See how this family makes their tiny NYC home feel spacious


March 2, 2023 | 17:41

Two parents, three kids, a cat, and a bearded dragon share this 650-square-foot Manhattan apartment—which means it should be nightmarishly cramped. Still, thanks to a number of brilliant design choices and DIY hacks, the space feels far from claustrophobic.

Author Jenny Davis and her husband, Cory, have rented their Upper East Side home for 15 years, choosing to reorganize the space rather than expand after having their first child, Asher, and then twins Aliya and Aleph, said Jenny to Apartment Therapy. So adept are they at reshaping their beloved unit to suit their changing needs — which also include the addition of a pet cat, Leo, and a bearded dragon, Rexy, to their brood — that the abode manages to look and feel downright cozy.

After becoming pregnant with now six-year-old Asher, the couple considered upgrading, but were inspired by other building residents to stay and make it work. “

“(Two) people who raised children in one-bedrooms in our building said the pressure is not real,” Jenny told the publication. Instead of looking for apartments, she and Cory converted a former home office into Asher’s room — turning their living and dining rooms into a sprawling playroom.

Then, after having the twins, a closet was reborn as a home office and a play kitchen was added to the real kitchen, thus expanding the playroom.

A cupboard which is currently used as a home office.
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Two of the tribe’s three little ones enjoy a foam pit and a climbing wall.
TikTok/apartment therapy
The apartment’s formal bedroom is currently shared by all three children.
TikTok/apartment therapy

Today, the alcove is a “massive movement zone with a rock wall, monkey bars and a mesh ceiling leading to a ledge”, the bedroom itself is shared by all three children, and Jenny and Cory share a Murphy bed into the foyer. of a bedroom.

Along the way, the couple have also added a door so that the living room has access to the bathroom, which was originally only accessible from the bedroom.

The layout may be unique, but the unit’s – and the building’s – best details still shine through.

“I grew up in a basement apartment, so what impressed me about this apartment from the first time we saw it more than 15 years ago … and every day since … has been the natural sunlight it gets,” Jenny said. “I also really appreciate that it’s in a pre-war building with really solid construction and some quirky details. Our lobby used to be all marble, there’s an old line of mail next to us that can drop letters down to the lobby (no longer in use – but it still works), and our building is only six stories high with lots of tenants and staff who have been here longer than we have.”

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