Small Spaces

The infamous "shower in the kitchen" apartment is actually adorable now

By Virginia K. Smith  | March 23, 2016 - 1:59PM

It takes a lot these days to shock us when it comes to terrible New York apartments, but last year, it seemed like everyone took a few minutes out of their workday to gawk at photos of a now-infamous Lower East Side apartment with a shower in the kitchen asking $1,795/month. Even in a neighborhood where tubs in the kitchen are standard fare, this setup struck most New Yorkers as looking particularly bleak.

Well, joke's on us: Bedford + Bowery tracked down the brave soul who actually rented the place out, and she's managed to make it looks artsy and adorable, thanks in no small part to the liberal addition of plantlife throughout the apartment. (She's a professional floral designer, which helps.)

In fact, the tenant, an Australian transplant named Brooke Lucas, tells the site that the apartment's placement on the fifth floor of a walkup building tends to create more hassles than its small, strange layout. (The kitchen shower is mainly a problem when guests are over, she says.) The kitchen-shower isn't the only space pulling double duty: The large table in the main room gets put to use for everything from meals to a design surface to office space, and Lucas tells Bedford + Bowery, "It very quickly gets out of control in here. Trying to keep it clean is definitely trying for me."

One unexpected trick she's learned from life in close quarters: waiting until she's out in the hallway to put on her coat, lest she topple something over in her overstuffed space. Much like the woman who lived in a 90-square-foot studio, Lucas seems to have mastered the art of maximizing vertical shelving space (click through to Bedford + Bowery for the pics), and seems to appreciate the space as a scrappy (if temporary) New York setup. And hey, it's better than an apartment with a shared bathroom, right?



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