate. There were no takers at $895, but I was one of many that took a look at $700.

posted by Kinky Gazpacho on April 25, 2011 at 12:08pm
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I was wondering if this space is legal. I believe within NYC code it is completely illegal....

posted by Anusha73 on April 25, 2011 at 12:14pm
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Re: the bathroom-- most likely he shares a bathroom outside his apartment with another tenent in a place like his. Euro-hotel style. I have a friend who had a set up like that for a while. (The bathrooms were always surprisingly clean.)

I'd like to know what neighbourhood he's in and what the rent is.

posted by Ms. Pants on April 25, 2011 at 12:19pm
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Wait, are people really crying foul because Luke hasn't sufficiently explained his eating and bathroom habits? Obviously, this has passed AT's guidelines because it has, after all, been posted.

I think this is awesome, especially considering how much floorspace has to be set aside for walking and opening doors! On the other hand, it makes me remember how much I don't want to live in tiny spaces anymore... I think I may have some kind of post-apartment claustophobia these days. Great space, Luke, though maybe you have claustrophilia instead? :)

posted by csc76 on April 25, 2011 at 12:20pm
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Sigh. A world comprised of only Apartment Therapy commenters would be a very dreary world indeed.

People live in all sorts of spaces. And that's a good thing. I don't care if it's a yurt out in the middle of the redwood forest if it's decorated well and offers inspiration. Why do you?

posted by unabridged on April 25, 2011 at 12:21pm
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I love how insane this is. And the little ingenious solutions to an absurd situation. I hope your place is prime real estate and dirt cheap (so you can go out to dinner everyday). I wouldn't like there but it my favorite!

posted by homoimprovement on April 25, 2011 at 12:23pm
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I like this space - it feels like a great solution to big-city prices.

I don't think SmallCool could run with a "bathrooms only" criteria - there are a generous handful of complete apartments that share bathrooms in every city.

posted by gerundgirl on April 25, 2011 at 12:27pm
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I agree with arnold on the daybed, and with everyone else that without running water this isn't an apartment.

posted by Sam I Am on April 25, 2011 at 12:28pm
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that is a very nicely furnished hallway.

posted by Hellkat on April 25, 2011 at 12:38pm
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Holy crap Batman you live in a closet. A beautiful closet, but a closet. LOVE your design of the couch/bed.

posted by Tracy333 on April 25, 2011 at 12:39pm
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I love it, Luke! You made it work for you.

To everyone else: Lots of people live like this in NYC. Although, most places PALE in comparison to Luke's place in regards to style and efficiency. This place most likely has a shared bathroom down the hall. Possibly even a shared kitchen. This is not completely abnormal. When you live here, the city is your livingroom.

Kudos to you, Luke, for making it work!

posted by SDazzle on April 25, 2011 at 12:40pm
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Well, the first definition of "apartment" on Merriam Webster's website is "a room or set of rooms fitted especially with housekeeping facilities and usually leased as a dwelling ". It has a fridge (housekeeping facility?) and it's definitely a dwelling.

posted by alybrown on April 25, 2011 at 12:41pm
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You've managed to create an elegant "teeny-tiny" space without the creation of claustrophobia. Is a bathroom shared and what neighborhood are you living in?

posted by Cayennegirl on April 25, 2011 at 12:41pm
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Seems like an SRO (single room occupancy) dwelling. Creative approach to using the space. However, I'm not sure how I would feel sitting on a couch that faces a wall so closely. Though perhaps not as stylish, seems like a futon that folds in half across the longer side would allow the resident to orient himself/herself out into the room, as opposed to facing a wall.

posted by tandreams on April 25, 2011 at 12:43pm
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AT i agree with edmarch, the name should be changed to comfortably habitable.

i can't see why all the other entry names were taken from the contestent's own words, and this name wasn't. plus, "barely habitable" is kindof mean.

posted by thekatpack on April 25, 2011 at 12:50pm
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dude... I'm all for teeny tiny apartments, but I am feeling claustrophobic just imagining sitting on the sofa and not being able to stretch out my feet and having to stare at that wall all day. It really does look like you live in a hallway. Hats off to you though.

posted by waterlily on April 25, 2011 at 12:57pm
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sheez this is ridic. how about some floor coverings?

posted by jroo on April 25, 2011 at 12:59pm
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I'm sorry, but knowing that someone had the nerve to pput this place up for rent and then someone else handed them a check for it has totally distracted me from the contest.

posted by cliokitty on April 25, 2011 at 1:00pm
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The sole aspects that are "barely comfortable" are those readers who commented so negatively. To bar this entry because it may or may not have a bathroom is absurd - it is where a human being lives happily and comfortably. Bravo, Luke.

posted by Honest Day on April 25, 2011 at 1:04pm
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Shocked with all the negative comments.

While I definitely couldn't do this myself, I really commend you, Luke, for taking such an itty, bitty space and making it functional and stylish for your life style. Well done!

posted by _kristinb on April 25, 2011 at 1:08pm
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Wow, interesting commentary. I can't wait until the 47 square ft apartment entry! I also can't wait to hear where Luke goes to the bathroom! :)

posted by cvgmiami on April 25, 2011 at 1:10pm
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i second bianca-jade's comment. i'm sure it was quite a site to see you putting together your furniture in that space. good luck to you!

posted by solarsister310 on April 25, 2011 at 1:13pm
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sorry "sight"

posted by solarsister310 on April 25, 2011 at 1:13pm
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the contest is called "small cool." This place is way more appropriate than the 1,000 sqft places.
Go get 'em Luke!

posted by molly k on April 25, 2011 at 1:19pm
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I think you did a great job with the space that you have available.

I have lived in 2 apartments with no kitchen (I added a mini fridge and microwave and used the bathroom sink).

I like seeing the diversity in the way people live. Why should there be one definition of what makes a home?

posted by mollyfields on April 25, 2011 at 1:22pm
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Bathroom? Chamber pot?

posted by meglulu on April 25, 2011 at 1:30pm
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This really does feel like a Pullman compartment, in the best possible way. I like the pared down color scheme, the unity of finishes, and the mobile.

At the point in my life when I was working 10 hour days and going out every night, I could have lived here, but I'm way too private for a shared bathroom. Kudos for living exactly the way you want with style.

posted by JynxnJez on April 25, 2011 at 1:33pm
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Interesting. I think I could happily deal with a shared bathroom outside of my "apartment" if it had daily janitorial-style cleaning included. I am hoping that Luke will chime in at some point and let us know how it works, as I am very intrigued.

As to whether this place counts, that's an absurd question. He pays a monthly rent for it, so it does! And I like it. :)

posted by dirce79 on April 25, 2011 at 1:36pm
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At least Luke has a roof over his head! Lighten up people...it could be a LOT worse!

posted by papillon813 on April 25, 2011 at 1:47pm
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i'd love to know how much luke pays in rent/month.

posted by Mosie on April 25, 2011 at 1:49pm
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Luke, way to edit your space and make it work for you.

I am a bit confused by your floorplan, because there is clearly a door opposite your couch in the photos. Where does it go? Is this your bathroom? Is is permanently sealed because it goes to someone else's room?

Personally, I'm not 100% sure how to draw the line between renting an apartment and renting a room. I don't think that people want to include dorm rooms as apartments, but if they're inspiring design-wise, does it matter? I think that when there are shared spaces, it makes people wonder how big the whole thing is.

posted by Gaidig on April 25, 2011 at 1:54pm
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Wow. I couldn't do it, but props to you, Luke!

The bed/couch is very cool.

posted by greatkate on April 25, 2011 at 1:57pm
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Home is where the heart is - and I love the obvious creativity, care and style that went in to making this space the best possible. I'd live there, to live in NY.

I think I'm going to go "Les Nessman" and masking tape out a floorplan in my living room and see what I can manage to fit into that amount of space.

posted by ryejen on April 25, 2011 at 1:58pm
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Kudos to Luke and his creativity, although my throat is closing up just looking at this space.

