Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

The One Thing You Really Can't Have in Small Spaces

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

The One Thing You Really Can't Have in Small Spaces

Article excerpt

I live in a small, circa 1890 house during the week and have a relatively small (but airy) apartment where I spend most of my weekends. Both of my homes are less than 1,000 square feet, and that's just fine with me.

Wide-open spaces make me nervous.

Cozy ones chill me out.

For that reason, I always seem to gravitate to headlines like this one: "Bright Renovation of a Tiny Manhattan Apartment."

The story -- with lots of photos -- appeared in the recent issue of Dwell magazine and was written by a former co-worker.

So, how could I resist giving it the once-over?

I used to be obsessed with these stories. When I bought my house in Wood-Ridge 16 years ago, I was often found sniffing around the HOME section of the magazine racks hunting for inspiration.

Headlines that drew my attention: "Living Large in Small Spaces!" "Turning Tiny into Terrific!" "Modest Goes Marvelous!"

OK, so my modest spaces never quite made that quantum leap to marvelous. And, nowadays, I don't need any more BIG decorating and storage ideas because, frankly, I have no place to put them.

I have enough stuff in my two residences to fill the East Wing of the White House.

Still, I was eager to read the Dwell story -- I had the online version -- and click through the accompanying slideshow.

The home, owned by a couple of graphic designers, certainly looked terrific. It has gorgeous wood floors, a brick wall in the dining room and some really cool cabinets in the kitchen.

And look at all that great art! And interesting lamps! And all those funky doodads on the windowsills!

"See?" I said to myself. "It is possible for two people to live comfortably and quite nicely in a 607-square-foot apartment."

It wasn't until the eighth or ninth photo in the slideshow that I realized I was wrong. There aren't two people living in this tiny, bright apartment, there are three -- a husband, a wife and a toddler who appears to be not quite 2 years old.

I took one look at that kid and burst out laughing.


I continued looking at the rest of the pics and then began the slideshow again, from the beginning, so I could peruse it with a fresh eye.

The living room is, indeed, tiny and bright. …

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