Some people love small spaces, while others make themselves adjust to save some money. They’re not for everyone, though. Claustrophobics, beware—these tiny apartments around the world will definitely make your jaw drop.
Minimalism is definitely on trend, but it usually applies to the type of objects people keep or how many things they keep lying around. When you live in a big city, however, minimalism takes on a whole new meaning as people struggle to find a space that they not only enjoy but can easily afford. For some people, though, their goal is to use only the space they need, and they definitely make the most of it. Could you picture yourself in any of these tiny apartments in some of the world’s biggest cities?
Hong Kong, 4 square feet
Believe it or not, this tiny cage of a “room” is actually considered to be an apartment in Hong Kong—it even costs $167 each month to rent! These living spaces came to be in the ‘50s; currently, they're most often home to single men who live on the assistance of the government. Many of them spend their days collecting change so they can not only pay their rent, but have something to live on afterwards.
As if the small cages weren’t bad enough, their surroundings are pretty dismal, too. All tenants of the “apartment building” wash their clothes in a communal bucket, and the bathroom consists of just two stalls. The shower is essentially considered a third toilet, and the kitchen is pretty much just a sink. Trust us—it gets better from here.
Hong Kong, 16 square feet
Apparently, Hong Kong isn’t playing around when it comes to the bare minimums for living space, because this apartment is smaller than the average prison cell. Sure, anything is better than living in a cramped cage, but the term “better” is used pretty loosely here.
This space costs $384 to rent for one month and is comparable to a closet rather than an actual room. Fortunately, though, most of them come with wireless internet, an air conditioning unit, and a window (though not all of them have these amenities).
The hallways leading through the buildings that house apartments like these are just as small, and the rooms are essentially just a spot to put your bed. Still, there’s a lot you can do to decorate a space even this small, and many choose to set up shelving above their beds to hold trinkets and decorations. We’ll try not to imagine how often they must hit their heads on those shelves getting out of bed each day.
London, 60 square feet
You might think these apartments are starting to look better, and that’s definitely true—just wait until you hear the price tag for this one, though. This apartment, which was formed in 1987, was formerly used as a broom closet.
The size definitely doesn’t allow for clutter of any kind but, hey, some people are into that, and this apartment has the amenities to make compressed living a little easier. It’ll come at a price, though—this apartment can be purchased for $313,000. Yeah.
If you’re still interested after hearing that, you’ll be pleased to hear that this apartment actually has a lot of amenities for something so small. It’s got a small kitchen, a shower that is also used as a closet, and a couch that converts to a bed.
Ray Barker, the former owner, said, “ I [could] wash up, answer the door, make a cuppa and go to the loo all at the same time.” We just hope he wasn’t answering the door for guests—that’s a level of cramped we don’t want to experience.
Manhattan, 78 square feet
Alright, so this apartment looks more like the entryway to someone’s home as opposed to a full living space on its own, but it’s not the worst. It’s also quite the steal, as it’ll allow you to live in Manhattan, one of the priciest cities out there, for only $800 each month, although there are a few caveats.
For one thing, the apartment has no kitchen and no running water. Instead, this apartment and three surrounding apartments all share one bathroom, which would take some getting used to for a lot of people.
When it’s not being used as a couch, the sitting area folds out into a bed—when it’s folded up, it creates an area actually suitable as a small living room.
While there’s no true kitchen, there is a refrigerator in the apartment, and there are plenty of cabinets to store a microwave, plates and bowls, cutlery, and even a printer.
Paris, 86 square feet
If you’re like us, this is an apartment you could actually see yourself being able to work with. The room was a former maid’s quarters and was converted into an apartment by the designers at Kitoko Studios, an architecture and design firm.
Previously, this room and others like it were probably used as storage. Though it was renovated by professional architects, the idea behind this type of apartment is minimalism and elegant simplicity—essentially the opposite of what you’d think they’d envision.
Clearly, the main feature of the room is the cabinets, which open to reveal a closet and a fold-down table. There’s also a small bathroom somewhere to the side, as well as a kitchen that sits next to a window.
This apartment and others like it sit right below the roof of the building, giving its tenants easy roof access for a bit of stargazing or maybe a small party from time to time.
Manhattan, 90 square feet
Though it’s still not an ideal space for most, this Manhattan apartment comes close to what you might expect from a standard studio apartment.
Not only is it an adequate size for one person, but Central Park is just a single block away, and it’s only $700 a month. In New York, it's nearly impossible to find a single bedroom, or even a studio, to rent for that little.
One former tenant, Felice Cohen, said when she lived there, she was out and about a lot, which could be why the size of the apartment didn't bother her, although it seems like there’s a lot to love about it.
The bathroom in the apartment is pretty standard and, even though there’s no designated kitchen, the apartment does have a toaster oven and fridge. The bed is located above the apartment’s entrance, which is probably what leaves so much of the floor space open.
Cohen said there’s even a small office area and, when she had people over, there was actually enough space for nine people.
Paris, 130 square feet
Call us crazy, but we could totally live here. The layout of the room gives it a feel that makes it seem a lot bigger than it really is, and there are also two different floor levels that give the small space the illusion of having multiple rooms.
The architects who designed the space, Julie Nabucet and Marc Baillargeon, said that, “Our approach to architecture is that the house is not so much a machine for living, but a tool for living well.”
And live well you will. The apartment’s current owner, Thibaut Ménard, says he notices new things about the space each day, acknowledging that Nabucet and Baillargeon designed it in a way that’s intelligent and incredibly easy to adapt to.
Aside from the kitchen that’s pictured, there’s also a bed that folds out of the upper half of the apartment. Once it’s up, the space is complete with a bathroom, living room, and even a dining room.
Poland, 140 square feet
We’re not quite sure where in Poland you can find this little gem, but we’d consider its tenant pretty lucky to have something that’s not only efficient but also adorable.
The current tenant, Szymon Hanczar, designed the apartment himself. Of the space, he said, “Extremely small flats are great for people who are minimalist, who want to enjoy the city life.” Maybe it’s just the way it’s decorated, or it could just be us, but it doesn’t feel like it’d be too hard to get used to living here.
The apartment has pretty much everything you could want, other than excess space. There’s a bed located right above what looks like a closet but is actually a bathroom—the only strange thing here is that the toilet and shower are essentially one in the same.
There’s a small sink that makes up the kitchen, and there’s even a washing machine. The space is complete with a wall-mounted bike that serves as both decoration and Hanczar's transportation around the city.