I do think it's fair to ask for some guidelines, such as running water. If we've misunderstood, and that little closet really is a bathroom, than I take it all back.

posted by PleinJane on April 25, 2011 at 2:19pm
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posted by mlme on April 25, 2011 at 2:30pm
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@ryejen "Les Nessman"? You're showing our age!

posted by cvgmiami on April 25, 2011 at 2:33pm
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this is 10000x nicer than than the video from last week (the girl with the loft bed 2 inches from the ceiling). I wouldn't like watching myself while I did work on the computer, but that's my only criticism.

posted by ec05 on April 25, 2011 at 3:04pm
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Why do people believe that posting on the internet follows different social rules than having a conversation? I fear for humanity.

Luke, wonderful job. Whether you have a bathroom or not, it's pretty and usable.

To the rest of you, this is someone's HOME. If you don't like it, that's fine. But can we communicate like civilized people? If you had an ugly sister, and I met her at a party, I might think, "Good GOD this poor girl is ugly", but I certainly wouldn't say it aloud to you and all the other guests.

Snarkiness isn't cool, or flippant and clever. It's mean-spirited and ugly. Grow up.

posted by Chenell on April 25, 2011 at 2:40pm
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Make your statement by NOT voting for it, not by attacking this contestant and their home.

posted by Chenell on April 25, 2011 at 2:41pm
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Brilliant! You make me want to go home and get rid of nearly everything I own.
I won't.
But I'll regret it -- at least for a few days.

posted by polishhilltom on April 25, 2011 at 3:54pm
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I feel the same as the others; this cannot be considered an apartment. That being said, the design is fabulous.

posted by John from Chicago on April 25, 2011 at 2:58pm
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saw something like this on 15th Street in '97. showed up at lunch time. they showed a room with shared bathroom in the hall. just me and a european guy. i was so shocked. on the street, the european guy said brightly, "it's really big, yeah?" i was shocked all over again.

one year prior i had been begging the manager of an sro hotel to rent me a room just to put my suitcase in. he told me it was completely unsuitable for a young woman alone and under no circumstances would he let me in.

posted by Lady J on April 25, 2011 at 3:05pm
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Love the space- I lived in a 96 sqft space. had a tiny fridge, sink, hotplate and shared loo. I stored the hotplate when not in use. I only wish mine had looked half as good as yours!

posted by maria_squarefeet on April 25, 2011 at 3:12pm
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Luke great job! When I was looking for an apartment in Manhattan I saw apartments like this, with a common bathroom for everyone living on the floor. So, yes people, it might not be like an apartment you have ever seen, but it is and it works for some people who love city life!!

posted by mkm0000 on April 25, 2011 at 3:20pm
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I don't understand people who complain about people complaining in the comment section, it's an open forum, that said Luke you are a brave soul to live in such a small space I hope you get out a lot.

posted by patrik on April 25, 2011 at 3:36pm
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CRAZY small! yet so impressive!

posted by Vanessa from vanessabottoni.blogspot.com on April 25, 2011 at 4:57pm
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The furniture solution is brilliant, and streamlined, and aesthetically pleasing to boot. If I didn't like that part, I wouldn't bother wondering about the bathroom and kitchen. So really, I think all of the questions people are asking are more flattering to the renter than if no one cared.

posted by Lilah on April 25, 2011 at 3:50pm
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I disagree with some of the posters here... saying they're not sure this space qualifies isn't really a negative comment. They're just trying to keep the competition as interesting as possible.

For me personally, so long as this is the person's entire living space (and not part of a larger home), then I'm fine with it as an entry.

Very creative solution with the couch/bed! I would have just used a futon and called it a day haha.

posted by LauraInCancun on April 25, 2011 at 4:10pm
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Wow. Great job Luke. I only wished some of the rooms I rented over the years looked half as good.

That said @patrik I completely agree with you. I have, in the past, complained about people's lack of civility on this forum. However, there is a difference between being uncivil, asking legitimate questions and offering constructive criticism. Like most people, I too thought, the place is frighteningly small and wondered where the kitchen and bathroom was. I think this is a legitimate question because I was under the impression that all apartments needed to have an en suite bathroom and kitchen facilities. I wouldn't go so far as to ban this entry, however, now that I know this type of entry is allowable, I wonder if I could go ahead and submit entries of the one out of five rooms in my home that I'm truly NOT embarrassed to show to the entire world. I think I would love to see a multipurpose only room contest. Or even just, expand the site to show more alternative living situations. Like it or not, most Americans that I know, live in some type of shared housing. I have lived in all types of housing (at one point in college I moved every year) and each time, I truly enjoyed being able to retreat to the privacy of a room that was truly my own.

Also at first I agreed that "barely habitable" was an adequate headline because it reflected my view of the space, but after reading some of the other comments I realized, it isn't. AT, please change it to "Luke's Super Mini Cool" or something else. I think barely habitable connotes living in absolute trash, which he is not. It's too stylish for that adjective.

In any case, Luke did an incredible job and that he seems to have truly determine what he values most in live--and lots of unnecessary stuff is not it! Bravo!

posted by TKPKgirl on April 25, 2011 at 4:14pm
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Wow, I have no idea why there is so much animosity in many of these comments.

That bed is intriguing and I'm impressed that Luke didn't sacrifice a real bed by replacing it with some sub-par futon.

My first apartment was this size and had a shared bathroom and kitchen, but the other people in my building were definitely NOT my roommates. There was a great deal of privacy, surprisingly enough. I've opted for more elbow room now, but this ultra-compact lifestyle is can be quite pleasant.

Those who say this is not an apartment cannot accept that people choose to live and spend their money in different ways. Lighten up, people!

posted by threechordme on April 25, 2011 at 4:26pm
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So, what does he DO with the couch? Sit there and stare at the blank wall? That might be TOO zen!

posted by bauserdotcom on April 25, 2011 at 4:32pm
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Wow, am surprised at the controversy no bathroom has created. I just assumed the door across from the couch was the abode and didn't really, well care that much.

I think the solution Luke crafted for his sofa/bed was pretty clever. I think with some panels on the side to hide the mattress, that could be a marketable product to small home dwellers. Agree with the poster that said this is a true example of adopting small space/footprint living, not merely cramming all your stuff into a small space (i.e. like the 90 sq ft woman in NY). I could've easily lived without a kitchen when I first started my career, in the right city neighborhood.

posted by mauishopgirl on April 25, 2011 at 4:32pm
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College dorm?

posted by Ofelia on April 25, 2011 at 4:35pm
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I can see both sides of the "is this actually an 'apartment' or isn't it" debate; either way, it's been posted for us all to look at and comment on, and ask questions of. We should at least be courteous and respectful to the owner of the space.

Personally, I think that for a 78 square foot apt. possibly without running water, it's terrific. At least it has a good natural light source. And Luke's commitment to *limiting* his possessions is fantastic. I mean, look at that place!!

Also, I admire Luke's commitment to creating furniture that suits this place to a "T". Relating to another AT article of this morning, most people would consider a space this small some degree of "temporary" (whether that's months or years) and not put forth nearly as much effort to making it livable and beautiful.

I do have one suggestion: I realize there's no room for a coffee table or anything in front of the couch, especially with doors that may need to open. But you might consider getting one of those "C" tables, where the base goes under the couch and the table surface can kind of float over the arm or the seat. It would give you a nice place to set down a drink or a book while you're on the couch, but it would still be light and airy, and it would slide out of the way super easily when you need to fold the couch down. Of course, maybe you have a solution already for everything you need when you're lounging on the couch, in which case more power to you.

posted by emmelemm on April 25, 2011 at 4:40pm
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Wait...did someone rent out their walk-in closet? I've never seen such a small place! I'm impressed that you can make it work though!

posted by suzy8track on April 25, 2011 at 5:12pm
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If Luke lives there full-time, cool.
If he submitted this to punk us, even cooler.

posted by mjs7640 on April 25, 2011 at 5:06pm
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Luke, this is impressive and a bit scary at the same time. Kudos to you! Love the couch/bed.

