The article has absolutely nothing to do with business, but the article was too good to pass up. While many couples can’t see themselves working together on a daily basis; imagine what living in the apartment described in the article below.
Cozy-crazy couple makes tight all right in the city’s tiniest studio
By ANGELA MONTEFINISE for the New York Post
If they can make it there, they can make it anywhere.
At 14.9 feet long and 10 feet wide, it’s about as narrow as a subway car and as claustrophobic as a jail cell. But to the Prokops, it’s a castle.
“When you first see it, the first thing you say is, ‘Holy crap, this place is small,’ ” said Zaarath, 37, an accountant for liquor company Remy Martin. “But when I saw it, all I could think of is, I can do something with this. This is perfect for us. We love it.”
The co-op is on the 16th floor of a doorman building on 110th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. But it’s only accessible by a staircase on the 15th floor.
It has two small windows with views of upper Manhattan; hardwood floors; a tiny kitchen with a mini-fridge and hotplate; and a closet-sized bathroom with a shower, sink and toilet.
“I’m amazed we can fit two people and two cats in there,” Zaarath said. “But it’s harmonious at this point. I have friends who say they could never live with their husbands in a place this small. It’s a good thing we like each other enough to live there.”
The couple wakes up every morning in their queen-size bed, which takes up one-third of the living space.
They then walk five feet toward the tiny kitchen, where they pull out their workout clothes, which are folded neatly in two cabinets above the sink. A third cabinet holds several containers of espresso for their only kitchen appliance, a cappuccino maker.
They turn off their hotplate, and use the space on the counter as a feeding area for their cats, Esmeralda and Beauregard.
“We don’t cook,” Zaarath said, adding that their fridge never has any food in it. “So when you don’t cook, you don’t need plates or pots or pans. So we use that space for our clothes.”
Once in their running attire, the two change the cat litter box (stored under the sink) and start their small Rumba vacuum — which operates automatically while they’re out, picking up cat hair.
They then jog to their jobs in Midtown, picking up along the way their work clothes, which are “strategically stashed at various dry cleaners.”
Just in case the cleaners are closed, both have emergency clothes at their offices.
“I have a closet at my office,” Zaarath said. “You don’t want to be standing outside a closed cleaners at 8:45 in your workout pants thinking, ‘Greeeeeat’ . . . It’s a great strategy. You always have fresh things to wear.”
The only other furniture in the apartment is a 27-inch flat-screen TV attached to the wall; a brown leather storage bench at the foot of the bed that stores linens but also acts as a sofa; a cat climbing “tree,” and a shelf/wine rack system that holds a radio, cable box, and several bottles and glasses.
One of the kitchen cabinets is full of champagne because Zaarath’s job allows them to order cases of it.
They don’t have a trash can. The second something needs to be thrown out, they walk to the chute in the hallway.
Their bathroom — about 3 by 9 feet — has a small pedestal sink with mirror, and a stand-alone shower.
“Every bit of space is utilized,” said Christopher, 35, also an accountant, who beamed as he showed off the apartment. “We really have everything we need.”
The Prokops, who met in Texas where they worked, lived in New Jersey before moving to the Big Apple. They started with a 1,600-square-foot apartment in Glen Ridge, then moved to a 900-square-foot place in Jersey City. Once they decided on Manhattan, they wanted to go even smaller.
“We used to be kind of frivolous,” said Zaarath, a California native. “I used to collect vintage clothing, for example, and the cost of storing it and moving it was just not economically viable. So when we decided to move to Manhattan, we realized we’re not home that much because of our jobs. We don’t need that much space. We could go smaller. When I saw the ad in the paper, I knew I had to see it. And I knew it was right for us as soon as I saw it.”
Real-estate broker Steven Goldschmidt, senior vice president of Warburg Realty, showed the Prokops the apartment, which used to be one of about nine maid’s quarters in the prewar building.
“We converted eight of them into four apartments,” Goldschmidt said, with each apartment going for a little less than a half-million dollars.
“But we could not configure that one room within any of the floor plans we were looking at without spending oodles of money. So I came up with the idea to just make it the smallest apartment and see how it goes. I know a number of the luxury buildings are selling servants quarters and they’re not this small.”
He said he got “a lot of calls” from parents looking to find apartments for their Columbia students or business people looking for a pied-à-terre.
“It was not on the market all that long,” he said. “And the Prokops made us a great offer, and that’s it.”
The couple will pay off their mortgage in two years, when they plan to remodel some of the apartment, adding a Murphy bed and larger windows. They will then be saddled only with their maintenance fee, which is just over $700 a month.
“It’s like having a rent-controlled apartment,” she said. “We’re going to own something in Manhattan in two years. How many people can say that? And we’re very happy doing more with less.”
She added that because they save money on their home, they can spend money in “areas that make our lives better,” like restaurants and vacations. The two just got back from Beijing and have been to Japan and other countries.
“We get to really experience life and enjoy ourselves,” she said. “We eat out all the time. On the weekends, we’re outside exploring the neighborhood. We’re at Riverside Park all the time. We’re not nesters. This apartment is perfect for someone active. If you want to stay home or entertain, this is just not the apartment for you.”
She joked that the tiny apartment gets her out of hosting duties and dissuades long-term guests.
“No one ever stays too long,” she said. “It’s too small.”
She said Christopher’s parents stayed in the apartment while they were in China, and the two suitcases they brought was too much.
“They were sort of fumbling over each other,” Zaarath said.
With the holidays coming, the Prokops plan to hang a wreath and put up Christmas bushes — but in the hallway.
“Maybe I’ll just get Christmas-tree pajamas and wear them around,” laughed Zaarath. “That’ll be good.”
by: Sam Leccima and Shani Leccima