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How to Live Large in a 500 Square Foot Studio Apartment

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Welcome to a special Micro Week edition of House Calls, a feature in which Curbed tours Chicago's lovely, offbeat, or otherwise awesome homes. Think your space should be featured next? Drop us a line.


[Photos by Nick Fochtman]

While there are certainly much smaller studio apartments in the city, living in a 500 square foot rental can present some challenges and advantages compared to more spacious units. And after having lived in Chicago for six years, New York native Marc Woodcock has an appreciation for life in a smaller apartment. As an architect who designs interiors for commercial clients, Marc finds inspiration in the city's architecture and carries his appreciation for Chicago's design legacy into his studio space. As someone who has spent several years living in small apartments, Marc believes that in order to make it all work, there needs to be a place for everything, and everything needs to be in its place.


How big is your apartment?
I'm not exactly sure, but I'm guessing somewhere around 500 square feet.

How long have you lived here?
Just a little over a year.

What's your favorite thing about your place?
I love the furniture and art I've collected (and created) over the years. I've worked hard to find certain pieces and they all have a story behind them.

What's the inspiration behind the design of your place?
Inspiration for me comes from a lot of places, but the biggest source of inspiration for me probably is the architecture of the city. Chicago has a rich architectural history, especially when it comes to minimal, functional and highly thoughtful design.

Have you lived in a small unit before?
Yes, I lived in a 500 square foot studio on the 49th floor of Marina city for two years.

What are a couple of recommendations you'd make to someone considering moving into a micro apartment?
Edit, edit, edit — you'd be surprised how much stuff you don't need. If it isn't something that's functional or holds significant sentimental value, then there's no need for it to clutter your space.



What's the biggest number of people you've had over at one time?
I had a party on New Year's Eve last year with about 15 people. It didn't feel over crowded, we all fit comfortably.

Do you plan on living in a micro apartment in the future?
It works great for me now, but I will probably want a larger space once my boyfriend and I settle down.

·Tiny living 101: Tips for your tiny house or apartment

·No. 5411 [Flats Chicago]
·What It's Really Like to Live in a 300 Square Foot Micro Studio [Curbed Chicago]
·Micro Week archives [Curbed Chicago]
·House Calls archives [Curbed Chicago]

FLATS Chicago No. 5411

5411 N Winthrop Ave. Chicago, IL