Oh and to the people who don't think this counts: I know someone in Manhattan who rents out the hallway in a 2BR as his "room" . . .

posted by achefsdaughter on April 25, 2011 at 5:29pm
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Wow, you make that woman with the 90 square foot place on You Tube look like a big whiner, going on about how small her home is! This really is amazing. I don't know how you can even begin to do it, but I'm impressed!

posted by RMF325 on April 25, 2011 at 5:51pm
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But where are the books?! ;)

Kudos, Luke. Love the custom bed/couch and the way you keep everything streamlined.

posted by kaschwa on April 25, 2011 at 6:08pm
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By the way guys take a look at this guy's 55 square foot apartment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1HIJlSmouU
I actually really like it and think AT should do a house tour!

posted by TKPKgirl on April 25, 2011 at 6:08pm
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Until Luke comes back from the bathroom (wouldn't it be cool if it was a 600 square foot marble grotto with gold fixtures and a roman tub?!) I will share what I have learned from this post:

1. It is not what you say, it's how you say it. 2. Almost all of us live with waaaay too many things.
3. Luke can live in such a small place because as evidenced by his absence on this board today, he has better things to do than the rest of us.
4. I should have entered a fake entry of about 30 square feet. That would have been too much fun.


posted by cvgmiami on April 25, 2011 at 6:16pm
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Speaking of closets, has it already been two years since AT posted about the unemployed architect renting a closet for $150 and redesigning it for $64? Sergio Santos

posted by Kinky Gazpacho on April 25, 2011 at 6:31pm
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I don't have any issues with this being in the contest - assuming its his entire apartment and not just a room he shares with roomates in a larger apartment. I wouldn't want to disqualify people living in an SRO, an entirelyl legitimate form of housing. Which is essentially what this is.

On the other hand, I don't really see this as "small, cool". Small - sure, but so what? His choice of furnishings is not bad, but its not fantastic either. And the cramped quarters with a sofa facing a wall bare inches away is just claustrophobic. Its not the kind of space I think would be "cool" to live in - more the opposite. A space this shoebox needs a bit more work by the tenant/resident on constructing built in / bed loft or something in order to accomodate how narrow it is.

I'm all for celebrating making the most of the more modestly scaled typed of housing urban dwellers live in, but at a certain point, its just lipstick on a pig. Or in this case, a hall closet. I don't see the merit in geeking out on the whole "how small can YOU live" thing - reminds me of that extreme eating guy on the Food Network or Travel Channel or whatever that travels around eating giant fried hamburgers and such.

Never understood why anyone would chose to live in something this small in NYC. There's several nice boroughs to choose from (or even less desireable nabes on Manhattan outside of the trendy hoods), all connected by the MTA. I mean, the whole "the city is my living room" schtick kinda wears thin after a while - like when its raining. Or snowing. Or you're stuck sick at home in bed. Or lounging at home in bed with your gal/guy. Etc.

posted by Dave2 on April 25, 2011 at 6:45pm
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I'm not fussed about it not including a kitchen/bathroom (which I assume are not attached). Even if it did include those things, 1) it would almost certainly still be in this division, easily, so he's not "cheating", and 2) not everyone submitting entries post photos for all the "relevant" rooms anyway. For chrissakes, people submit photos of the outside view/the view outside of their apartments. Or, you know, vignettes....

posted by lepidoptery on April 25, 2011 at 7:16pm
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I, too, am puzzled by the missing bathroom and kitchen. But what puzzles me more are those who are wowed by the way the space is used. The last thing you want to do in a room that's long and narrow is to line up all the furniture against one wall, making the space look even longer and narrower.

Instead, I'd position a futon or sleep sofa under the window, which would provide some walking-around space when it's not used for sleeping and make the room seem less narrow than it actually is. This would also give you access to some wall space for hanging that mirror and maybe a couple of bookshelves.

posted by rhodajr on April 25, 2011 at 7:31pm
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not gonna vote for this one. there is no bathroom so this can not count as a real home!

posted by Coletta (rhymes with velveeta) on April 25, 2011 at 7:38pm
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I'm kind of appalled at all of this negativity. Just to play devil's advocate, maybe Luke lives in that space because that is what he can AFFORD. AT isn't always for those of us who don't make a ton of cash. Luke did a great job utilizing what he has which I feel is one of the main tenants of good design.

And about the bathroom, he probably lives in some sort of SRO. I'm from SF and I know a lot of people who live in them. They are a completely legitimate form of housing, especially for those who can't afford to buy a real Eames chair but still enjoy good design.

posted by magnoliajune on April 25, 2011 at 7:58pm
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Hmmm. There's not any running water at all in this room? Even SRO's have at least a sink.

Why do I have the sneaking suspicion that our stylish Master Luke's landlords are his parents?

OK, fess up, kid, ya little wise guy, you! ;-)

posted by leilanitexas on April 25, 2011 at 8:08pm
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I'm not going to sleep tonight until we solve the riddle of Luke's Bathroom.

posted by cvgmiami on April 25, 2011 at 8:13pm
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Many apartment buildings have public spaces: lobbies, gyms, roof decks, pools, clubhouses, etc.

While I need more space than this (just for my books!) I am impressed at how this apartment is designed.

I'm sure Luke expected some negative comments because of the size of his apartment but posted it anyways because he is proud of his home. Great for you!

posted by mollyfields on April 25, 2011 at 8:15pm
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Are the pillows in the fifth picture photoshopped in? They look a bit like they're levitating and they're creased in exactly the same way (look at the lower left corners).

Bathroom debate aside, it seems as though photos should not be altered in such a way in order for an entry to be eligible.

posted by kitty teeth on April 25, 2011 at 8:16pm
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Apartments definitely do not have to have bathrooms or kitchens! They can have a separate entry, and not be a part of another apartment. Just because you haven't seen it, does not mean it doesn't exist! In my last apartment hunt, I looked at a studio with a bathroom but no kitchen and a studio with a kitchen but no bathroom. Both were over $1000 a month too! People figure out what they need and what they can live without... don't be so quick to rule out other people's lifestyles! I like it.

posted by kwhoa on April 25, 2011 at 8:16pm
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cvgmiami--so rarely does LOL actually involve literal laughing out loud. But I just LOL-ed. A lot.
Yes, Luke clearly has actual sh*t to do.

posted by ingridli on April 25, 2011 at 8:24pm
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@kitty teeth, I thought of the same thing!
As soon as I saw the fifth picture, I felt like lighting of the pillow was totally odd. It must have been photoshopped in.

posted by Teigi on April 25, 2011 at 8:34pm
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@ terry in silver springs
""There is another door visible beside the couch/bed, I assumed that was the door to a washroom."

On the plans, that appears to be a small closet."

how, in those plans, do you surmise a closet from that door? they do teach architectural drawing, you know?

another thing i don't understand is the american need for sq footage. i have lived my entire 28 years in places not over 90m², with a full family of 3-5 people, and we never complained. I've never had a walk-in closet, never had a closet for that matter. we have wardrobes, with 3 to 5 doors, depending on the space available.
we have one living room, one kitchen, one bathroom. we sometimes share bedrooms. a luxury is having a utility room with enough space for a washing machine, and maybe a tiny balcony.
and we have never lacked for space. can someone please explain to me this compulsion for (wasted) space? please? because i cannot understand it. and the fever is starting to catch here, which is worse.
ps i live in brazil, have lived in spain. and not for a trillion dollars would i live in the US if some of the stuff i see around the web is a portrait of said country. sorry.

posted by Bia Silveira on April 25, 2011 at 8:54pm
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It definitely can be a home. Whether it is an apartment is a harder question, but I think shared living still counts.

I'll be voting - or not - based on what I decide I think of the place, not based on the "potty emergency."

Oooh...Luke! When you do get here, you should just post a picture of a potted plant in the closet and say "bathroom."

posted by Shadlyn on April 25, 2011 at 9:46pm
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Like others have said, if there's no bathroom or kitchen this space is merely a tiny bedroom; it's not an apartment.

posted by KayinKCMO on April 25, 2011 at 9:53pm
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like this one better than the other below 100 s.f. apartment.

posted by hht on April 26, 2011 at 3:48am
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I love the couch / bed contraption! Well done, though until I read the comments, I thought the pillows were rearranged to create the mattress. I didn't realize there was one behind it. So I agree that there's the ability there to gain another 8" or so.

