226 W 150th st.
45 W 139th St
40 Pinehurst Ave.
Photo By: Mathew Henry
Bohemia Blog by Agent Michaela Morton
New York is a crazy place to hunt for housing, full of glitz and glam and gut renovations and tiny nooks masquerading as bedrooms and slightly larger nooks masquerading as homes. And while it’s tempting to just put on your rose-colored glasses and pray, a bit more of a Rosie-the-Riveter tint will help you envision the unseen upsides to every space.
Below are three tips to help you make the most of your home hunt from a happy human and real estate agent living in a 250SF apartment in Harlem:
DON'T BE A SNOB ABOUT SQ FOOTAGE
If you’re buying, you’ll get a decent estimate of the property’s size in square feet, especially if it’s new construction. But for most rentals, turnover is so high and renovations so pervasive that landlords don’t publish square footage. That leaves the gut-instinct-to-verified-data ratio firmly in the renter’s control.
a) bring a tape measure
b) pay attention to things like layout, light, and ceiling height.
c) Focus on the livability of the space far more than a 20SF difference in “size.”
As a realtor, I’d say vertical space is NYC’s most undervalued real estate asset. I can’t tell you the number of apartments I’ve seen in which all use stops at the height of the tallest occupant! The best investment you can make in a small space is a cute footstool and a whole lotta shelving. Then, get creative! IKEA sells fabulous wall-mounted tension wires that are great for hanging lighter clothing items. Floating shelves solve the problem of books. Extra towels and linens can be stored in baskets on high. Heck, if you have cool folding chairs (like the army issue ones I scored on Etsy), you can mount them to the wall for an easy-but-not-omnipresent seating solution that won’t cramp your studio space.
COUNT YOUR CLOTHES BEFORE YOUR CLOSETS
How much is one closet technically worth in a one-bedroom apartment? Those of us who grew up in suburban environments (guilty!) may have an instinctive preference for cavernous storage space, along with an unclear understanding of our actual needs. Borrow a copy of the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up two months before your move, and purge before you pack. That way, you’re not counting, or worse, hauling, unloved items from one home to the next — only to throw them away after you’ve dipped on your dream apartment cause it didn’t have enough closets, Look: there’s going to be something unsightly but super functional you’ll have to store in-house and out-of-sight (vacuum cleaner, broom, dustpan) — but for the rest of your home goods, there are bureaus, floating shelves, baskets, room dividers and tech-savvy off-site storage alternatives (Try the MakeSpace!) that make seasonal switch-outs a snap.
For an alternative to storage in New York, Try MakeSpace
The more your get creative with layout, utilize vertical height, and prioritize the stuff you love most, the more you’ll be able to find economy and oasis at home!
An actor, writer, and fluent French speaker, Michaela has a knack for connection and loves nothing more than making friends of neighbors and neighbors of friends.