The New York Times recently published the article “Move Up? Move Out? Families Squeeze In” on the topic of middle-class families choosing to live in small urban spaces.
“There seems to be a large contingent who don’t move to the suburbs anymore,” Mr. [Andrew A.] Beveridge [a demographer at Queens College of the City University of New York] said. “Oftentimes both parents are working and have lives in the city and don’t want to commute in and then worry about having to get back home. There is a much bigger traction to city life.”
The article looks at families in New York City and San Francisco who live in one bedroom apartments with at least one child. Clutter and stuff in general is eschewed since there simply isn’t space for it.
Setting up a one-bedroom home for a family of four is not easy. In the making-space-out-of-nothing department, Dina Weiss and Jason Severs are master illusionists. A walk-in closet in their one-bedroom co-op on the Lower East Side was converted to a nursery in 2005, when their son, Sam, was born. But when their daughter, Matilda, followed 19 months later, they gave up their master bedroom for the children to share.
“We don’t feel like we’ve compromised,” Ms. Weiss, 35, a part-time teacher, said on a recent tour of their bright, clutter-free home. The couple sleep in the 8-by-9-foot former closet that housed their first baby. It is now a cozy cabin with a wall of built-ins and a queen-size bed tucked into the shelves. “We’d rather have another bathroom,” she added. “In New York people will do anything to have an extra bathroom.”
The article is inspiring and does a nice job exploring the possibilities of small-space living.
Image by Tina Fineberg for The New York Times.