When Jay Swanson moved into his 140-square-foot apartment, a former maids’ quarters (“chambre de bonne”) in central Paris, he had already pared down his possessions to two duffle bags in order to live aboard a hospital ship.
Dissatisfied with an old bed and desk that nearly filled the room, the science-fiction-writer-turned-vlogger took advantage of the high ceilings to create an upstairs using an ultra-tall loft bed with enough space to stand underneath and chunky stairs that double as storage drawers.
To turn his bathroom into a hybrid kitchen, he removed the urinal/bidet and replaced it with an induction stovetop and tiny washing machine. He admits midnight runs to the toilet down the hall aren’t always comfortable, but are worth the added space.
When he first moved in in 2017 Paris was his dining room and living room, but in times of Covid, he has had to readjust to being confined to 13 square meters for months on end. He credits his rich creative life – writing (he wrote “the world’s first real-time fantasy blog”) and video editing (he’s made his living with his YouTube channel since 2017) – for expanding any space beyond the four walls.