My Own 700 Square Feet.

Posted: July 22nd, 2010 | 30 Comments »

In the last month or so, I have gotten a few requests for pictures of my new apartment. I guess it’s because I moved from a rather large 2 bedroom/2 bath into a small 1 bedroom/1 bath unit and people want to see what it looks like in comparison. Well, I just snapped a few pictures to show you how it looks and so you can see that it’s perfectly fine (and even still bigger than I need) to live in 700 square feet. Take a look:

livingroom My Own 700 Square Feet.
My Living Room

office My Own 700 Square Feet.
My Office

diningroom My Own 700 Square Feet.
My Dining Room

kitchen My Own 700 Square Feet.
My Kitchen

everything My Own 700 Square Feet.
All Of It

It’s all one room – what more does a single person need to live comfortably? The only thing not shown is my bedroom and bathroom, which are standard issue sizes. My previous unit was 1300 square feet, while this one is slightly over 700 square feet. I bet I could comfortably go down to 600 square feet without blinking an eye. Space is what you make it, and having less “stuff” certainly frees up your options! I could have gotten a much bigger apartment for the same price, but I decided against it for 2 reasons:

1. I don’t need that much space, and more space costs more to heat and cool.
2. The amenities in this apartment are way nicer than those found in older, larger complexes. I would rather pay the same price for a smaller apartment but nicer floors, windows, kitchens, etc – especially because the extra space would just be wasted.

What in the world would I do with a 2,000 square foot house that I see some single people live in? I would feel like I was living in a dance hall. Anyway, just wanted to share since I had gotten a few requests, hope you enjoyed!


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30 Comments on “My Own 700 Square Feet.”

  1. 1 SuJ'n said at 12:45 pm on July 22nd, 2010:

    Nice simple space!

    I have more stuff crammed into my 250-square-foot apartment than you do you in your 700-square-foot place. Paintings and pictures all over the walls, a ton of outdoor equipment hidden in bins under my coffee table and in my tiny closet, etc. I’m an artist, so I like having a ton of visual stimulation around me.

    Over the past year, after reading about your purge project, I tried really hard to do the same. I got rid of about 100 items (big and small), but found that I kept finding reasons why I *needed* the rest. Two weeks ago, I did finally get rid of a box of cassette tapes once I realized that I had them for sentimental reasons, but no way to listen to them (since I had purged my cassette player months before).

    Living in a tiny space like mine forces me to think near-daily about the stuff I have in here – as I have for the over six years living here. Yet I still know I can do better.

    Thanks for the continual inspiration!

  2. 2 Tony said at 1:12 pm on July 22nd, 2010:

    Awesome little pad. It reminds me very much of an apartment I once rented in Bangkok. I enjoyed living there very much. That’s all you need!

  3. 3 Daria said at 1:38 pm on July 22nd, 2010:

    My husband and I lived in a studio space that size in NYC, minus the bedroom. However it was crammed with our bed, a sofa, TV/stereo and 2 computers. I’m impressed that you don’t have wires running everywhere, that drives me crazy! We now have a way too large house that we are stuck in for now, but we have so few possessions that the place looks empty. I feel pressure from other people to fill it up, but I like having fewer things to keep up with and clean around.

  4. 4 Jesse said at 3:04 pm on July 22nd, 2010:

    Very nice…just enough STUFF without being overwhelming at all. Is that a flat screen across from the couch? I’m back in my windowless ~250 sq ft basement for the time being, am hoping my sister will help me at least get something on the walls soon to make it a little less…well…cave-like.
    One more question, what stand is your Macbook in?

  5. 5 kerry said at 5:25 pm on July 22nd, 2010:

    What model of monitor is that?

  6. 6 Les said at 9:04 pm on July 22nd, 2010:

    Your apartment looks lovely. I currently live in 1600 sqft and utilize about 40% of it. I’m definitely considering downsizing. My friend just linked me this short video on yahoo http://vitality(dot)yahoo(dot)com/video-second-act-jay-shafer-20910192. Jay builds TINY homes for people. He has rekindled my dream of building a small (500-800 sqft) log home somewhere, possibly in Colorado.

