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.

Brooklyn Man Turns Studio Into Two Bedroom Apartment

In New York and other expensive cities, many people are forced to get creative with apartment subdivisions, as one-for-one bedroom-to-occupant setups are too expensive. This was the situation facing Adam Finkelman and his roommate. Their needs dictated a two bedroom apartment; their means dictated a studio. A builder by trade, Finkelman decided to take a studio and–with a heap of creativity and resourcefulness–convert it into a two bedroom apartment, all on a shoestring budget.

Because it was a rental, the two men didn’t want to put too much money into the space; their objective was to keep the budget under around one month’s rent each. They got permission from their landlord to modify the space in any way they saw fit as long as they didn’t alter the floors.

The space had a long bank of windows, affording natural light and circulation for each bedroom. They felt that at a minimum each bedroom needed to be able to fit a bed and a window, however the little nooks became something more. Finkelman says, “Once we thought about it and planned it out, we managed to also fit stairs, wall shelving units, desks with storage, dressers, closets and two additional windows into each of our rooms.”

He continues, “These are the smallest rooms we have ever lived in, and we couldn’t be happier. We designed our rooms based on our needs and all of them were met if not surpassed. We tried to be as efficient and smart as possible with the designs and as a result we have no need for more space.”

Finkelman’s company Yorkwood Co specializes in the design, construction, and management of projects as small as a chair or as large as complete renovations. Many of these projects emphasize using salvaged materials, which is how they kept material costs in check. The roommates checked Craigslist daily for throwout building materials and scoured their posh Boeurm Hill neighborhood, where big brownstone renovations are commonplace. “We salvaged doors, windows, floor boards, sheetrock, [and] in some walls we used our old clothing for additional insulation,” says Finkelman.

Finkelman’s roommate is an avid cook, so they expanded the kitchen considerably adding new butcher block countertops, sink, faucet, shelving, and a dish storage/drying rack built into the cabinetry that drains into the sink below.

The aesthetic result is more funky than slick. The most remarkable aspect of the apartment is the fact that for the amount of money most people spend on putting in a new closet, the two guys did a renovation that added significant value and function to their modest space.

  • Jason

    Wow! Very impressive.

  • Jeremy


  • Pontifikate

    Would love to see the dimensions of the space. Looks long enough to be a loft space with high ceilings. Maybe not so magical as it looks.

  • Gm.

    Hi, guys–
    Everytime I click on one of the thumbnail pics, it narrows to a black vertical line. Is this me, or is it your blog?

    • David Friedlander

      what kind of operating system are you viewing it on?

    • Paul

      I’d say it’s you… I’m viewing fine on Windows 7 and using Opera 12.x for the browser. So, are you using Windows, Mac, Linux? Browser? Checked for virii and malware on your computer?

  • Christopher Tilley

    I love how people can see something like this studio and have the vision to turn it into something else. That’s not a skill I have.

    I’d also like to see the overall dimensions. The ceilings look to be at least 10 ft high and each bedroom looks to be 7 by 7. So, I’d guess it’s a pretty big studio.

    Regardless, it’s a great conversion.

    • That’d love to see them too. Seems on the larger side to me

    • Mads

      Agree. I would also like to see the dimensions – and more pictures if available.

  • Amy

    This apartment looks amazing! Adam did a great job with such a small space!

  • rumurphy

    Love the dish drying rack / storage. Looks like kills two birds with one stone.

    • CDD

      very common design in Europe… loved it when I first saw it 35 years ago! Makes so much sense!

  • RobMathews


  • marinagp


  • TDHill

    This is really fantastic! Well done!

  • Calum

    This really is the business – well done man!

  • clarkbennett

    That’s a great job! I could easily turn my studio into a two bedroom except for the building code violation of requiring and outside egress in each bedroom.

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  • RockyMissouri

    Just wonderful.. An incredible use of the space.!

  • Sam

    All I can say is Wow…….

  • arikira

    This was never really a studio. More like a huge, wide-open loft. Not so amazing, really.

    • Carrie Adams

      What an ugly human..get a freakin life!!!! I may give your name to Lois Lerner!!!

      • Carrie Adams

        Perfect for our pied-a-terre!! I think my Ed and our PattiCake (standard poodle) could fit in there and then move it to Paris!!!!

    • Paul

      Rully? Wow, angry much? I’ve seen studios that are 70 foot by 40 foot. Depends how you define studio doesn’t it?

    • Laura James

      Wow you got a lot of hate just for saying what many are thinking. I live in a 387 square foot studio and this renovation would likely not work in a small space like that. It is a large studio so therefore not as hard as a really small space would be. Design wise i like many of their choices and they managed to solve the problem so congrats to them. I like it.

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  • Mike

    Hey I think you guys did a great job. In a city like NY you focused on what’s in important and you did it. You wound up with some really nice utilitarian sleeping quarters along with some nice little laptop/tablet communication areas in your quarters, And you wound up with a really nice living space. Hey focus on what counts! Almost like a mini commercial kitchen and a nice rest/relax area for entertaining. Awesome job! You all looking at what these guys did…don’t forget life is different in the city than a little place out in the country. Probably a discussion worth having when talking about living big in a small space.

  • Karen Arakelian

    I would like to see a photo of the closet space please.

  • Hazza

    Whilst impressed with their design, this ain’t a studio apartment! Its a small one-bedroom apartment.