Close Family

Leigh Anne O'Connor Issue: Section:

We live in a two-bedroom apartment in Stuyvesant Town the complex, which borders the north edge of New York City’s East Village. We have around 700 square feet of living space.
Sometimes it gets crowded but that is city living. We have the outdoors and the culture that is unique to New York so we make it work.

Rob is the organized one in our family. He is brilliant with space.
Take a little tour of our home and see what space saving ideas we, er, he has come up with to make tight living manageable.

Notice the banquette? It is all storage! Below our seats are kept winter accessories(hat, gloves, scarves), holiday decorations, paper products.

The Table - it expands and the leaves are kept under the table.

Our kitchen may be small bt it is definitely functional. This is where Rob and I have made small meals, holiday feasts, hundreds of baked goods and we have tought our children to cook, bake and brew tea. And wash dishes!

Our living room is simple. In the corner is our desk with a computer we share. This area doubles as my office. Sometimes all five of us cuddle up on the sofa. We have had many friends and family crash in the living room. It is a place where we overflow when we have guests, where we watch movies, play Wii. Often, wrestling takes place here. And we sing – Rob, Phoebe and Chloe play the guitar, Finn drums and I sing - off key.

The tricky part is the bedrooms. When we were expecting our Finn, our third child, Rob finally agreed we needed to move into the smaller bedroom. Our bed fits along with two chests of drawers, an armoire, a small storage table and a few musical instruments as well as art on the walls created by famous artists and our children.

The larger bedroom houses our three children. Rob set it up to be like two bedrooms. We have a wall of alternating bookshelves which separate the room into two areas,  a door hangs between. On Finn and Chloe’s side there is a set of bunk beds, a wall unit which includes a seating area and lots of storage for clothing, toys, art supplies and shoes.

We have to make room for each other and deal with each other in a very intimate way. The term “looking privacy” is respected when there is one bathroom, mixed sexes, and various ages.

Phoebe’s little nook is really special – she has two beds – a loft up above and a futon below, a chest of drawers, a coat tree. She has decorated with her own teenage style.
Some of the advantages of living in a small space:
~less cleaning
~smaller carbon footprint
~you are forced to use your creative muscles on a regular basis
~it is hard to stay angry with anyone when you live in such close proximity!
I hope you enjoyed the tour!
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