Hello dearest New Minimalism Readers!
Kyle, Redesign Specialist here to introduce the newest series on the NM blog, 340-Squared in which I will share my insights from life in the one-room studio I now call home.
Prior to this apartment, I had been living in a magical situation in a friend’s storefront-turned-living-space near Alamo Square. It was raw, creative, and we had the freedom to experiment with décor (How about a giant pink geometric mural? Hell yes!). Having lived there for over two years, the space saw its fair share of events and parties, and even played host to one beautiful wedding. But eventually the master tenant, and my dear friend, decided he wanted to live alone.
While the housing market in San Francisco is moderately insane at the moment, finding a new home could not have come at a better time for me personally. I loved my unique space, fun roommates and absurdly affordable rent, but my partnership with Cary and New Minimalism was just gaining traction and I longed for a sanctuary to gather my thoughts. Additionally, having a near obsession with clutter-free spaces and clean floors, living alone would allow me to truly practice what I preach at New Minimalism. In some ways, this was basically an investment in my career.
After months of searching with no results, I decided to change my online approach and uncheck all boxes of neighborhood preference and price range. When this Japan Town listing popped up, I was immediately drawn to its cabin-like charm: wood-burning fireplace, open floor plan, wood-beamed ceilings, and built-in storage. The vintage aesthetic was very “me”, as my brother put it. It was more expensive than I thought I would pay for a studio, and my rent would increase by 40%. On the upside, this search was taking place a few days before Christmas, so the housing competition was quiet and acquiring the studio was relatively painless (until just now I had mentally blocked out the hour it took to sign the lease agreement, which included a magnifying glass, a calculator with a robot voice, and a disorganized but heartbreakingly cute elderly building manager).
Now that I had a Petri dish to call my own, the experimenting could begin! Right from the start I had a few goals: acquire all furniture and kitchenware secondhand, generate no more than one bag of trash each month (which also means devising a less fragrant, more convenient way to compost), have out-of-sight storage for two bikes, see how long I could go without internet, and lastly try my hand at all natural, homemade cleaning products.
But first things first, how many square feet do I live in?
Being a one-room studio made the calculation quite simple: a whopping 340 square feet (sf), which is actually quite large when you consider the city’s latest approval for 220 sf micro apartments. I look forward to sharing more about my space in the coming series: 340-Squared!