Help me fill this room.
May 8, 2007 9:34 AM   Subscribe

Suggestions for filling extra space in NYC apartment?

My boyfriend is moving out. I'm planning on staying here to honor my rental agreement, and will be inheriting the full cost of the rent, $1065. I can survive this expense but it will basically devastate me financially. I am trying to find uses for the surplus space that might defray the added expense.

We share a one bedroom apartment in Brooklyn. The actual bedroom is tiny: 7' by 8' with 9 foot ceilings. It has a door to the large living room, but also an exit directly to the hall. I am perfectly comfortable using the living room as my bedroom, but can't imagine finding a new roommate for the tiny room who would be comfortable with it (or whom I would be comfortable living so close to). The room will be completely unfurnished, in a quiet neighborhood, and on the third floor.

So I've been considering renting it to an artist as a studio space. Taking a few simple precautions, and depending on the artist's medium, this could at least bring in up to a couple hundred dollars a month, which would be something. Because of its small size it's not particularly ideal as a studio space, but it is private.

I'm looking for other ideas along these lines-- in what ways can this small room pay for itself? I'm brainstorming right now so all ideas are on the table, no matter how wacky.

Many of these ideas will probably violate my lease in some way, but I'm not too worried about that. (This is Brooklyn. Things are considered flexible up to the very point where they are confirmed not to be.) My landlord is cool and is not inclined to ask questions about people coming and going.

Thanks, crew. In the meantime, if anyone needs an office to feel important in by day, you know where to find me!
posted by BE ADEQUITE to Grab Bag (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A friend (who lives in Brooklyn) of mine's son is visiting for the summer while he's on college break. He's a musician and they rented him studio space on the east side for daily practice.

So that's another idea. Can you furnish it?
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 9:44 AM on May 8, 2007

-Winter Storage rental?
-rent to someone who wants private off-site meth lab?
-Satellite room of the St. Marks hotel?
-private yoga class? (call it exclusive! turn up the heat to make it bikram! it's all the rage!)
-rent to a masseuse?
-put a wardrobe in it and see if you can get any of those crazy kids to bring back magical stuff you can sell?
-contact Dan Smith and see if he wants to do his guitar lessons from there?
posted by spec80 at 9:55 AM on May 8, 2007

While apartment-hunting in Vancouver I came across quite a few living-room/bedroom deals like the one you describe. I personally would not want to do that, and I don't blame you if you don't either, but I don't doubt you would be able to find someone to fill it, if the rent is low enough.
posted by PercussivePaul at 9:56 AM on May 8, 2007

Response by poster: Since it's 7 by 8 feet, I hesitate to provide furnishings that might potentially just get in the way of whoever ended up spending time there.

In other words, I am willing to throw in a couple of chairs and a folding table for someone's use-- but I'm not going to buy a twin bed for it or anything unless I commit to the idea of someone living there, and so far, I'm leaning away from it.

A musician would be great. I have earplugs.
posted by BE ADEQUITE at 9:58 AM on May 8, 2007

Response by poster: Renting to a masseuse is a good idea, and would force me to keep the bathroom clean. Thanks, spec80.
posted by BE ADEQUITE at 10:01 AM on May 8, 2007

Maybe there's a writer who would like a nice quiet, private place to write during the day (or whenever your work hours are).

I wouldn't recommend using it as a band practice space unless other bands already practice in your building, because eventually one of your neighbors will complain about the noise.
posted by boomchicka at 10:15 AM on May 8, 2007

Rent it out by the hour to people looking for "discrete relationships" on craigslist.
posted by yohko at 10:25 AM on May 8, 2007

If you are willing to furnish it, you could rent it out on Craigslist as a nightly/weekly rental for folks who are visiting the area, or who need a place to crash while they look for their own living spaces. This would take some time to administer, but I bet you could charge $75 a night or so, so you would only have to rent it out a few times to make the $$ you needed.
posted by paddingtonb at 10:31 AM on May 8, 2007

Build a giant PVC instrument that takes up most of the room.
posted by Greg Nog at 10:43 AM on May 8, 2007

It sounds like it would be less effort if you tried to find someone to take over the rental agreement than to find someone so you can live on a couch and open your home up to strangers.

Don't know if that's possibility but no one else mentioned it yet.
posted by zephyr_words at 11:03 AM on May 8, 2007

Agree with zephyr_words.

You may also wish to check with your landlord to see if they wish to permit you to break your lease: they may surprise you with their willingness to get another tenant in there.

Either of those options seems much safer, financially cleaner, and saner than anything anyone else is suggesting.
posted by commander_cool at 11:54 AM on May 8, 2007

Maybe you can sublet the entire place until the rental agreement is through, while renting your own less expensive place elsewhere.
posted by tastybrains at 12:05 PM on May 8, 2007

paddingtonb's got a good idea -- when a professional colleague of mine in NYC was about to move out of her apartment and in with her boyfriend, she ended up renting out her old apartment on a nightly or weekly basis to some of us who were coming and going for business in the city that summer.

We were people she knew, so the comfort level was there, but still -- that $500ish a week came in handy for her and was still much less than a hotel for us.

Without knowing what industry you're in, maybe some discreet asking-around-the-office might be a better option than Craigslist for finding temp "Hotel You" guests.
posted by at 12:27 PM on May 8, 2007

You could buy a piano and rent the room out for rehearsal/lessons. But I like bitter-girl's suggestion best. Just get a twin bed, maybe some bookcases, and a side table, and advertise the room in all the right places for people in transit. I have a 2nd bedroom in Brooklyn and it's practically a hostel. You could make sub-decent money - probably not comparable to what your roommate was paying though.
posted by billtron at 11:33 PM on May 8, 2007

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