The oldest mall in America, located in Providence, Rhode Island, had too much of a legacy to simply scrap.
Instead, it was decided that the empty storefronts would be transformed into small apartments.
But how small are we talking here? One-bedroom designs, maybe? Smaller studios?
Actually, the apartments available are a minuscule 300 square feet in size.
A study of 2018 new-build apartments found that the average apartment size was 941 square feet – and that’s the average size, too.
Most people couldn’t imagine living in a home with less than 2 bedrooms, so imagine living in an apartment that houses everything in one room!
A woman named Carine lives in one of these apartments, and, unsurprisingly, she was dealing with space issues.
She appeared on the Rachael Ray Show, and Rachel sent out designer John Gidding to update the apartment on Carine’s behalf.
If you’re thinking Carine’s apartment is on the same scale as the tiny apartments in Tokyo, it’s luckily not that bad.
She does technically have separate spaces for her bedroom, bathroom and kitchen/ living area.
There’s no fold-out bed – or worse, dodgy loft area with a mattress laid flat on the floor for sleeping. But still, it’s clear that this is certainly not a big apartment on any accounts.
According to Carine, one of the biggest struggles of tiny home living was finding somewhere for her friends to sit and eat.
Sure, living in such a small apartment is fine when you’re alone – but what about when you want to socialize?
Explaining what she and her friends currently had to do, Carine said:
“Sometimes we just eat on the couch, or we stand here and eat over the counter. If I had something that I could have like a spread… that would be awesome.”
But with the space already being so small, was there really anything that could be done to resolve Carine’s predicament? Or would she simply be better off moving to a bigger apartment?
John, however, took one look at Carine’s apartment and saw plenty of space-making potential.
He was keen to get going with the redecoration, but there was a catch: Carine’s apartment was a rental.
We’ve all lived in rental properties, so we’re all familiar with the dos and don’ts – let’s face it, mostly the don’ts – of redecoration.
Most landlords won’t let you carry out any permanent renovations, like wallpapering, changing the flooring, and hanging things off the walls or ceiling.
Luckily, John had a few tricks up his sleeve.
After removing all the furniture from the space, he was ready to put his plans into action.
One of John’s best tips for renting was removable wallpaper. It’s non-permanent and won’t leave any lasting damage like real wallpaper or paint.
He added rugs to the floors, too – and handily, they fit the space perfectly.
It’s the small touches that make all the difference, as John proves in this low-budget rental transformation.
When he revealed the updated apartment to Carine, she could only gasp:
“Holy wow, it’s amazing!”
We’d have to agree. The apartment looks so much bigger, despite the fact that most of the furniture hasn’t changed.
Check out the video below for the full incredible transformation of Carine’s tiny living space.
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