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    • I'm moving to a new tiny apartment in Hayes Valley, San Francisco, CA from a house I own in Buffalo, NY. This is a big deal because I'm used to having open space, a yard, a driveway, quiet and (relatively) dark nights.

      Everything is about to change for me. Living in a fast paced city, in a small area, with lots going on at all times.

      The amount of space I'm moving into is pretty small compared to what I'm used to. The full size is about 500 sq feet.

      I'm bringing my two dogs (A big yellow lab and a medium size corgi) and need to make the space work for all of us. We're all going to lose a lot of weight because we don't have a yard to just hang in anymore... we are going to have multiple daily walks.

      Plus, I want to start building a new modern aesthetic compared to my usual suburban-homebody lifestyle I've lived most of my adulthood. I am such a boring person when it comes to decorating..and I want to add flair to my life.

      So, basically, I'm asking:
      - any advice on how to adjust to my new city lifestyle from a slow suburban one?
      - any tips on how where to get some cool furniture local in the city?
      - think I should keep my car or sell it?

    • As far as noise and light, I'd recommend investing in some good black out blinds / curtains and a noise machine.

      For furniture, Ikea is a good bet, as they have a lot of built up tiny homes inside of the store for ideas. They also have common colors so it is easy to get everything matching. They are also pretty inexpensive, so you can just get a whole set of furniture for not much, then replace over time. I completely furnished my first < 900 sq. ft. apartment from Ikea for ~$2000.

    • Brian Strong

      I'm not sure about how to adjust to city life since I've never lived in a city like SF, but your question regarding furniture caught my attention!

      I love that you are thinking about a new modern aesthetic. Since modern furniture is known for having a minimalist design approach, I think that will work better in your new smaller space. Bulky items or things that distract the eye will just make your apartment feel smaller.

      Modern doesn't have to be boring! I actually think it’s beautiful and timeless. A great place to checkout is Blu Dot. They have fun stuff and store in SF!

      Happy shopping!

    • Having lived in Hayes Valley for 3 years in a tiny 450 sq foot studio with my then girlfriend I've grown to appreciate the art of multi purpose furniture. Every inch of space is accounted for and it is super easy to make the apartment look messy just by putting an item in the wrong place.

      I would recommend starting fresh and being very conservative about which furniture to buy. Going to IKEA and filling up a room seems like a no-brainer, but if you get the wrong furniture, it will be a major pain to return it or even re-purpose it.

      In my case, the couch got the most bang for the buck. If you can get a couch that converts easily into a bed that would be a huge win! You'll probably end up spending most of the hours working on it (on a laptop). A small coffee table in front of the couch is also a good addition as it easily converts to a dining table.

    • Habitat for humanity has some amazing used furniture. I would say not to rush it and just make do with some simple items to start, the flow and usability in a small space is paramount and only comes from use.
      Tiny house youtube channels for the rabbit hole.
      It is an interesting move, I guess I see more of the opposite. Get out of the city and slow down. bloody young people :-)
      Parking will likely be a nightmare.
      In that space I see a ceiling mounted bed, lowered by a pulley system, a seating area under it that folds down and has storage boxes, can double as extra sleeping if needed.
      A big table on wheels for the kitchen with storage fold out expansion, and space for the dog stuff. A wall mounted hanger for ear plugs and a soft pillow to bang your head against if this doesn't work.

      Good luck!

    • Congrats, you're going to have a great adventure. I moved from New Hampshire to San Francisco in 2007, and I think you'll find that SF doesn't feel like overwhelming like like NYC or LA does. Outside of Fidi and Soma the buildings aren't tall, the streets aren't too wide and most of the neighborhoods are super pedestrian and bike friendly. Bring your appetite, the cuisine is top notch.

      For furniture my friends have always raved about HD Buttercup ($$$), I haven't really shopped there.

      As far as managing a busier city after mostly living in rural areas... for me the solution was being active outside. You're surrounded by nature, I highly recommend investing in a bike if you don't have one (+helmet and lights). You can cover a ton of terrain in the city via bike and it's the best way to explore the city and Marin. When you're in need of fresh air go for a ride or walk through Golden Gate park, the Presidio or for really epic tours head over the golden gate bridge and tour around Marin.