I also agree this shouldn't qualify as an apartment without a kitchen or bath. Of course, I also think the categories should be cubic feet not square :) Someone with 10'+ ceilings has an advantage over those of us with 8' ceilings.

posted by Papered Pixels on April 25, 2011 at 10:12pm
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I love this little place. Thought and care went into this space which makes it a home. At the end of the day he's happy here-well done!
I do wonder about your window view though, it doesn't seem like I'm in NYC from there.

posted by dianon on April 25, 2011 at 10:32pm
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now THIS is teeny-tiny. Genius use of (very little)space.

posted by Bridget212323 on April 25, 2011 at 11:01pm
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Wow. 78 sq ft? You deserve a prize for that. Is this a dorm room? Remember the apartment the other day that was 90 square feet? Yours puts that to shame. Congratulations on stylishly making it work.

posted by robertspeg on April 25, 2011 at 11:08pm
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I couldn't read both the dimensions on the floorplan, but the longer one was 14'3", which makes the shorter one about 55 inches. It wouldn't fit lengthwise, so he'd have to go with a fold-out (rather than a tip-over) bed. Assuming he couldn't custom make a fold-out, there are commercially available options, but I'd imagine most are twin size rather than full, and then he also would not be able to lounge on the couch itself. And wouldn't it be blocking the radiator then? (Though, room is so tiny I cannot imagine it being too inefficient even if it's a little blocked off. XD)

posted by lepidoptery on April 25, 2011 at 11:56pm
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A lot of ugly snark on this site. Lighten up! It's his home and, if you don't like it, don't be so disrespectful.

I think it's quite interesting and cozy. It has my vote. I'll take this over some of the truly pretentious entries I've seen on AT. Very well done.

posted by PattyD on April 26, 2011 at 12:16am
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unique situation and you were beyond skillful with the furnishing :)

posted by Mishu Islam on April 26, 2011 at 12:48am
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tiny bedroom/apartment, does it matter? the contest is called smallest coolest HOME (not apartment), and this entry deserves to be here as it certainly showcases creativity and simplified living in a small space-the whole spirit of the contest! (it is definitely not the same thing as furnishing a kid's bedroom and entering it here as another commenter has mentioned.) but if it's such a big deal, maybe AT should create another category. i'm glad to see this entry here. amazing job luke, very inspirational :)

posted by aj510 on April 26, 2011 at 2:07am
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regarding mystery door (across from couch/bed) on the floor plans- it appears that he just left out that door on the floor plan. the elevation seems to correspond to the plan and the picture

posted by aj510 on April 26, 2011 at 2:11am
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This is a stylish solution to city living! Anyone who has lived in a Paris maid's room will tell you this is all too normal. In days of yore, many people (and students) lived in small rooms with water in the hall, John in the hall, and a small alcohol lamp for cooking/or hotplate tucked under your eaves, outside the window for refrigeration(in cool weather). If you got lucky you had a "luxury" maid's room with a wood or coal stove or even a marble fireplace!

posted by virtuelsie on April 26, 2011 at 2:33am
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Sigh...I agree that this is a decorated hallway. I'm not debating how habitable it is, but rather that there isn't anything particularly impressive about this home. I don't feel like we should be clinging onto the "but it has personality!" bandwagon because...all spaces have personality in some way. The ridiculously bulky furniture, oddly placed bed, lack of any color or reference to family/relationships/art/etc. makes it a total flop to me.

posted by ohkatie on April 26, 2011 at 2:56am
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@Bia Silveira,
While I will completely agree with the grossness that is the McMansion, I must point out that many of us, myself included, live in a place where there is more than one climate. I live in an area of Canada where winters can be -40 and summers +40. An 80 degree temp swing call for a range of everything from clothes (bathing suits and hats to huge puffy parkas and boots) to snow tires, lawn mowers and for some snowblowers.
You can't believe everything you see on tv.

posted by Angus_ on April 26, 2011 at 3:15am
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Melbourne and Sydney have become 3rd and 4th on the list of most expensive places in the world to live, and there are PLENTY of desperate renters who would be pleased to be able to afford a place like this. Most apartments with shared bathrooms are just as small and full of COCKROACHES!

posted by kellyannmelbourne on April 26, 2011 at 4:26am
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I love that you took up the challenge of such a small space. I live in a space too large for my liking, and spent several months yearning for a 120 sq ft apartment that I planned over and over in my head. That you have made this work is stupendous.

posted by weckster on April 26, 2011 at 6:32am
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I am not fussed by the lack of "in house" amenities. BUT if we are to assume that the door opposite the sofa is infact a secret portal to the bathroom of wonder and the end of everyone's misery... Unless Luke is matchstick thin.. then how does he open the door while the bed is in-situ? as the hinges are on the side of the door we can see... so it opens INTO the room...

Maybe the door is actually a stargate and he goes through it to another planet to cook and go potty... oh but really it doesn't matter as teh contest is about Small Cool Homes... and if Luke doesn't need a toilet or a kitchen INSIDE his apartment then let him bake cakes elsewhere!

kudos on the bed! and I too am wondering where the books live :(

posted by ChristopherAlan on April 26, 2011 at 7:16am
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Luke's aura of mystery and indifference to all this speculation makes me want to fall in love with him and stalk him.

posted by cvgmiami on April 26, 2011 at 10:25am
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This lovely apartment makes me want to throw away half of my belongings! What a straightforward and simple lifestyle. I love it.

posted by sarah_ann on April 26, 2011 at 7:51am
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Dang ya'll, how much controversy is needed for one entry? If he lives here, it's his apartment! It would be ashamed to nix this entry, especially considering that he's managed to furnish his space without even lofting his bed! This is a complete 180 from the 90sq ft place last week where the lady piled her clutter from floor to ceiling- maybe it's not ideal, but this entry is VERY much in the spirit of small and cool!

posted by talby on April 26, 2011 at 7:55am
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Who cares what that door is? I bet this is an example of a landlord who chopped up a tenement into individual units, and Luke's space is what used to be the hallway to the other rooms of the unit.

I knew a man who lived in something similar where his bathroom and toilet was shared with the other tenants and down the hall.

So Luke doesn't have running water. Big deal.

What I see here is really really tiny - far tinier than I'm personally comfortable in. But it's got a sense of design, it's got consistency in the overall look (albeit spartan) and for that, I think it's a commendable effort and well worthy to be in this competition.

And to the person who commented to the Brazilian poster about living in a part of the world where there are 4 seasons, did you notice that Luke lives in NYC? If he can live within his 78 sf with his winter outerwear and what have you, then your comment kind of doesn't hold up does it?

posted by summerinbrooklyn on April 26, 2011 at 8:00am
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After looking again at these pictures I am a bit confused. I still don't think this is an "apartment" without running water, but what is odd to me at closer inspection? I don't think it is real. Look at the pillows in the 5th picture. They don't seem to be sitting on the bed but look photoshopped into the picture.

I don't know... this whole entry weirds me out.

posted by kinyama on April 26, 2011 at 9:30am
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This is lovely! And, everyone does not need a kitchen and their own bathroom to live a good life. For instance, Luke could opt for a place with his own bathroom and kitchen facilities but would have to live in a less desirable neighborhood, likely. I would like to hear more from Luke about his experience here.

posted by SuzanneL_ on April 26, 2011 at 9:39am
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Running water and a kitchen do not an apartment make. I'm assuming this is an SRO, and that this is an awesome use of space.

posted by jmsnyc on April 26, 2011 at 10:45am
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My bedroom at home is smaller than this, but it has a bathroom attached. I don't consider it an apartment since it's within a condo, how does this count as an apartment with no place to cook? I understand not everyone likes to/does cook, but the opportunity for it should be there in order for it to be called a place to live. This is a dorm room, albeit stylishly decorated.

posted by jenawithonen on April 26, 2011 at 12:47pm
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Right, where I come from (Ireland) we call a dwelling with a shared bathroom a 'bedsit', that is, a bed/sitting room. We don't call them apartments, just as we don't call houses apartments.

