Home is a closet-size, 78-square-foot apartment
Young architect finds a tiny Manhattan bargain, at $800 a month. No bath, no kitchen? No problem.
People in New York have to live in smaller spaces than do most of the rest of us. They know that.
But 78 square feet?
Architect Luke Clark Tyler is living in what is a small apartment even for Manhattan: a 78-square-foot pad furnished with a sofa bed, desk and miniature refrigerator in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood.
For this, he pays $800 a month, enough for a mortgage payment on a three-bedroom house in some cities, but a bargain in New York City.
A conventional studio apartment in that neighborhood goes for about $1,600, and Tyler says he would rather spend that extra $800 a month elsewhere. His previous apartment was 96 square feet.
"Between this place and my last place I was living in Kenya in a place half the size of this, and it was made of mud," Tyler, 28, says in a video tour of his closet-size apartment. "So I don't have a kitchen. I'm five minutes from a lot of activities that I do."
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One reason that the apartment can be so small is that it has no bathroom. Those facilities are shared with the occupants of three other similar apartments in the building. But Tyler says he misses having a kitchen more than he misses a private bath. He points out that he grew up in a family home with only one bath.
Tyler's "Midtown mansion," as he calls it, also has a closet, where he stores his clothes, toiletries and microwave. Winter clothes and tools are under the sofa bed he constructed of plywood and 2-by-4s. He also built the desk, which he uses as a home office, since he works from home.
"The smaller the space you have, the more critical it is to be efficient with how you use it, and especially how you furnish it," he says.
He entered his abode in Apartment Therapy's contest for the best small spaces, but he was beaten in the Teeny Tiny category by an apartment, also in Manhattan, five times the size of his.
Could you live in 78 square feet?
Mr. Tyler has made a choice to sacrifice comfort and space for the convenience of living in downtown. It isn't a choice that I would make. But then, I admit to being very territorial; that, and I have a deep need for my own space and comfort.
Though, when I was younger, I might have followed Mr. Tyler's example.
All of the personal attacks on this guy, he is not an idiot or a moron, in fact he's quite resourceful. To everyone bragging about your living space, that you have a 12 bedroom house that you bought 35 years ago in Detroit or in a cornfield somewhere for less than what he pays, hey congratulations. He is in Hells Kitchen, one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the country, in a beautiful brownstone on a beautiful street (watch the video). It is Manhattan, you know, there is plenty to do within a few blocks, he need not be a prisoner to his home. His bathroom (also very nice) is one step from his door. And yes, I could live there, albeit for a limited time, few years at most. But think of how he's saving big $$'s in the time he's there, so more power to him. Not everyone feels the need to be bogged down by possessions or have a 3 car garage.
To the poster wondering where his books are, this is the age of Kindles, iPhones, and laptops. No need for clutter if you don't want it. The only thing he is missing is a TV. That is the one thing he doesn't have that couldn't live without.
I guess it is like being in a jail cell, feel sorry for this guy I couldnt do it, and the people that ask 800 a month for this should be horse whipped. I would move out of N.Y. there are a lot of other nicer places and cheaper to.
welp my Kitchen is larger and so is my dining area and even my bathroom is larger and the two bedrooms are atleast twice that size each I think the laundry room is even larger than that
and i get all that for 630.00 a month oh and yes its in the USA near a Large University with front and back yards fully walled and a nice little driveway aswell
A number of comments here criticize this man for his choices and go so far as to call him a tool. Considering that more than 90% of the world lives without a private bathroom or even running water, I can't help but wonder who the actual tools are. Telling him to "grow up" and get a bigger place is about as un-grown up as one can get, as the rest of us "grown ups" recognize that different people choose different lifestyles, and only the truly immature or naive expect everyone to live the same way they do.
I feel like I would be unhappy in this apartment, but if he is content, then more power to him. And if a girl dumped him because of the size of his space, then she's clearly not worth it anyways.
(Yes, he could move out of NYC. Yes, it's expensive. It's also a choice. People in NYC are well aware that they COULD go get cheap rent living in a small town in rural Colorado, Arkansas, Kansas, or many other places. And yet they stay. Perhaps it's because...shock!...they like it!)
About Teresa Mears
Teresa Mears is a veteran journalist who has been interested in houses since her father took her to tax auctions to carry the cash at age 10. A former editor of The Miami Herald's Home & Design section, she lives in South Florida where, in addition to writing about real estate, she publishes Miami on the Cheap to help her neighbors adjust to the loss of 60% of their property value.