I moved into a 400ish-square-foot studio in spring 2021. This is the first space I’ve lived in by myself, and I’m enjoying setting it up to suit my lifestyle and accommodate my colorful range of hobbies. 

As a photographer/filmmaker/enthusiastic home cook/tea-loving, infrared sauna-owning, pole-dancing bicyclist, I have to be mindful about making my space functional while trying to avoid clutter — and still ensuring that it feels and looks nice. I’ve also never welcomed more than two people in the space at any time, and I don’t usually binge TV shows.

With all of that in mind, I thought it was a no-brainer to forgo a sofa. 

My last two apartments had sofas and I rarely used them. I distinctly remember spending more time pushing the sofas out of the way so that I could practice on the pole or stream workout videos in the living room at the height of the pandemic.

This time around, I opted for a low acrylic table paired with a set of Japanese floor chairs. I randomly found the table in the lobby of my former building while moving out of my last apartment, and I sourced the floor chairs in Hong Kong with my mom years before I moved to New York. I love the chair cushions so much that I actually flew cross-country with them from my mom’s home in Southern California. The chairs are sleek, well-designed, and surprisingly comfortable given they don’t have legs. They also remind me to maintain good posture while I’m using them. As someone deeply inspired by how people live around the world, I liked the idea of having my seating more grounded, like I’ve commonly seen outside the States.

If I ever feel like I do want to lounge around, I’ll just lay on my bed like a starfish. I also don’t have a television, but I have been flirting with the idea of adding a projector for the ceiling. 

Of course, this setup isn’t perfect. I use the acrylic table to eat and work. I’m currently working on my first documentary, and it is admittedly cumbersome to sit down with various external hard drives and sift through footage at a small table while keeping the cables and notes organized. 

But I don’t at all regret my choice. Honestly, it’s great living in a sofa-less space at this stage of my life. If and when I move in with a partner and start a family, we’ll most likely opt for a couch and more space to entertain. But for those who are living in small spaces who prefer not to get sucked into the TV/sofa rabbit hole, you might give going couch-less a try! 

And if, for any reason, I need more seating, I keep a set of neutral-toned floor pillows stored under my bed. I have yet to use them.