From Seinfeld to Friends, from Rhoda to The Odd Couple, NYC apartments are always depicetd on television as being ridiculously huge. Of course that's a far cry from reality, but at least one show has not only got the scale correct, but has actually injected elements of space-saving design into it: Charlie's sub-200-square-foot studio apartment on HBO's "Girls."
I don't watch the show and don't know if the apartment still figures into the storyline, but a couple years ago the L.A. Times ran a feature on the fictional apartment's design, cleverly created by production designer Laura Ballinger Gardner. While it is in fact a set, it's pretty stunning how simultaneously realistic and tasteful it looks. On top of that, the design solutions to small-space storage and living, from the bed-topping loft-lounge with storage stairs to the "Mondrian-inspired birch plywood" storage wall to the bedsprings-cum-pot-rack, would be a welcome addition to many an NYC studio.
"We knew from the script that he lived in an older, not good apartment, but he had taken a small studio and done something wonderful with it," said Gardner. [The character's back story] is that he had a low-level job in an architecture office at one point and has worked as a carpenter.
Fans of the show can see renderings of the other characters' apartments, like the ones below, on Gardner's website.