While most people dream of having more space and complain about being overwhelmed by clutter, one Brooklyn couple has found a way to live comfortably in just 240 square feet -- a space smaller than a one-car garage.
Writer and photographer Erin Boyle, 28, and her finance, biologist James Casey, 30, share a 240-square-foot apartment in Brooklyn Heights, which they described to the New York Post as "dungeon-esque."
"Our last apartment was in Providence, Rhode Island," Boyle told Yahoo! Shine in an interview. "It was probably around 1,000 square feet, though I admit, I never took a tape measure to it."
They moved to Brooklyn in June 2011, and their main living space -- which includes their kitchen, dining table, and living room -- is a mere 140 square feet. The $1,500-a-month studio also has tiny bathroom off to one side, a 4-square-foot closet in the hallway, and a sleeping loft built over the kitchen; a curtained-off closet is tucked beneath the steep staircase to the 10-by-6-and-a-half-foot loft, which is barely big enough for a double bed and a single dresser and impossible to stand upright in.
"I grew up in an 18th-century Connecticut farmhouse and James grew up in Western New York," Boyle says. "James and I have always lived in apartments, so apartment living wasn't anything new, but having only 240 square feet is!"
The couple had to get rid of a few things before moving in, Boyle confesses, but they're creative about finding ways to store what they still have, and they are very careful about curating what they keep. "I say the rule of thumb is to only accumulate things that you really love," she says. "James and I think really carefully before buying new things. We save our pennies for special and handcrafted products that we know we'll want forever. We've also had incredibly good luck buying things like furniture on Craigslist and we've always been pretty good about giving something away if we find something new that's a better fit. It's definitely more important to us to have a space that feels livable than to be surrounded by lots of stuff!"
The result is that their little place is clean, bright, and comfortable -- and there's still plenty of room for guests. "One afternoon, we had cousins in town and there were eight of us in the apartment," Boyle says. "It was cozy, but workable!"
Despite the small size, the apartment offers a few great perks. "I love the hours in the afternoon when the sun shines in," Boyle says. "And I really love the neighborhood it's in. Walks in Brooklyn Bridge Park are a near nightly habit for us, and it'd be super tough to leave that ritual behind."