435-square-foot apartment feels airy and spacious

Kathy's Remodeling Blog

Small New York City Apartment

I’m enthralled with this 435-square-foot apartment in Greenwich Village, N.Y.

It has only one window, in the living room, yet the space feels light and open. What you see here is the living room from each end, with the kitchen on one side, and the bedroom on the other side through glass doors.

The story in the New York Times says the couple — husband Suchitra Van is from India and wife Nette Gaastra is from Holland — bought the apartment for $296,000 and remodeled it with $26,000 they got from wedding gifts, along with $15,000 of their own savings. That’s $41,000 to remodel a space just a bit larger than a two-car garage.

How did they spend the money? Some prices were revealed: a DeLonghi stove for $1,762, a G.E. dishwasher for $622 and a Hansgrohe shower faucet for (wow!) $670. The steel-framed doors into the bedroom cost $986 and were shipped from India and fitted with glass in Manhattan. And yet, the four Ikea cabinets cost only $141. The floor looks expensive, and the husband designed the porcelain enamel backsplash and countertop.

This place makes me want to declutter and lighten up.

See the full story and more pictures. (Photos: New York Times)

7 Comments on 435-square-foot apartment feels airy and spacious

  1. Suchitra Van

    hi Kathy, this is Suchitra, Nette’s husband and designer too.
    the individual 24″ refg. and 24″ freezer are undercounter units located under the white glass counter top. The metal screen wall where we are having tea has a partial height wall of 48″ wide. its behind that low wall. The plan shows a dining table adjacent to that counter.
    hope this helps.
    KPR: Thank you, Suchitra. That makes a lot of sense, to have smaller refrigerator and freezer units. My own refrigerator/freezer is a massive hulking presense in my kitchen. And I knew you were a major designer of the space. I was just trying to give your wife a little extra credit. I love your counter/backsplash. If you more neat things, send photos to me at podblog@aol.com and I’ll post them on the blog. All the best to you!

  2. Kathy Price-Robinson

    Nette, thanks for writing. I totally love your place and wish I had your sense of style and grace.
    If you check in again here, I have one query: Where is the refrigerator? I’ve been studying the photos and just cannot figure it out.
    I love small places. I recently drove across country and back and camped in my van, and it felt so good to be in a small and simple abode.
    Congratulations on your lovely home and family.

  3. Nette Gaastra

    I want to clarify that Nette Gaastra is the wife and Suchitra Van the husband.
    A general comment is that we live here and not in LA or India or Holland or any other place thus an unrelated comparison.
    Funny to be accused of ‘rampant consumerism’ since anybody who knows us will confirm we’re mostly being called the opposite.
    thank you.

  4. Cheryl

    Which one of the closets do they stuff the kid into at night?
    This is rampant consumerism at its finest — looks like they purchased things just so they could talk about how much they spent. Should have at least looked at Consumer Reports first before plunking down the big bucks for the stove, dishwasher, and shower faucet — please.

  5. rgb

    Just where in LA are you going to buy a home for $340,000? Compton?

  6. Jason

    You could buy a house in LA county somewhere like South Gate, but you may as well live in Tijuana.

  7. b.iler

    While the remodel itself is nice, this is exactly why I left NYC. I got tired trying to convince myself that living in a closet was worth it for being in NYC. Space and sunshine are much nicer amenities than over the top density and hardware stores that are open at 3am. I love NYC and all but, I would be willing to bet that for the cost of the very small apt and the remodel one could buy an actual home here in LA.