Back to Bedsits, the residents usually had a refridgerator, a hot plate and maybe a sink and faucet or some cobbled together kitchen. There was talk of making them illegal if they didn't have a little bathroom but folk have argued that this would put a lot of accomadation out of folks budget so we still have bedsits.

I didn't think folks comments here were snarky, they just asked about the bathroom 's all!!

posted by Maurs on April 26, 2011 at 12:55pm
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The contest is about small cool HOMES, not apartments, and if this is all of Luke's own living space then it's his home. Get over yourselves, will you? :)

With that said, I don't find it particularly attractive or well designed regardless of its size.

posted by fleo on April 26, 2011 at 1:21pm
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OMG, WHERE IS THE BATHROOM? Wow, Kudos to you Luke.

posted by marabou on April 26, 2011 at 1:23pm
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Yep, the pillows look "virtual" but maybe he did it more to enhance the overall look of the photograph rather than as a punk? I hope so because I can't go on thinking Luke doesn't have a bathroom, a kitchen or pillows. :(

posted by cvgmiami on April 26, 2011 at 3:00pm
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I couldn't care less about a kitchen and bathroom, I just want some more information on how he managed to build that fantastic bed/couch deal.

posted by Qwerpy on April 26, 2011 at 4:40pm
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Love that black lamp.

posted by tomgyrll on April 26, 2011 at 5:12pm
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Maybe if we could figure out what's playing on the laptop, it would give us a clue to the bathroom's location.

posted by Britomart on April 26, 2011 at 8:28pm
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I have to stop coming back to this post - now the whole place looks Photoshopped!


posted by cvgmiami on April 26, 2011 at 8:41pm
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I'll never understand why people live in New York if they have to live in a closet. It isn't worth it. But anyway, cool 'room'.

posted by ShangriLyla on April 26, 2011 at 9:00pm
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three words: loft the bed!

other than that, i really love the space. it has great contrast between dark and light.

posted by lizkid on April 26, 2011 at 10:36pm
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The couch/bed is a great solution for someone, like myself, with limited space but still wants to sleep on a real mattress.
But seriously Luke what is up with the silence??? What's up with the kitchen, where do you shower, where does that door go, do you own pillows???
I too want to fall in love with you and stalk you for your indifference to our need for answers.

posted by alexis on April 27, 2011 at 1:02am
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i vote it's a fake judging by the weird 4th pillow picture...and it just doesn't look or give off the impression that anyone really and truly 'lives' there.

posted by emily76m on April 27, 2011 at 2:56am
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one sexy space. =)

posted by JulianneMay on April 27, 2011 at 5:45am
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Damn brother! I am totally impressed! I'm worried about you, but I'm still impressed.

posted by conejitoasesino on April 27, 2011 at 5:49am
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btw, i 'added to fav' cos i cant get over how bright and lovely the room/windows look =)

posted by JulianneMay on April 27, 2011 at 6:06am
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Enough. Luke, reveal yourself! I can't take it!

I don't care if this is an "apartment" or not, I just want answers!!

posted by lollybox on April 27, 2011 at 6:14am
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So much drama-rama!!!

posted by owlmug on April 27, 2011 at 9:46am
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i think this is just one of those agitator pieces, just for the hell of it. but my ex lived for 8 years in a place eerily similar, only with a 2,5m ceiling. it was ghastly.

@ Angus
would love to visit canada. and i live in the south, so our temps go from -10ºC to +40ºC, and we don't have central heating, so it's not all that different. we only get snow once in a blue moon though.
and i'm not really talking about your average person (my brother lives in spokane, and he is rather sane), it's just that the excesses are really out there! and we do have loonies here as well, btw. i guess what curbs us most are the prices. we don't have ikeas and targets and 60%off coupons. design pieces can cost as much as college tuition, and cars are frightfully expensive.
what interests me are the cultural values inherent in a society, and how they can differ so much from one country to the next, including their approach to design.
ok, rant over.

posted by Bia Silveira on April 27, 2011 at 9:54am
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Figures. I'm obsessed with a man who may not even exist.

Why, Luke. Why.

P.S. Also look carefully at the stool and floor in picture number 5. Weird, right? I'm calling Oliver Stone.

posted by cvgmiami on April 27, 2011 at 11:21am
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I registered on AT just so I could comment here - It's obvious how many NON-NEW YORKERS are talking about this place. I can't believe people are trashing this guy saying this isn't an apartment. Do you know how many apartments in NYC have shared bathrooms, or how many hotels for that matter? If you don't have a lot of loot and aren't home that much (since you are out enjoying NYC), you can find yourself pretty comfortable with things people in the suburbs would scoff at. I lived in a place not much bigger than this for 2 years. Yes, I had a bathroom, but it's definitely easier for a guy to share a bathroom in the hallway, than a girl. My one window was 2 feet away from a brick wall, and I used the kitchen probably 5x that whole lease.
It's kind of interesting that Luke didn't just opt for a fold down futon, but honestly, this space is done very nicely and I give him a thumbs up!

posted by pkpk on April 27, 2011 at 1:14pm
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This place makes me sad. I can't say that Luke hasn't done a good job, but lack of color and the size of it make me want to cry.

posted by deabs8 on April 27, 2011 at 1:18pm
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Come on guys. I can remember my student days living in a NYC tenement apt. Each floor had a hallway bathroom used by all the tenants of that floor.
Nobody's asking YOU to live in Luke's apartment. I congratulate him on his resourcefulness.

posted by mei-ling on April 27, 2011 at 1:21pm
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Luke must be laughing his ass off.

posted by cvgmiami on April 27, 2011 at 1:24pm
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Stop hating, if you don't consider this an apartment you have never lived in NYC. Period. This IS an apartment by NYC standards. Nice work luke!

posted by sibeso on April 27, 2011 at 1:34pm
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I'm not a new yorker, in fact I live on an island in the middle of the pacific and the no bathroom/kitchen thing didn't bother me. I get it. Anyone who regularly reads AT or reads about small space design/apartment living should get it, the joys of the internet...

Its about having an open mind and not being of the mindset that things are somehow "unfair" .

AT doesn't put such stringent rules on their contest because this contest celebrates creativity and alternate views of what we really need to be happy in our habitat.

posted by mauishopgirl on April 27, 2011 at 1:55pm
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Luke - I would hire you in a heartbeat to build furniture for my LES 170sq ft studio. This is gorgeous.

posted by ltrav on April 27, 2011 at 2:16pm
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I've stayed in plenty of hotels without bathrooms, but i'm not really sure i understand why "lots of hotels are like this" is an argument for "why is this home like this".

I agree that Luke has done a good job of creating an attractive teeny space. I just think that i don't understand the choices he's made, from a practical living perspective.

I think the thing that really throws me off, more than the lack of bathroom or kitchen, is the sofa. Its totally straight-backed and doesn't have any arms, so the only way you could sit on it is stick-straight-upright staring at the white wall 2 feet away. What an uncomfortable way to relax and read, or sit and eat (without anywhere other than a white cushion to put food down). Within another person over, you'd have to sit sideways on the couch, or stare forward together at the wall. I can't imagine doing much more in that apartment other than sleeping and making a quick breakfast, which is totally fine, except it makes the presense of the couch even stranger. Why not just have a bed or daybed or pullout couch, (or two chairs facing each other) and re-gain both 10 inches of horizontal space and extra practicallity? i feel like the sofa is cleverness in the absence of purpose?

