Could You Live in a Micro-Apartment?


Photo by Brent D. Payne.

If you think your place is small, you may want to learn about the latest trend in small apartment living: the micro-apartment. These tiny abodes range in size from 220 to 370 square feet and are taking root in some of the nation’s most in-demand and most expensive housing markets, specifically those of New York and San Francisco. Yet micro-apartments aren’t just your standard tiny, bland studio space.

The biggest difference is that these apartments have been designed by acclaimed architects and make use of every nook and cranny of the space with foldaway furniture and carefully planned storage solutions. As a result, they may be small but they’re highly functional, appealing spaces. Many even boast layouts that make it possible to entertain and use the apartment like a much larger one bedroom.

But that doesn’t mean that everyone will be rushing out to get one. While small, the spaces still costs a pretty penny, though they are considerably more affordable than the average space in their market. In New York, these tiny apartments rent out for around $1,000 to $1,800 a month while in San Francisco rents on micro-apartments start at $1,600 a month. That’s not what most people would consider cheap, even in places where average rents reach astronomical levels.

Still, with housing shortages in these cities and in other places around the globe (including Tokyo and Boston), many may find themselves renting out these small but well-appointed spaces. Do you think you could hack it in a shoebox sized apartment? How about living with a roommate or a friend? Having shared a tiny apartment myself (though not micro-sized) for a number of years, I’m not sure I’d find the setup to be incredibly desirable, but for others who don’t mind living in tight quarters, it could be a way to spend less and do more in these fun and vibrant cities.