Small but Mighty

Property Watch: Vintage Capitol Hill Studio Maximizes Its Tiny Space

Picture-perfect features, carefully planned storage, and a shelf-lined sleeping nook defy its sub-500 square feet.

By Sarah Anne Lloyd June 29, 2022

They just don’t make itty-bitty apartments like they used to. This studio in the Broadway Co-op, built in 1929 on what's now the northern edge of Capitol Hill's main drag, is just 480 square feet—but with a smart layout and gorgeous period accents, it makes the most of what it has.

A more contemporary apartment this size would run the risk of being a long, narrow box. The floorplan makes all the difference in this place. It has its own small foyer behind a pointed arch. The kitchen takes up a daring amount of space—and while sometimes kitchens in small spaces end up weirdly inefficient, there’s no dead air in this one.

Instead, it has an impressive amount of cabinet space, with just enough open shelving to keep things from feeling confined, and a small dining area by the window. The counter space is more generous than in many larger apartment kitchens. A compact range (but a full-size refrigerator) helps make this possible.

There’s a full bath, too, which is just big enough to not be entirely cramped. It has a vintage cast-iron tub and one much more modern amenity: a thermostatic shower valve, which allows you to pre-set the temperature so you’re not just fiddling with the knob the whole time. Luxurious!

This, of course, doesn’t leave that much space for the living room, but it’s hard to say what it would’ve gained from more space. Plus, it still has the dignity afforded to an apartment of the era. The ceiling is threefold, with crown molding, coving, and a slight tray. Two windows let in plenty of light from the far wall. The kitchen is through two leaded-glass French doors, and that large door frame lends it some extra space.

The most efficient space of all, of course, is the bed nook, which is lined from floor to ceiling with all kinds of storage. On one wall, a series of open shelves are perfect for books, keepsakes, or some very neatly folded shirts. There’s an open wardrobe on the other, with two hanging bars and some lower shelves more suited to clothes. At the very top, there’s both a cabinet and very deep shelves lining the entire perimeter.

It doesn’t seem like that much storage considering there’s no closet around here—just a built-in shoe rack and an upper cabinet in the foyer—but between that and the kitchen cabinets, the place is really harnessing any spare space. The far wall of the living room, for the record, is an ideal spot for a dresser or more shelves, and whatever can’t be stored in the apartment can get stashed in the basement.

In case you’re worried the actual sleeping part of the nook is some kind of custom-sized bunk, don’t worry: You can put a real bed in here. The staging displays a double bed with a tiny table on either side, but it might fit a queen—and one of the shelves is perfectly positioned to be a nightstand.

Listing Fast Facts

756 Broadway Ave E, Unit 304
Size: 480 square feet, 0 bedroom/1 bath
List Date:
List Price: $285,000 ($351/mo HOAs)
Listing Agent: Harold Berry and Michael Doyle, Windermere

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