If this apartment is about the 'NYC lifestyle' than why is it trying to be something else?

posted by Deeliscious on April 27, 2011 at 2:24pm
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What a bunch of sourpusses. I dunno where you live, but in a real city this is a real apartment. Good job Luke!! I really admire your ingenuity and zen attitude. If only these cranky commenters could be happier with less.

posted by scrutables on April 27, 2011 at 2:25pm
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I absolutely love your place! Its both small and cool, so I'm glad to see it on AT. Love your custom bed/sofa! Had I seen your post back in Jan, I would've moved in a smaller place. My apt in NYC had a futon that was some how harder than the wood floor and the blow-up mattress was tacky. It was a lost cause in trying to make it look nice...but you did it. Congrats! I've never been a fan of kitchens (I like going out to eat with my friends with the money I save on rent)...and who cares if you don't have your own bathroom. Needs some art, in my opinion...thats about it.

posted by WandaR on April 27, 2011 at 3:00pm
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Also wondering about the practicality of the couch converting to a bed. Unless it has some pretty sophisticated hinge system, seems that it would take significant effort to lift the mattress and the board it rests on (even more so if the mattress is not somehow attached to the board. Again, if there is not a really cool hinge system it looks like you would need to do some gymnastics to create the clearance needed to rotate/lift the mattress in place. Even looking at picture of the bed, the board and mattress do not appear to be centered on the base.

posted by tandreams on April 27, 2011 at 3:00pm
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quotable quotes from today's comments: "Oooh...Luke! When you do get here, you should just post a picture of a potted plant in the closet and say "bathroom."" and
"Luke's aura of mystery and indifference to all this speculation makes me want to fall in love with him and stalk him." Bwahaha!

I love this room for the pared-down simplicity. There might be a few simple ways to perfect this, if allowed by your landlord:
-Needs some color even if only on the window wall - a warm buttery yellow to refract and warm the sun?. If you can't paint, can you hang fabric?
-I would LOVE some hanging vines around the window. If you had that kind of plantage, I could deal with all the white better.
-Hanging the mirror on the wall, not leaning on the table, so the space is not all about "dark area of clutter"
-Hanging something above the upended bed to catch the eye and complete the space. I'm still a fan of that color.

That said, and on a totally different tangent - I'm wondering if there is a way for someone to make this space work in a totally different way.
-Loft? (would require some fancy building skills prolly)
-Just the Murphy bed without a couch
-Hammock that folds away entirely when not in use?
-Hanging bed? (just to be wild and crazy)

Luke - love your place!!

posted by YakkoDot on April 27, 2011 at 3:56pm
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Agree with tandreams. The hinge system would have to allow the bed to rise up before swinging down, or the bottom of the mattress would swing through a good chunk of wall.

posted by Quarterly Prophet on April 27, 2011 at 3:56pm
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Impossibly small. This is a closet.

posted by drcourt777 on April 27, 2011 at 5:03pm
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This space works great. I'd live hear. It would afford me the luxury to live outside to go see and do. I'm not tied down to square footage that requires me to maintain. I'd rather spend my weekend elsewhere and come here to rest. You've inspired me and thanks.

posted by Matador de Floor Plans on April 27, 2011 at 4:16pm
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This is awesome. The bed/couch solution is brilliant. I wouldn't be able to live here because I always have to pee in the middle of the night, but I suppose I could always bring the chamberpot back. Kidding! But seriously, this is just a precious little place and I hope you win or at least get some sort of honorable mention.

posted by erindanielle on April 27, 2011 at 4:29pm
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and the rent is still sky high, you have to be young to able to put up with this, you do and I admire that This is a hallway!I lived in small spaces really a very small room but this beats everything you did an excellent job to make it habitual for you!

posted by charpini on April 27, 2011 at 4:32pm
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cvgmiami -you are hoot! :) LOL on both your posts!

Angus: the extreme four season climate is just an excuse. I live in just that, it's very extreme, there are two adults and a toddler, and we have a spacious one bedroom 600 ft apartment with some half empty closets.

About Luke's tiny place.. I don't care if it has a bathroom or not, but the picture with the bed pillows looked photoshopped to me too.
(And while the couch/sofa thing is sorta cool, it wastes a lot of floor space when it's in a couch mode.)
So, Luke, are you a troll??

posted by Velourcat on April 27, 2011 at 4:36pm
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Heh, invite people over to sit down on the sofa and stare at the wall.

I too am missing either a kitchen, bathroom or both to count this as an apartment. Maybe it's a dorm room? Flat sharing?

posted by Steve_from_DesignBlog on April 27, 2011 at 5:01pm
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LOL, well I don't care whether or not Luke has a bathroom, a kitchen, photoshopped pillows.....or even lives in this space. It wouldn't be the only unoccupied space in the competition.

What I don't like about this entry is that the bed/couch contraption just seems to be a lot of effort for little gain.......maybe it even makes the space less habitable

posted by sousa609 on April 27, 2011 at 5:09pm
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This is a fantastic use of space, but there must be a bath and kitchen somewhere... or else it's a bedroom and not an apartment.

I do think he should get a consolation prize. Great working of space, here.

posted by Jenn Zynn on April 27, 2011 at 5:45pm
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impressed with your creative solutions luke. job well done!

posted by 3floorsup on April 27, 2011 at 6:20pm
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No kitchen? No bathroom? No closet? If this is for real, Luke is a skinny, naked man with a bursting bladder.

Just kidding! If this is for real, Luke is a genius!


posted by creative license on April 27, 2011 at 8:33pm
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I just have one question. Why bother with a sofa/bed contraption, cleverly designed or not. Wouldn't it be easier to just have a bed and sit to read or lay down to sleep?

posted by geemila on April 27, 2011 at 10:05pm
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the entire mattress is photoshopped, let alone the pillows. and who knows what else.

regardless, that this contest is completely based around square footage, it sort of behooves entrants to include full square footage ... which in this case should include whatever bathroom (and perhaps kitchen) he shares, no? even if it's shared, it's part of your living space.

posted by yourlittlevoice on April 27, 2011 at 11:39pm
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"Luke is a skinny, naked man with a bursting bladder."

creative license, ROTFL!! Thanks, I needed that!

posted by rhodajr on April 27, 2011 at 11:59pm
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Luke's home qualifies, read the official Contest Info. Have your people, call AT's people who obviously approved this home to be in the Contest.

The more I think about this, Luke becomes more studly. When he is there, he never has to fold up the bed (bow chicka bow bow).

Any other nights are at spent "elsewhere", teeny tiny (or not ;). Housing problems solved. Win Small & Cool money, score more!

posted by ryejen on April 28, 2011 at 12:00am
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after reading some of these comments, my guess is that Luke's home is one of those "dens" that are off a bedroom that many people use as an office, wic, or baby room. The window and narrow room show that it's over an entrance way in a traditional brownstone.<br/>
I applaud his innovative bed/couch but omg, this makes me claustrophobic. and I can't imagine his food monthly food bill if he truly does not cook.

posted by essny on April 28, 2011 at 12:02am
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Food bill? I spent one week on vacation in NYC and could have eaten out daily on $15 a day mixing non-cooked fresh and frozen or fast food (Chinese, Grocery, street food, or Chipotle)..... there are so many resources. I did have access to a fridge and micro - but no utensils like Pyrex or bulk storage. Here at home, I spent $6.30 today on an energy drink (Thermos-sized) and Altoids. $6.25 on a breakfast burrito and Apple Juice Nantucket Nectar. Vending machine lunch $1.50 Mt. Dew, $1.00 Planters Peanuts, $75 Certs. Dinner $6.99 Redhook ESB - with a $2.50 Stouffer Mac & Cheese that may wait until tomorrow. Still pretty budget friendly but not as inexpensive as NYC. I hate to admit but we also only drank bottled water in NY, But bought in bulk at the beginning so no idea what per bottle, 10c? 20c. We're traveler's - we didn't want to risk it. Got so sick in Las Vegas before any beer could be consumed. It was narrowed down to free breakfast buffet or communal computer at AZ hotel.

posted by ryejen on April 28, 2011 at 12:24am
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wow! this is the greatest 'comment banter' yet! Luke where the hell are you? Im starting to agree with the stalkers. and god, could you give us something to look at when sitting on the couch? and how about photoshopping in a bathroom somewhere so these people will shut up already! (haha) crazee frickin new yorkers!!!

posted by queenyellowsun on April 28, 2011 at 5:53am
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PHOTOSHOP A BATHROOM!!! I just spit out my bottled water (23 cents pre sip).

