Think that sharing a small space with someone might be...well...horrible? We toured Will and Kate's Hell's Kitchen apartment back in June, and I got them to tell the truth about just how tough it is to share a small home with someone else. Their answers may surprise you...and you may get some inspiration (and wisdom!) for your own small space as well.
Let's establish some background info. Is this the smallest home you've ever lived in?
Kate: I grew up in a story and a half cape as the oldest of five kids, so my tiny 420 square foot apartment is the most square footage I've ever had to myself!
Is this the smallest home you've ever shared with someone?
Will: Surprisingly no. When I first moved to NYC I shared a studio apartment on the Upper West Side with two roommates. Now that was tight living, but we were all young and starting our careers so it was still a lot of fun.
"It's really not as hard as you would think, well, if you like each other that is LOL."
So...what's the secret to harmoniously sharing a small space with someone?
Will: It's really not as hard as you would think, well, if you like each other that is LOL. Sure there isn't a lot of separation and your partner is always within earshot, but there is something very romantic about that as well.
Kate: I think one of the most important things to establish is a space or area that is 100% dedicated to each person's things. Everything else in a small space is going to be about compromise and sharing. Having that little bit that is 100% up to you will make all those other decisions easier to agree on.
"When we have to clean up it only takes us an hour or two TOPS. It's fantastic!"
What's the BEST thing about sharing a tiny space with someone else?
Will: You end up sharing so much more. On every level I think it brings you closer.
Kate: When we have to clean up it only takes us an hour or two TOPS. It's fantastic!
The WORST thing?
Will: Sometimes we all need personal space. As much as I look forward to spending full days with Kate, I also need a few hours every so often alone. That's the beauty about living in the city though, you can always just hop down the block for a coffee for an hour, or take a walk to the park.
Kate: Storage. Trying to keep historically significant items like materials from finished work projects or even birthday cards from your grandmother can become a "this or that" level decision. The only way to work around it is to be as space conscious as you can and continually rearrange your stored items to accommodate new ones.
"Spending the extra money to have the appropriate seating for a small space is worth every dollar."
What surprised you about sharing a small space with someone else?
Will: Considering that I grew up on a farm upstate with roaming fields surrounding our country farm house, I think I had a lot of surprises when I moved to the city. Fortunately, the size of living spaces here was already pre-evaluated in my mind due to the media and research. I knew I was going to have to give up the privacy that I came to love in a smaller town. The funny thing is that the anonymity is sometimes just as freeing, no-one really knows (or cares) who you are, so you're on your own in a sense. In terms of the apartment itself, I think of it as our little resting place in the middle of the grand adventure around us.
Kate: I never thought I would have as much floor space as I do in this tiny apartment! We chose to only include what we needed for furniture. Right now we have enough seating to fit nine in our living room and I still have plenty of floor space. Spending the extra money to have the appropriate seating for a small space is worth every dollar
Tell the truth...would you ever share a space this small again?
Will: I'm hoping we won't have to ever live in a place that is smaller than this of course. I think I am at my minimum size for a happy home. For now, this is a perfect solution for us and I don't see us moving any time soon. Maybe in the future when we have the need to expand.
Kate: Absolutely! Someday we'll have a house with some land but for right now this tiny apartment is all we need.
You can see all of Will and Kate's home here → Industrial Modern Style in a 420 Square Foot Hell's Kitchen Studio
*This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.