Tiny, gothic-meets-nerdy-meets-bohemian apartment in the middle of Amish country

My daughters room
Keep calm and live with five people in a two bedroom apartment.

The offbeat occupants: WhiteWolfBohemian (student/stay-at-home mom), my husband, and three children
Approximate square footage: Under 650 sq. feet
How many bedrooms? Two bedrooms
Lives in: Ephrata, Pennsylvania

Let's start with the neighborhood. What's it like where you live? We live in a medium-sized town, that is situated in the middle of Amish country in Pennsylvannia. Our town is surrounded on all sides by farm land.

We live in an extremely conservative/religious area. My husband is Agnostic while I consider myself an eclectic pagan, which is unusual for our area. My husband and I are both attending a local community college and while I stay home with the kids he works part-time at a local restaurant. We do this with one car and a very limited income.

Bathroom window
Awesome bathroom window.
While extremely devoted to each other and best friends, my husband and I will occasionally open up our marriage for short periods of time. This is because while we value monogamy, we also recognize it's something that does not come naturally for humans… but something to strive for. We use our brief times of opening our marriage as a kind of release valve for our baser instincts.

What makes your home offbeat? Our home is unique due to the fact that is a two-bedroom with five people. My husband, myself, and our three children. Our two sons (ages 11 and 4) share the big bedroom, while our daughter has the smaller bedroom. My husband and I sleep on a king-sized mattress on the floor that doubles as a very large couch during the day.

My style is somewhat between Bohemian, gothic, and hippy-ish. While my husband is an all-out gamer/nerd type. Our home reflects us from what's on our walls to what's on our bookshelves. We have a very eclectic taste in everything.

Our daughter's room.
Our daughter's room.

What's the most challenging about this space? How do you deal with the challenge? Organizing the closet space is a challenge. We have decent-sized closets in both bedrooms, but when you have clothing for two boys and my husband on one side of the closet and my stuff in the other half, it can be a challenge. My daughter's closet is the same way… her stuff on one side and other storage (out of season stuff, etc.) on the other.

Living room and entry area
Living room and entry area.

It is a challenge not having an attic or garage space for our outdoor stuff, Christmas stuff, etc. I am still working on organizing the spaces, including under bed space as storage. Another issue we deal with is dealing with shoes, coats, and our winter stuff by the front door.

My organized tiny kitchen
Our tiny but organized kitchen.

What's your favorite feature of your home? I would say it would be a tie between our living room/master bedroom combo and our kitchen. Our kitchen is tiny but the way it is set up I have plenty of storage space and room for a kitchen table (which is something we didn't have room for in our last apartment).

Our kitchen table
Our kitchen table.

What's the most important lesson you've learned from this home? Maximizing storage space, and organizing five people in a two-bedroom home.

What's your grandest plan for the space? I am planning on adding shelving/cube space to the closets for organizing clothing under the clothing that is hanging, and finding ways of creating more vertical space in every room. Plus, I want to do a lot more with my sons' rooms. Since my older son is into anything science and Star Wars I have been trying to go for a steampunk naturalist look in his room. I just have not gotten his room together enough to look like much of anything.

Our bathroom.
Our bathroom.

What advice do you have for other Offbeat Homies? That no matter what size home you have, you can make it your own and make it work.

Any stuff or services you want to recommend? I don't spend much time shopping but there is a little toy store down the street from me called The Fun-nest Toy Store Ever. It is a tiny store but has a lot of really cool wooden/educational games. They also do a lot of activities in the community like Santa in December and Fun Day in the Park, where they have their toys out for kids to try out.

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  1. I love your shower curtain. 🙂

    And I identify with your bookshelf on the far left of the tv area. It looks like it could be in my home – complete with fantasy favorites and fun figurines (the alliteration just happened, sorry about that!)

    2 agree
  2. I like the fact that your bed doubles as the couch! I've been curious on how families sleep and function in small apartments, so thanks for the details.

    Also, I was visiting Ephrata for a wedding last year, so I know how conservative the region is!

  3. I love seeing how other people deal with families in a small space– it seems so cozy! I really dig that tree curtain.

    Also, high five for Lanc! I'm from the southern end. 🙂

    • Can I just say holy crap to finding other central PA offbeaters. Harrisburg area over here!

      Conservative is an understatement for the area.

      • Spent some time in central PA- for all the horror stories, there are a lot of wonderful people there. They tend to aggregate in little pockets of awesome, so just keep trying and you will eventually stumble upon one.

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