Luke, all is forgiven. I'm sorry I ever called your place "tiny" and "inadequate" and "tiny". I can see how that could hurt a man's feelings.

I think we could be very happy there, you and me, on our photoshopped bed, staring at the wall.

Please Luke, talk to me.

posted by cvgmiami on April 28, 2011 at 10:18am
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Luke definitely wins at LEAST the "number of comments generated" award!

Having lived in Japan, where I've seen a home WITH upright piano made out of a 3-mat room (~54 sq ft) I guess I shouldn't be so amazed at this, but I am.

Quibbling over whether it's an "apartment" goes to show ya - you make something a competition, it creates dissidence. My take is, let's just enjoy creativity.

I think I'd install the biggest mirror(s) I could find on the blank wall. I saw a friend's bathroom (which is about the size and shape of your whole place, LOL!) before and after he installed a verrrrrry long mirror over the sinks, and the difference in feel was astonishing.

posted by Annie-O on April 28, 2011 at 10:55am
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I guess "dissidence" is the wrong word. Dissonance? Anyway, ill-will.

posted by Annie-O on April 28, 2011 at 10:58am
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I agree with lolagirl and curbed.com - somehow doesn't click with me as a real room/apartment.

posted by StefanieF on April 28, 2011 at 12:16pm
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Wow! I can think of several circumstances that would make this a fine place to live. It's not hard to imagine sharing a bathroom and perpetually eating out in NYC.

If this were just an "extra" room in a bigger place, he wouldn't have had to manoeuvre the plywood sheets around inside it; he could have built his bed/couch in a larger space in the house/apartment and moved it in when it was finished. I doubt anyone would use this tiny space as a workshop unless he absolutely had to!

The doors across from the couch could lead to anything; there could be a closet or a bathroom, or they could be left over from a time when this room was accessible from another, but blocked off now.

posted by Rorabee on April 28, 2011 at 1:09pm
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We need to step up our game or Luke will be very angry with us. The Gothamist's comment board (yes, this apartment has gone viral folks) includes the following nugget:

"I love going over to Luke's place. Post up, crack some brews, stare at the wall."

posted by cvgmiami on April 28, 2011 at 2:25pm
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The fact that this entry has driven people to scrutinize every shadow, corner and reflection to declare it Photoshopped means that Luke has won - he's driven y'all crazy!!!

posted by emmelemm on April 28, 2011 at 3:25pm
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all these comments have definitely made passing my hours at work very enjoyable... especially cvgmiami comments. i have literally LOLd at every comment. do u have a funny blog or smtg?? and luke - where r u!? really.

posted by shannieboop on April 28, 2011 at 4:05pm
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shannieboop - Thanks but no, nothing official, I'm just bored. But always happy to make someone laugh!

Hey, you haven't heard from Luke, have you? Has he asked about me?

posted by cvgmiami on April 28, 2011 at 4:34pm
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Me again.

Look. If you do exist and this is really your place, you are to be commended for your ingenuity, resourcefulness and Photoshop skills. Apologies if anyone's comments offended you.

If you don't exist - and you did this just to f**k with a bunch of self-important, opinionated hipsters - call me!

posted by cvgmiami on April 28, 2011 at 4:59pm
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Gothamist, and several others are calling this a hallway. Now the more I look at this. Hmm....

posted by dianon on April 28, 2011 at 5:21pm
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I actually lived in an apartment just like this in Greenwhich Village back in the 60's .. I shared it with a very neat guy. We kept milk on the windowsill in the winter ... that was our refrigerator. LOL

posted by delumiere on April 28, 2011 at 7:36pm
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I actually lived in an apartment just like this in Greenwhich Village back in the 60's .. I shared it with a very neat guy. It was a walkup on the 3rd floor. We kept milk on the windowsill in the winter ... (that was our refrigerator) LOL.The bathroom is in the hall and across from this enclosure was a larger "apt-room" ... PittyPat lived there, with his racoon, that he walked everyday ... in Washington Sq Park. Ahhhh ... those were the good ol' hippy days.

posted by delumiere on April 28, 2011 at 7:47pm
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First off, I think if this was a real apartment, Luke would have commented by now. Secondly, there are THOUSANDS of apartments this small in NYC! The doors across from the sofa are probably pocket doors that open to a tiny closet. Since there in a built closet next to the entrance door, this space is probably used to house the tv and hide the hotplate. Shared bathrooms do not make a rental NOT an apartment. If he pays, lives and sleeps it's an apartment. Even if it is fake.

posted by highondesign on April 28, 2011 at 9:19pm
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Highondesign (oh.),

Are you defending Luke's right to live in an apartment that doesn't exist? I'm not judging, just curious.

posted by cvgmiami on April 28, 2011 at 9:26pm
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time to make a new category...this belongs in teeny-tiny eeny weeny...i could never be a New Yorker if this is how u live.

posted by sesteadman88 on April 28, 2011 at 10:18pm
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Every time I see a teeny tiny apartment *cough cough* umm, living space, I always think of that Flight of the Concords episode where Jemaine moves into the janitor's closet.

posted by zimmerwoman on April 29, 2011 at 12:26am
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also...the door with the rack is the entry, the other door (opposite the couch) is a sealed door that would otherwise lead to the unit next door...

posted by lct on April 29, 2011 at 10:52am
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I've seen pull behind trailers smaller than this and someone actually living in it, so this is great!!! If any of you have ever stepped inside of one, they all don't have bathrooms and kitchens. I love to go camping and this would be just like it, only without being outside. When my kids are grown and I'm old and alone I guarantee this is probably how I would want to live. Less to clean!!!

posted by SusieQTX on April 29, 2011 at 9:16am
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queenyellowsun, I am sitting at work laughing so loud and thanking God that I am here alone. I am guffawing LOUDLY!!!! Love it, photoshop a bathroom.....LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!! That just made my Friday, Thanks!!!!

posted by SusieQTX on April 29, 2011 at 9:45am
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hey guys, luke here, i have only had time to read a few of these comments but as soon as i'm done with work i'll look through them all. thought i'd give a quick bit of extra info for all the questions out there...the bathroom is a shared venture down the hall and there is no kitchen, but my mini fridge and microwave (inside the closet) seem to be enough for this vegetarian. and if i ever need the luxury of the real stove hell's kitchen has plenty of affordable eats just around the corner.

but so many thanks to all you guys for the comments...the witty, complimentary, critical, and so on. its awesome to share my space and more so to know its appreciated.

posted by lct on April 29, 2011 at 10:31am
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Luke! Your adaption to this space is amazing. Your use of white and dark browns really opens up the space and I don't know many people that would make this work, but you do it!

I say, if you have a lock on your door, you have a contract and you pay the bill - it's an apartment! It's a fairly common concept to share washrooms and toilets in older buildings all over Europe and as NYC is the most European influenced city in the US, this makes sense. It's your style darling and the small space that makes you applicable to the contest - not whether you have a toilet in your direct space. C'mon folks - think OUTSIDE the box. if Luke is willing to "live in one", certainly you can appreciate his style and ownership of it??

posted by bellamomma1 on April 29, 2011 at 10:51am
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wow, just made it through the comments…and again, thanks for all the props and criticisms alike. hopefully i can clear up some of the question marks that my apartment, wait, scratch that, that my home has caused. when i initially signed up i didn’t explain much because i didn’t think people would look so much into each entry so i tried to keep it rather succinct. and a special shout out to CVGMIAMI because no matter what i was reading there was always a much needed witty break with your posts…much appreciated, in fact, most of this response is just for you :) we will one day be friends i'm sure of it!

