Smaller but better

Smaller but better

Smaller but better

Taking a page out of our metros like Mumbai, New York City’s first ‘micro’ apartment complex is open for business. It is challenging the limits of minimalist living. These dwellings may lack space as in square footage but they make up for it in amenities.

Carmel Place, a 55-unit complex that opened this year right in Manhattan, represents the first time the City of New York has allowed apartments to be built this small. How small are they? They range from 260 to 360 square feet (yes the size of a Mumbai chawl.) Americans describe it as the size of a one-car garage!

Micro living

This complex is in line with the recent trend of smaller urban housing. Single person households are now the norm in most cities and in New York, they constitute a staggering one-third of the households. Also, New York’s rents are always escalating. This led the city to approve the experimental project. It is expected that there will be more new micro-apartments in New YorkCompared to other modern buildings in the neighbourhood, Carmel Place is relatively inexpensive and offers a variety of services and amenities. These include novelties like multi-functional furnishings (remember your grandparents’ sofa-cum- bed?). Thus, they make small-scale living look like an extravagant affair.

Architectural elements like eight-foot windows and nearly 10-foot ceilings too help in making small spaces livable by providing a sense of space. More importantly, the services are said to be ‘all inclusive’. They were designed specifically for the complex by a company called Ollie. Yes, the amenities are meant to save tenants time and money, and create a sense of community.

In wanting to appeal to techies, the micro apartment offers a plug-and play living
experience. This may not be a permanent solution to a young person’s needs but for a year or two, you need not buy furniture or hire a cleaning service or for that matter, do a lot of chores. Such apartments save you a lot of time and money.

The rent includes Internet, Wi-Fi, weekly tidying service and a monthly deep cleaning service. If you are a pet-lover, dog walking is offered as is dry cleaning pick-up. For most parts, the sleek furniture is  made by an Italian Company, Clei and doubles up as two elements. For instance, the nine-foot sofa converts to a double bed and a tiny cube ottoman transforms into dining chairs. The pieces are pricey but have been used in such a way that even 350 square feet of living space can feel luxurious.