Living Small: A Tiny Manhattan Apartment Becomes a Home

Living Small: A Tiny Manhattan Apartment Becomes a Home

People living in New York City are forced to make the most of small spaces, but it is unlikely that many have done it as gracefully and inexpensively as Mark Robohm, a drummer and Web designer. The tiny home, which doubles as an office for Mr. Robohm, is actually a small studio apartment in the Chelsea neighborhood, measuring just 400 square feet.

Mr. Robohm did the gut renovation largely by himself for less than $12,000. He built an entertainment unit with the drop-down slot for the television over a long weekend for $150. He installed the translucent window in the wall between the bathroom and the living room, which brings natural light into the bathroom during the day and creates a soft glow in the living room at night. He spent about $1,800 on the kitchen, plus $1,000 for a new stove a fact that could make a person who has paid a more typical Manhattan fee to remodel a kitchen (say, $30,000 and more) want to open the window of this little second-story Chelsea walk-up co-op apartment and jump. Perhaps just as impressive, Mr. Robohm lived in the space for the year and a half it took to do the work, a cost-saving move that required him to vacuum the bed before he could go to sleep.

Mr. Robohm received a degree in environmental science from the University of Vermont and has been doing household repairs ever since his parents bought an 1840s Vermont farmhouse when he was a child. Several years ago, he moved to Manhattan, where he rented a sixth-floor walk-up studio on West 22nd Street for about $1,300 a month. He often went to open houses for fun, with no intention of buying. Mr. Robohm doubted that he could really afford to buy any kind of living space in Manhattan. However, one winter day in 2002, when the New York real estate market was suffering fom the effects of Sept. 11, he saw this small studio apartment on West 21st Street.

The entrance was uninspiring: there was a wall four feet from the front door that supported a loft bed and blocked out much of the natural lighting. The ceiling over the entrance and kitchen area was only eight feet high, creating a claustrophobic feeling. The nonworking fireplace occupied the prettiest spot in the studio, by the tall windows that faced the street. But the price ($220,000) was right by Manhattan standards. Mr. Robohm realized that buying the apartment made much more sense than making improvements to his rental unit and then leaving them to the landlord. He took possession of the apartment in the following early Spring, had a party that evening and by 8 the next morning had begun gutting the apartment.

Living Small: A Tiny Apartment Becomes a Home

Joyce Wadler has written a detailed article about Mr. Robohm’s renovation in The New York Times. Interested readers can access the entire article here.

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My Articles for Friday, June 15, 2007

Reade Seligmann testified how he was sure that the DNA tests would clear his name. He broke into tears during his testimony, while he described finding out that he had been indicted and thinking about how he was going to manage breaking that terrible news to his mother. Immediately following the conclusion of Seligmann’s testimony, Nifong voluntarily resigned as the Durham County Prosecutor.

The full video is included.

[tags: Duke Lacrosse players, Duke rape case, Reade Seligmann, Nifong, Nifong ethics trial, Nifong resigns, video]

“Mike Gravel for President: Or Maybe Just Take a Fireside Nap….”

Humorous presidential campaign ad for Mike Gravel. Video is included. Nice for fireside chats, or maybe naps!!

[tags: blogs, Mike Gravel, presidential campaign ads, television, humor, video]

“Steven Colbert: On Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

“The only thing worse than an al Qaeda attack would be a gay man stopping that,” quipped discharged gay military linguist Stephen Benjamin to Steven Colbert. And that pretty much sums up the core of the stupendously ignorant Republican position on gay people, as stated in the official military personnel policy regarding the Iraq war on terror.

Photographs and Comedy Central video included.

[tags: Steven Colbert, gay, gay pride, military policy, television, video]

“Michael Moore’s “Sicko:”

Michael Moore does it again!! His new documentary motion picture “Sicko” was the smash hit of The 2007 Cannes Film Festival. Photographs and video are included.

[tags: celebrities, news, celebrity news, Michael Moore, Sicko, movies, video, photography]

Paul Potts, the mobil-phone salesman from South Wales, once again roused the audience members and stunned judges of the talent show “Britain’s Got Talent “with his rendition of another opera classic.

Later, it was announced that he is the winner of this round, moving on to become a finalist in the competition that is searching for an act that will perform in front of the Queen at the Royal Variety Performance. In addition, the winner will receive a prize of $250,000. That’s a lot of cell-phones!!

Photographs and two videos are included. Enjoy this!!

[tags: Paul Potts, Simon Cowell, celebrities, music, music video, video, YouTube]

See the Rest of My Articles at Blue Dot

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