    Thank you for sharing!!

  7. 7 David said at 10:08 pm on July 22nd, 2010:

    You two that live in 250 sq feet – is that too little or just enough?

    Jesse – It’s this one:
    http://www.twelvesouth.com/products/bookarc/

    Kerry – It’s a Dell, I know that much, but I have had it forever and there is no model # on it anywhere.

    Les – Thanks, yea I know about Jay. Have written about his houses here on the site.

  8. 8 Reggie H. said at 11:06 pm on July 22nd, 2010:

    Hey your set-up looks pretty cool and very aesthetically ‘clean’. I like your pictures.

  9. 9 Annie said at 8:24 am on July 23rd, 2010:

    I love this! I live with the kid in a 720 s.f. mobile home currently which would be slightly larger than what you have right now. I really liked how you have laid out everything. Can you provide a few more images of your computer area please? I work on a laptop with an external keyboard/mouse and would love a better view of your setup..It looks soo nice!

    Thank you for sharing, you have a lovely home!

  10. 10 Candice said at 1:17 pm on July 23rd, 2010:

    Love your space! I’m envious. I’d love to pare down from our 2000 sq ft home to a smaller one, but the problem we’re running into is that we got such a fantastic/ridiculous deal that anything we buy that is smaller and just as nice is going to actually cost us more, regardless of if we purchase or rent. I wouldn’t mind our place and the space so much if my husband’s son had not decided to move to his mom’s leaving the house feeling that much more empty.

    We’re sticking with our extra space for now while we save up some money and hopefully in a few years when the real estate market settles down we’ll be able to sell and get something smaller…. preferrably a condo so I don’t have to mow a yard anymore.

  11. 11 Lilian said at 4:37 pm on July 23rd, 2010:

    I have only been reading yr site for abt a mth and am really inspired. I have been trying to live a simple live for two years now and hv made to me great strides but I hv so far more to go. I know minimalist living is for me as the stuff I accumulated living in my 2300 sq ft home for the past 15 years is stressing me out. I live in Malaysia where big is better. Houses are now 5000-6000 sq ft. Cars are huge. I am pressured daily to conform and is frown upon and sometimes pitied upon. Those who don’t know what I am doing even look down upon me. I have been called a rubbish collector because I recycle, a stingy person cause I buy what I need and sell what I don’t. Sometimes it really gets to me. How do you handle it? I turn to sites like yours and the comments of yr readers to keepme sane.

  12. 12 kitchens galway said at 3:37 am on July 24th, 2010:

    Looks great.. cool pad.. looks bigger than 700 sq ft would suggest.

  13. 13 hestden said at 9:14 am on July 25th, 2010:

    Very pleasant space. Clean. Simple. Open. Chic. What I like most is that it’s also warm, homey, and inviting. Just right. Well done!

  14. 14 KC said at 12:38 pm on July 25th, 2010:

    I wanted to let you know that your blog has, in part, inspired my own little challenge. My husband and I are renters and, 4 months ago moved into a larger house (due to short lead time and unable to find something that was smaller that we loved). For some reason the landlord was adamant that we not have a lease. We moved our stuff to the house and had no troubles finding places for everything. But I found that I was not happy there. The place was too big for 2 people and I didn’t enjoy decorating it and I surely didn’t enjoy cleaning it. So, early this month, I came across an ad for a smaller, cheaper, and on the beach, house. We took a leap of faith and rented it. It is about 1/2 the size of what we were living in. I took my time moving everything over and got rid of a lot of stuff. But as we are settling in here, I realize that we still have too much stuff to be comfortable.
    Soooo…. here comes the challenge: We are going to get rid of 10 things each week when we are at home and I will post a list of things every week. (We travel a lot so it won’t be every week.)
    I am quite excited, my husband is quite nervous but I think that if we start small he will get into it happily.
    I can’t wait! I already have a bunch of stuff to let go of!
    Please check out our trip to a lighter life!

  15. 15 Maria said at 5:02 am on July 26th, 2010:

    Nice place. Your couch looks quite comfy. Would you mind saying which brand it is ? I am looking to replace my uncomfortable one. As far as organizing my challenge is to figure out a really good way to organize papers. Thanks.

