Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Tour 90 Sq Ft Evictee’s 500 Sq Ft Palace

When we last looked at Felice Cohen, the New Yorker was happily stuffing herself into a 90 sq ft apartment. Well, turned out her micro-dwelling fame was her undoing: The place was super illegal and one of the 5M viewers of the apartment tour was someone with the power to evict her.

In the follow up video (at top), we get to see Felice in her new 500 sq ft Upper West Side digs. If you’re not a New Yorker, you might not know that 500 sq ft is pretty big for one person–especially if that person is trading up from less than 20% that size.

There’s nothing particularly special about the new apartment. She doesn’t need to wedge her legs against a shower to sit on the toilet. Her toaster oven is no longer a critical storage area.

What’s worth noting is Cohen’s nostalgia for her old abode. She misses her little sleeping nook. She seems to think her new place is excessive. We detect more than a little guilt for the abundance of space and she talks about all the stuff she doesn’t need.

The idea that people need a certain amount of space to have a well-oiled home often misses the fact that many us prefer cozier spaces. For Cohen, 90 sq ft was the right size even though Johnny Building Code had different ideas.

  • rp

    What was illegal about her tiny space?

    • Evan van den Berg

      I believe it was too small by build code standards, also I believe someone was subleasing which might not have been allowed, another reason might be that it was not “certified” as a residence and thus she wasn’t allowed to live in the subleased room.

    • DianaBGKY

      I searched for why by typing in “Felice Cohen evicted” and found several. Turns out she was illegally subletting (as Evan says below). The landlord found out and sent her a letter. He/she offered to renovate but also was going to raise the rent from $700 a month (for 90 sf!) to $1,200. That is when she moved. For anyone wanting more, do a search like this and you’ll find articles.

  • DianaBGKY

    When Felice mentioned that she had dreams of having another room she didn’t know about when she lived in the smaller space, she seems sad like perhaps she isn’t having those dreams anymore. Be open to them, Felice. Having the space in real life is not, I think, stopping them from coming to you. I have a three-bedroom, two-bath house that has two living spaces (downsizing in a couple of years), but I have dreams about finding another space in the place where I live in the dream, which is never the real place where I live. Those dreams, I believe, tell me about unknown or underdeveloped talents and abilities–and really nothing about living space.

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  • Kelli

    So sorry to hear that Felice had to deal with the eviction due to the popularity of her tiny home tour… that was so unfortunate. But, so happy for her that she found such a lovely new apartment to call home. She proves that it’s all in your mindset… you can live “tiny” and “minimal” no matter the actual size of your space. I aspire to her fantastic attitude and flexibility.

  • Rebecca Cody

    When I moved aboard a 400 sf houseboat I built my motto was “I want to have everything I need and need everything I have.”

  • Eileen

    Sorry but what kind of idiot illegally takes up an apartment she didn’t sugn a lease for and then posts videos about it (*scrolls up) oh that kind. Honestly, it’s not worth the inevitable hassle to try to skirt the law and cheat the building owner but posting about it was really stupid. I hope she actually signed a lease at the new place she’s renting.