NEIGHBORHOOD - the place is in hell’s kitchen with a layered view of trees, brownstones, residential towers, the hearst tower and the time warner towers. it’s on the 3rd story of a 3-story walk up townhouse/brownstone. the first 2 floors have regular apartments (in every sense of the word apartment) and the top floor has 6 units (4 of which have to share a bathroom, which is located on the main hallway/stairway of the building). the bathroom itself is actually nice…floor to ceiling marble tile and bronze fixtures. most funky nyc buildings will have a misleading yet glammed out elevator…our bathroom is our jeweled elevator :)

DOORS - i have 3 doors; the white solid panel with the coat rack is the entry door, the black panel/wood frame door next to it is the face of a built-in cabinet (shown in plan) that is my closet and holds my clothes, books, microwave, dishes [i wash them in the bathroom], and cleaning supplies), the 3rd is a sealed/non-operable white-paneled door near the window which isn’t shown on the plan because it is sealed shut and would otherwise just lead to the adjacent unit. everyone who visits me always wants to know what's behind it, hoping that i have more space, but it belongs to someone else…we gotta share in this neighborhood. but yeah, if it were operable then i surely would not put a bed or couch in front of it.

INTERIOR - if i were not taller than the apartment is wide i would have loved to make a custom bed that could be oriented the other direction and free up more floor space. but the landlord wouldn’t let me move any walls and steal my neighbors’ space so i had to instead keep my space long and single-wall-loaded. of course this makes for a close relationship between the wall and the couch but i just use it as an excuse not to buy an ottoman because while i read or mark up my drawings i can just prop my feet right up on the wall. some asked why i would have a couch at all but i added it because when the bed is down the apartment really does feel a lot smaller. i work from home so being able to open up the space and have it more like a living room is nice for me (same reason there is a mirror above the desk - it deepens the perceived space while i work). plus the couch is a good place for people to sit when they visit rather than on a bed. i could have done a day bed but i think the bigger beds are more fun when you have a visitor at night…if you know what i mean…and speaking of pillow talk (which isn’t otherwise supposed to leave the bedroom) the pillows on the bed are not real, heh, but everything else is. my friend said i should throw them in there so people would better understand that as the bed when glancing through. but it seems as if people are quite thorough in viewing these entries, which is awesome because i never imagined people paying so much attention to strangers’ apartments (or homes).

APT OR NOT - as far as the debate on what is or isn’t an apartment, i’ll leave that one alone because i know well enough that battles of semantics or definitions can rarely be reasonable. i’m sure this building was at one point a single home and over the years was slowly subdivided into flats and then subdivided again and again until i ended up signing a lease with a broker for this 78 square foot shoebox. i of course miss cooking but other than that i’m not giving anything up. having lived in both the largest shelter in the southeast as well as the largest slum in east africa, i don’t think living small is a challenge. so we can call it anything; a room, a hallway, a live-in-closet, but to me it’s just home.

thanks again for all the posts…they’ve been fun to read!

posted by lct on April 30, 2011 at 1:03am
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I'm sure you know by now that you've inadvertently become an Internet urban legend.

Thanks for chiming in, but we still want to know: what is Photoshop and what is real?

posted by cvgmiami on April 29, 2011 at 12:39pm
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posted by Betsy Olsson on April 29, 2011 at 11:38am
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Not only is Luke real........... he might even be kinda awesome! How can you not love a guy who cares enough to decorate (beautifully) 78 square feet? How many other guys would've just thrown a mattress on the floor and called it a day?

posted by creative license on April 29, 2011 at 12:49pm
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OMG Luke was here. I'm all a twitter. What about the pillows Luke???? For God's sake WHAT ABOUT THE PILLOWS???

posted by alexis on April 29, 2011 at 2:49pm
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yeah 4 Luke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted by queenyellowsun on April 30, 2011 at 1:11am
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First rule of Luke's Apartment: WE DON'T TALK ABOUT THE PILLOWS.

posted by cvgmiami on April 29, 2011 at 3:21pm
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Luke, if I wore hats, I'd take mine off to you. Well played :)

(ARE the pillows in the last picture photoshopped, though?)

posted by ryttu3k on April 30, 2011 at 3:04am
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Wow Luke, you write well too!

posted by Clairesf on April 30, 2011 at 3:52am
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This reminds me of my dorm room at the 34th Street YMCA when I attended Parsons back in the 80's!

posted by Kathryn on April 30, 2011 at 10:38am
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I have to admit I first thought this entry was a fake when it appeared so soon after the complaints about Felice Cohen 90sqft NY apt.

Still, I was very happy to see this entry because there's seldom anything teeny tiny in said category.

posted by Kinky Gazpacho on April 30, 2011 at 11:40am
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Hi Luke,
I love your place. I'm the one who filmed with Felice Cohen in her place last summer and am returning to New York for a few days this summer. Any interest in doing a video?
If you're interested you can email me at kirstendirksen@faircompanies.com. (And to anyone else reading, am always interested in small spaces- they don't need to be this small, but well-used space in not-big places works too. Email me if you're interested in being profiled).

Best of luck, Luke, in the competition.

posted by kirstendirksen on April 30, 2011 at 6:06pm
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YES the pillows were 'photoshopped'! Good eye whoever first caught that!

posted by queenyellowsun on May 1, 2011 at 1:32am
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posted by cvgmiami on May 1, 2011 at 3:29pm
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Do they sell scroll bars on Etsy, I wonder...

posted by cvgmiami on May 2, 2011 at 10:22am
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@alexis when I read your comment I had such a good laugh, and kept laughing for awhile...so funny at least the way I read it! thanx!

posted by Raggadyandi on May 4, 2011 at 1:59am
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For the record, whenever I need a good laugh I come here! It's better than the funnies! "Skinny, naked, man with bursting bladder..." laughing for weeks!

posted by sesteadman88 on May 4, 2011 at 5:23pm
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Luke works from home? What a legend!

posted by alc on May 11, 2011 at 7:27am
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For sleeping, try fold-up, cushioned mats and sleeping bags.
For sitting, place a mat and/or sleeping bag in a pillowcase.

posted by lil on May 18, 2011 at 10:42am
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Luke you are awesome! Talk about taking lemons n making lemonade. This is a great design solution and that I think is the point here. It's an inspiration, anyone can take a regular flat and make it look good, but to make a seemingly impossible space work and look fantastic? That is design at it's best.

posted by Bruce127 on May 18, 2011 at 3:56am
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Rather than a closet, try pull-out storage baskets under a daybed or futon couch.
Baskets are easy to transport.

3 tops x 3 bottoms = 9 outfits
Limit or omit accessories.
Try one pair of dress shoes, sneakers and boots – or go barefoot.
Rather than a hat or umbrella, try a hooded jacket.

There are many ready-to-eat foods at the grocery store.
Store a few dry goods and kitchen items in baskets under a bed.
A plate, bowl, mug, spoon, fork and large knife may be all that is needed.
Try a large cutting board over the fridge.
Try a microwave shelf over the fridge.

Eat with your plate in your lap.
Set your drink down on the window sill or floor.
Iron clothes on a towel over the kitchen counter.

Rather than a desk, try a handheld computer and clipboard.
Computers replace paper, books, pictures, tv, a stereo, alarm clock, etc.
Rather than an end table, try a floor lamp and tote bag of handy items.

To reflect light, try a full-length mirror on the back of the entry door.

posted by lil on May 18, 2011 at 9:43am
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@cvgmiami - you are hilarious!! I couldn't resist scrolling down to read all of your comments!!

@lct - thanks Luke for clarifying everything - especially the photoshopped pillows!

I don't live in NYC but have plenty of friends who do and considering the premium on space, such a small living space is not so unusual, nor is sharing a bathroom.

posted by curlscj on May 18, 2011 at 11:42am
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cvgmiami I think I love you.

posted by em-mpls3045 on May 19, 2011 at 1:07pm
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I'm sorry but I get claustrophobic just looking at it. I admire you for living there but I couldn't do it.

posted by anaisninja on June 22, 2011 at 7:15pm
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here he is!!! it's real!!!

posted by emily76m on August 10, 2011 at 1:12am
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Brilliant use of space. Rent seems a bit high but what do I know? Share a bathroom? So what? You'd share one if you had roommates, too. Good on you, Luke, for creating a beautiful situation for yourself. You seem like a very happy, productive guy!

posted by Whichbrew on August 10, 2011 at 2:12pm
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