  16. 16 Erin said at 6:26 am on July 26th, 2010:

    I couldn’t live that small – I enjoy entertaining guests and that requires a bit of space

    Also, your desk doesn’t have any drawers – where do you keep your bills, your checkbook, your important papers (insurance, etc)?

    - Erin

  17. 17 David said at 7:25 am on July 26th, 2010:

    I have people over with no problems at all.

    I have a single small file cabinet in the closet, I don’t receive or keep any paper bills, and my checkbook is in a kitchen drawer.

  18. 18 Reggie said at 8:53 am on July 26th, 2010:

    Hey David, if you get a chance, can you write a post about how you went paper-less on your bills. I receive a bunch of mail everyday, most of it from student loans and credit card offers, and I’m 1) sick of it 2) don’t like wasting paper. If you get a chance to post how you did it, I’d really like that and I think some of your readers might too

  19. 19 Dvid said at 8:55 am on July 26th, 2010:

    Will do, good idea!

  20. 20 Rachel said at 4:24 pm on July 26th, 2010:

    Totally nice apartment. I’ve always liked that particular design of the peninsula separating kitchen and living room.

    “I would feel like I was living in a dance hall.” — thanks for putting this into words for me. I am sometimes shocked when I visit people who seem almost buried in their things in their giant houses. We have 900 sq feet for the two of us — I used to want just one more room, but since going minimalist that desire has subsided entirely. :)

  21. 21 Jennifer said at 6:35 pm on July 29th, 2010:

    Perfect. This space sets me at ease!

  22. 22 CVH said at 2:32 am on July 30th, 2010:

    I love the use of space and the uncluttered feel of it all. But how do you handle files? Legal docs, tax records, etc? Is everything digital or do you have it stashed behind door #2? :)

  23. 23 David said at 11:37 am on August 2nd, 2010:

    I have a single file drawer in the closet, but most things are digital, yes. Will be writing a post about this soon.

  24. 24 David said at 11:39 am on August 2nd, 2010:

    It’s from Room & Board.

  25. 25 jae said at 6:30 pm on August 3rd, 2010:

    love the mac (of course)

  26. 26 Lizzy said at 4:42 am on August 8th, 2010:

    Hi, David! Your space looks great.
    Just a note to those who are surprised about living in 700 square feet:
    My husband and I lived in a 400 square foot studio (i.e. no separate bedroom) in Manhattan, and it worked well. We had guests stay with us; we had parties with 15 people; we frequently had friends over for dinner; and we had all of the things that we needed.
    It probably would have been nicer to be in a one-bedroom, but it really is possible!

  27. 27 Kevin said at 10:31 am on August 15th, 2010:

    Very cool, David. Simple and spare and yet still looks extremely comfortable and welcoming.

    That’s a great looking coffee table. Where did you pick it up?

  28. 28 sunny said at 2:11 pm on August 16th, 2010:

    My apartment (condo-style) has a similar kitchen/living area as yours and I quite like it.

    I love your place. Just seeing the photos helps me breathe easier – to see the lack of clutter and just “stuff”.

  29. 29 Irene said at 10:29 pm on August 20th, 2010:

    I recently discovered your blog and find it inspiring. Love these photos of your place. I think that I am much older than you and your other readers – my adult son kind of lives like you. I envy you. My husband and I live in a too big house – but it is full of stuff from years of living here. Plus he is a collector, but my soul yearns to live as you do. Except, our house does back onto a greenspace – that I would have a hard time living without.

    But I love your blog and how you live, and I plan to let it inspire me and see what changes I can make.

  30. 30 SuJ'n said at 1:01 am on November 17th, 2010:

    Oh, I didn’t come back to the comments until now. 250 square feet is enough, if you will it to be enough. Like I said, I utilize every square inch, and it’s not a clean organized looking 250 sf (it’s also not my aesthetic).

    In nearly seven years, I’ve had only a few occasions when I’ve been tempted to move. I even work out of my apartment now.

    My strategy is to pare down when things feel hairy. Keeps me honest about what I do and don’t need. I’m sure you know what I mean.


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