      On the weekend cruise down to the marina boulevard, grab a philz coffee and walk to the golden gate bridge, you'll feel the positive energy of SF and the beauty of the landscape. There's a ton of folks on here who can give you great places to go for hiking and biking. SF and the bay area is a very active community.

      I would say keep your car for now if parking isn't too much of a hassle and then decide later. I didn't have a car for the first 7 years I lived in SF but I enjoyed having one for the past 3. It's not necessary but nice to have if it isn't a hassle.

      If you're a Bills fan and looking for a watering hole to catch games on Sunday I can't help you there :)

    • Keenan Wells

      Congrats Adam! The place looks nice and cozy, I really like the brick! When I moved to SF, I moved into a 375 square foot place. I found that for 1 person it was actually totally fine (although I didn’t have pets), but I don’t really need a ton of space as long as it’s cozy.

      One trick that saved me a lot of space was using my dresser as a TV stand 🤷‍♂️

      Not sure what exact aesthetic you’re going for but there’s a very ecclectic array of good finds at the Alameda Antique Fair:

      Also Urban Ore in Berkeley sometimes has some good deals, and is super fun to walk around in even if you can’t find anything you like. It’s all second hand though so it’s kind of a gamble.

      Good luck with the move! What route are you taking on your journey? Recommend Meteor Crater if you’re driving through Arizona.

    • Thanks for the recommendation on BluDot - Checking it out the furniture looks to be the style I'm seeking. It's even better that they have a location in SF.

      Some others mentioned checking out Ikea.. but I'm not really a huge Ikea fan. I've furnished my last 3 or 4 apartments mostly from Ikea and I've just about had enough of their wooden, shotty furniture. (Though I love the prices).

    • I agree that blackout curtains and a noise machine are great recommendations. I’m sensitive to light and noise in my sleep, and it even bothers me quite a bit where I live in suburban San Jose. I've done a lot of research and tried a few products.

      The Marpac Dohm is my favorite noise machine. It uses a motor to move air through an acoustic housing to make a more natural sound than what a cheap white-noise speaker can replicate. It's easy to fall asleep to, and it does a great job blocking out sound. It's adjustable, and lets you change frequencies to better block out certain sounds. The downside is that is uses 18 watts, which is still fairly slow, but more than <1 watt a speaker-based noice machine uses. It'll cost you a few cents a month to run.

      These blackout curtains do a great job blocking even direct sunlight. They're not nordic-grade curtains that cut out all perceivable light, but they're pretty darn good for $25. I have the gray version. It's bland, but doesn't clash with furniture and wall colors. This is a good curtain rod to pair with the curtains. Don't install the end pieces to make the rod feel more modern.

      Smart, colored light bulbs can add a lot to a small place. A few Philips Hue bulbs would do a great job at setting the atmosphere to whatever you want.

    • Good advice here on furniture, one thing I would add is to regard cleaning as an ongoing process rather than an endpoint. I lived in 400 sq ft for 10 years, and loved it. The key I found was if I used something to immediately deal with it and put it away. It takes very little mess to make the whole place feel like a dump. The other key is not accumulating stuff. No nick-nacks from vacation, etc.

      My new house is much larger, and in some ways, I don't like it for that very reason. I wouldn't hesitate to go back to a much smaller space.

    • LOVE the brick. I miss my old brick apartment in Portland.

      I lived a 500 sq ft apartment in the Tenderloin. As with most things in life, we all adapt to the situation we're in, so 500 sq ft was really just fine to live in (although I recently moved to a place 3x bigger in SOMA and bought my first dining room table 😊).

      With that said, I don't have any great tips. Just don't buy bulky furniture.

    • Thanks for the advice for HD Buttercup! I am just about to head there now and check that store out. It looks super interesting. The triple $ is okay, I want to upgrade my life and be a fancy SF resident. (Goodbye to my Ikea loving days!)

      The city is *so* walkable. My two dogs have been loving all the noises, smells, people and pups! It's going to be a grand adventure every day!

      The car situation is already a nightmare. My building isn't zoned for residential parking so it's a bunch of hopping around and paying at different spots during the day. I looked around for 3 hours going to different garages yesterday. They have ~2 year wait lists for monthly passes, how is that even possible!?!? The car may be soon a relic of the past as well....

      As for the Bills - Not really into sports anyway! Haha.

    You've been invited!